Getting stuck on the web

Posted on 04/04/2011

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Channel confusion can really get in the way of living. With everyone having their own preferred way of communicating (phone call, email, SMS, twitter), trying to get in touch with someone is often frustrating. Surely the internet wasn’t created to make out lives more confusing?!
Even the most basic things, like contacting someone your own age is now a bit of a mission. Curiously, it’s my grandparents who are the easiest people to contact (70% chance they’ll be in during the day and they ALWAYS answer their phone. Go them!)

It’s not just companies that struggle to manage their online relationships and presence. Many “real people” (companies are made of real people too) do as well. What about that blog that you started last summer but never got round to updating? When was the last time you made use of you flickr account and actually showed someone those photos hidden on your memory stick? I imagine a lot of people don’t think too much about this, which is fair. These things shouldn’t stop your daily life but, as I’ve said before [link], they (the internet) is becoming your daily life. As with all things (love, work, play, exercise) you’ve got to balance the amount of time you’re willing to spend on one with the amount you want to achieve, or in this case: share.

There’s a lot to read and say online and about a million ways to say it. With new sites all the time (Kiltr anyone?), reformatting how we share and socialise, it’s easy to spread youself too thin between too many networks. But there are a few solutions:

  1. Be more active on fewer sites. I’m always trying out the next new site, especially because creating profiles costs nothing. However, it distracts from staying connected to my old networks. It’s a bit like abandoning your old friends for newer, trendier ones. I’d like to think I’m not that fickle.
  2. As my old friend J-dawg put it:

    “Choice paralysis over communication media is a problem, though the problem is minimized when one is aware of the particular media preference of the recipient.”

    Very much agreed. Still, it can be tricky to know everyone’s media preference. This is why being a sheep makes sense. Sometime it’s worth with the consensus, just because everyone else is. Join with the chorus of Baaa’s because, believe me, the internet is a lonely place without people.

  3. This is my own. Networks, even at this early stage in their evolution, are used in certain ways. Slowly, we’re forming an online etiquette, or “netiquette” as to how we use these and how public we make our lives. Put another way, would you add your boss / Managing Director on Facebook? No, I thought not.
  4. I’m working on a few different ways of dividing how I use these networks. As ever, stay tuned.

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