2011 was a year of hits and misses, in terms of my personal use of social media.
I stuck with platforms I love – Twitter and WordPress.
I maintained platforms I couldn’t do away with – Facebook and LinkedIn.
I continued to use Foursquare, despite some ups and downs (see my previous Foursquare post).
I signed up for Klout and integrated a lot of my networks; watching my score rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall until I didn’t care anymore, even if I did get a free RedBull magazine.
And I flirted with what turned out to be duds – Scoville (with its website down, and questions being asked on Twitter, is Scoville actually finished?) and pretty much abandoned GetGlue which I didn’t enjoy using as much as Miso.
Google unveiled GooglePlus, and so far it’s gained more traction and longevity than GoogleBuzz and GoogleWave. But users still seems divided between ‘passionate’ and ‘meh’ and while some brands are there, they too don’t seem to be sure what they’re doing on this newest Google platform.
I liken GooglePlus to Quora – they’re both networks with a lot of potential and dedicated communities are using them, with great personal and professional results. But they don’t have wider public resonance and are finding it difficult to work their way into our regular social media use. I visit both occasionally (and feel guilty when I neglect them). When I am there, I find I can spend a lot of time following links and reading useful information. But it feels like I’m doing homework: there can be some satisfaction in catching up, but it’s not something that I look forward to daily.
After lots of encouragement from Pinterest fans, I started making my own Boards recently and enjoyed how easy it was. I’m yet to find ‘my best use’ for Pinterest but I’m convinced there will be one! I’ve got a Board for Matt Dillon (very useful), Board for ‘things boys like’ (useful for parents of boys), and ‘Events 2012’ which I thought would be great for earmarking events I want to attend next year, but is more suited to a list on another platform, as the events don’t benefit from the visual interest Pinterest thrives on.
I tried Stamp, an app which enables you to ‘stamp’ things you recommend (across a variety of segments). I didn’t find this engaging because 1) I don’t know what the next step is and why it’s helpful and 2) not enough of my friends were using it.
I installed Path on my iPhone and was quite excited with it for about a week, because of its ease of use and its attractive interface. I like the fact it enables you to share music, where you are (a la Foursquare) and photos quickly and easily (with some photo effects a la Instagram). I didn’t like Path’s ‘sleep’ and ‘awake’ tool which I thought was taking social connectedness further than it needs to go. But again, with other social networks already embedded in my life, it’s hard to see the need for Path right now.
I also tried Whim, which enables you to connect with friends in the hopes of organising activity based on a ‘whim’. This app fails because you can already organise activity via texting or a multitude of social networks, and it doesn’t have the offering to entice enough of your friends as yet.
This year, I also got out of bed at 2am to listen to Mark Zuckerberg unveil Timeline live at the f8 conference. I think Timeline, the new ‘cover photo’ and ‘ticker’ have rejuvenated Facebook and will see a lot of people reconnecting with their profiles again.
I set up camp on AboutMe … because I could. (Wait, was that this year or last year?). I haven’t seen a lot of traffic come through there, but admittedly I haven’t promoted the URL because I have other more important URLs to promote!
I continued to use Hootsuite, Echofon and Bit.ly because they serve me well, and also started using interesting tweeting tools like Crowdbooster which aim to analyse your Twitter use and provide helpful advice.
Away from the screen, the Adelaide social media community #Socadl continued to thrive this year. We met several times, with events including a Hootup organised by Ben Teoh, several local speaker gigs and a Foursquare competition. We also had live #socadl chats this year including one on international Social Media Day in June.
So, what are my plans for 2012?
Well, as I’ve begun my own social media consultancy, I’m going to look deeply into tools that will help my clients. They will often be social media platforms, from Facebook Pages through to LinkedIn groups, WordPress blogs or even Instagram accounts. But I’ll also recommend tools such as EventBrite and MailChimp as required, and also be very interested in Pinterest or Quora Board for communities of interest and even B2B projects.
Of course, I’ll also be trialling new platforms as they emerge.
What social media tools did you enjoy or dismiss in 2011?