How to keep up with social media. Here's a list of where I am active, how and why.

Google+ since you find me here. I use Google + for drafts, I have an idea and I put a first draft on Google +, I then get criticisms, comments, and I improve or modify my original idea into something deeper, I do more research on my own and then I go to my blog, generally my English blog. This commentary that I am writing now is a good example. This will grow I am sure, and improve. By the way I don`t mind improving or changing my articles based on criticism, and I am not religious about giving credit to others for improving my texts, or for destroying them. I take what I like when it's criticism. I do draw the line though at the point of original ideas. There I am respectful and don't take them as my own. But I do feel that criticism to my ideas is also mine. And I don't believe that every time you change a post you have to let people know exactly what comma you took out. I warn people that my texts are constantly being improved.

Tumblr I also use in a way similar to Google + but for shorter articles, I am also aware that what comes out in my Tumblr goes on Twitter as I have them linked. Tumblr is great to discover longer form and visual content. Their discovery platform is still very poor (I am an investor) but I know it will get better. And Tumblr gets some original content creators who are mostly there or just there. In Tumblr I follow photography, science, medicine.

Twitter I use a lot more, but for reading as much as producing content. I use Tumblr and Google + for reading but less. Twitter is like the newswire for me, like those news summaries that appear down below on CNN (or used to because I haven't watch TV in so long). Tumblr is more like a magazine. And so is Google+. Tumblr is more visual, Google + is more text. Twitter is great for finding things or recruiting.

Facebook is only about friends for me, I use to have like 4000 "friends" now I have around 600 but I know almost all of them, or if not in person at least virtually well. Facebook is about more private things and I use friends only a lot because I know Facebook is dying to make money out of me showing whatever I post to anyone to get more activity and impressions. The only non private part of Facebook that I use is groups, and those work well to liaise along themes or narrow lines. Like the group I made of parents of Montessori school children in Madrid.

Path I started using recently even though I signed up when it opened. Is very, very visual and I use it taking advantage of the camera programs in my iPhone and my Samsung Galaxy. I use it for great shots taken with phones. Shots that are the essence of the moment I am in, like a great tweet, but visual. I know you can do much more at Path, but I don't.

Pinterest I don't get. I see it as closer to Tumblr but kind of messy. I don't see a lot of original content producers there. It is more kind of "look at what I found Dad" I am a father of 5 btw.

Flickr I love but I have the feeling that it's dying. Pity because there is tons of quality photography there and I am an amateur photographer.

Google + photos formerly known as Picasa I use. I like the fact that many pictures go there from my Android. They also go to iPhoto from my iPhone the same way. Both systems are good for not losing pictures even though you have to erase many. I wish they would ask you if you want to update them.

In my case there's the languages issue. I write more in English because the best content on the web is in English. Spanish even though it is spoken by a great deal of people there is little new science or radical ideas coming out in Spanish. There are some, but few. I also understand French, Italian, Portuguese and Catalan. Catalan is to languages what Path is to social networks :) French is probably the other language were some original content is found. Less so in Italian and Portuguese. I am learning German, if I really spoke German I have a sense that there would be some more original content. But Germans and Northern Europeans in general have an elite who writes in English and that is great.

There is another angle to all of this is that many social networks are gadget specific. Path is not on the web, the iPhone is great for photography. With the iPhone for example you can be in Instagram as well and I also post on Instagram. You can then post from there to Tumblr and other networks. Not to Google + which is trying to make it all with Google products (a mistake). I use the iPhone 4S, the Samsung Galaxy SII which is amazing, the new Blackberry Bold 9900 which is still the fastest small gadget in which to write and message but poor for almost everything else, the iPad which is perfect for looking at content, not so great for producing it. And then my MacBook Pro which is perfect for typing fast, for editing video, for editing photograpy.

Youtube is another beast. In the video world I prefer Vimeo. But Youtube has huge audiences that have given millions of views to my videos so I go on placing them there in spite of the horrendous, idiotic level of commentary there. I have rarely seen a smart person commenting on a video on Youtube. Dante's inferno said "lasciate ogni speranza voi che entrate" and that is today very applicable to the level of Youtube commentary. I many times just don't let people comment on my videos in order to avoid racism and plain idiocy. Now Vimeo is another world. Vimeo is like Tumblr in video. There is amazing quality beautiful videos there.

Is messenger social media? I think it is. Skype is social by nature, and I use it either in very intimate situations or non intimate at all, like job interviews. BBM I have with two of my children who are still on Blackberry and a few other people who have not given up. Whatsapp keeps me in touch with some others who are across platforms, it is uncanny how they got away with the fact that if you have somebody's phone number you can Whatsapp without acceptance. It makes you want to get a new phone number so ghosts from the past don't haunt you. SMS is rare for me. Google Talk and the Google + messengers I use but rarely, with an occasional friend who loves it. MSN or Yahoo I have not used for ages. Email I do use and a lot. I like the asynchronicity of it. I like Gmail, it's brilliant.

Blogs other than mine are also a way to be socially active, reading, leaving comments, and I do read a bunch of blogs, the best way to see what I read is still my Netvibes public page. All the RSS feeds that were kind of killed by Twitter but not totally for me. I love the way Netvibes presents all blogs in one screen for me in my MacBook or any PC.
And other formerly non social activities are also getting social, certainly music with Spotify which I use a lot and even language learning with Busuu.

a more complete version in my blog

http://english.martinvarsavsky.net/general/on-how-i-use-social-media.html
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