Social Media Laziness
I just saw this article in Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/01/31/facebooks-news-feed-bad-news/#comment-17981471
You might hate Facebook, but I've seen similar opinions about Google+ (like ye olde "there's only Scoble on my feed").
This article demonstrates a few things.
1. The author doesn't know how to control his own feed.
2. The author isn't willing to put the work into controlling his own feed.
3. The author subscribed to things and/or people that he doesn't care about.
When subscribe came out I did a few things:
1. I created lists. Lots of them, including some for my family, my university, my employer, and other types of people I wanted to hear from. These new lists work very similarly to Google+: I never miss anything my Family posts because I have a list of family members which shows me EVERYTHING my family members post.
2. I went through each member of my friends list and I put them into two buckets: Acquaintance or Real Friend. If you set someone to "real friend" you'll see most, if not all, of their items. Acquaintance lists will show far fewer items.
3. I unfriended people and brands I didn't want to hear from. They are automatically turned into subscribers (they see my stuff, I don't see their stuff).
4. I understand the difference in the "sort" feed function. The default is set to "Top Stories." This will show you only popular stuff since the last time you visited. A far better setting is to leave it on "Most Recent." This way you'll see only new items and you'll see many more items that have no likes or comments (your family's cat photos, for instance, probably has no likes or comments).
5. I only click like, or comment, on items that I want to see more of on my main feed. Facebook watches to see what kinds of things you like and comment on. If you only like and comment on Techcrunch posts, for instance, that's what you'll soon see much more of.
6. I hide certain types of items, like all tweets or all Zynga game items. If you click the little "x" next to a certain type of item on Facebook, like a Tweet or a game request, you'll get an option to hide all tweets. This DRAMATICALLY improved my feed. Now I never see game or tweets (Tweets have very low value on Facebook).
These techniques are similar to the ones on Google+, except there's a new thing on Google+ which lets you "tune" your home feed. I have lots of circles. At the top of each circle's page is a slider. Using that slider you can set it to show you more or fewer things from that circle in your home feed. So, if I'm seeing too many photographs and not enough tech news? I just change the sliders.
But the author is right: keeping your feed "tuned up" whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, does take a lot of time and effort. If you just let Facebook decide you'll get a lot of crap.
Me? I actually am liking my Facebook feed better than my Google+ feed lately. Why? Less noise and more things I care about. But it took me many hours to get it to this place.
Someday I'll do a post about how to further optimize your Google+ circle. Over the next month I will go through each of my 5,000 people I'm circling and recircle them based on their recent content. That'll make my feed better again and I'll get rid of people who aren't very active. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.
Do you have any tips for how you optimize your social networks?