My year in social media

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 committed to new loves – Instagram and Miso.

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.

Socadl Christmas function 2011
Socadl Christmas function 2011

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?

16 thoughts on “My year in social media

  1. Well, that pretty much sums it up.. I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your blogs & posts and again what you have posted I can’t really argue with (in fact I am agreeing with everything which I always hate doing) 🙂 Can’t wait to 2012 hey!

  2. Crazy year from a social media perspective Michelle!!! Everything you have tried and continue to do…kudos!

    Myself – will never let go of Facebook like most; ramped up a new Twitter account and will continue this; joined LinkedIn and I do like as it doesn’t take much work to maintain; have began Tumblr and am a fan due to the blog style; created an About.me profile and am glad I did so; Google+ is growing on me…slowly; and utilise Foursquare and Flickr! a little bit. The plan is to continue with the new additions for a while…some will stay for good and perhaps one or two will drop off. Should be an interesting 2012. I also have a website under development but I think I’ll drop this due to time and the growth in mobile platforms (my website was never going to be available on a mobile platform). And I think Tumblr can do enough for me from a website point of view.

    Love this website Michelle! Glad I have come across it 🙂

    1. Thanks for the great feedback Josh. I would love to try TumblR more – it’s another platform I feel guilty about! I set one up for my son to share his paperplane work, but really should give it a whirl myself. Cheers and happy new year.

      1. I am a big fan of it Michelle. Just editing my recap from a social media perspective on Tumblr as we speak actually. I’ll put the link onf Twitter shortly. I just love its versatilitiy…posts, photos, videos etc. Not a big universe though…so hopefully it gets bigger over the coming years.

        Happy New Year to you as well!!!

  3. I’ve pretty much stuck to my existing loves of Twitter, Instagram, Miso (although I continue to fall out of love with the phone app the more they “improve” it) and Tumblr.

    From the little I’ve seen of Pintrest, it just looks like Tumblr for “grown ups” (or just with less porn), and it seems a very “Mom” thing at present… so it’s not really my niche.

    I still completely reject Facebook on a personal basis, although I’m hopeful I’ll have the opportunity to use it at work some time this year so that I can at least say that I’ve tried it but am not interested. And Google+ just looks like something else that’s going to fizzle and die.

  4. i have an unhealthy love of instagram: i love playing with photos i take, i love the vicarious travel i can do following others, and love watching companies that are using it very well, such as Thompson Hotels.

    Pinterest might work for me, but so far it’s somewhere to herd and hoard, and i forget to go back. perhaps i cantreat it as a timecapsule to rediscover every New Years Day?

  5. Twitter mainly; WordPress (self-hosted) and Typepad (hosted) for blogs; Tumblr for odd stuff; Posterous for even odder stuff; Facebook only because the kids are there (but set up some company pages); Google+ by preference over FB – personal, professional and company pages there; Tripit and Dopplr for travel; Last.fm for music; Pinboard and Delicious for ‘public’ tagging; Foursquare/Scoville/Forecast sparingly; I like Path’s interface (and the people I ‘see’ there); Linkedin heavily for my professional and company profiles; Dropbox for file sharing; Liquidspace for space sharing (not many Australian co-working spaces on it yet); I stick with Flickr for photo sharing; Runkeeper for exercise logging and sharing; DecafSucks for finding good coffee; Qwoff/Vinomofo/Great Wine Adventure for finding wine and cellar doors.

    Things I’ve played with but don’t use: Kik; Hashable; HelloTXT; Rally Up; Yammer; Touch; GetGlue; exfm.

    There’s probably a truck-load more stuff that I have a profile on, but have forgotten … 🙂

  6. Then there’s the biggie – NOT a social network, but what I think may be the early steps to allowing us to find the other 90% of the internet’s potential: connect.me, a trust and respect framework/system that is using social media and gaming mechanisms to start building a trustworthy web of people on the internet.

    Find out more at http://connect.me/c/trust and follow http://twitter.com/respectconnect – I’ve already vouched for some of you 🙂 (and thanks to those that have reciprocated – but note that the point is NOT mindless “friending” – the vouches should be meaningful)

  7. mmmmm Pinterest has to be my fav by a mile – so much inspiration and connection. Lovin it. WordPress for my rather adhoc blog. Still using twitter, facebook, foursquare as per usual and the surprise parcel was Linkedin for me this year – so many good connections and much usefulness in groups. And have drooly moments over other’s tumblr sites – but can’t justify having two separate blog sites.

    Hope your business dreams are shaping up and starting to come true. Best of luck x

  8. Have to admit for my website that is built on WordPress then Twitter and Facebook have been my heroes of 2011. I don’t currently own a phone capable of running apps such as instagram but it is on my to do list for 2012!

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