I checked in at Google+ this morning and was surprised to see a user post that he just deactivated his Facebook account. The question that immediately came up for me, “Why would he do that?” As online social networking is evolving many are left wondering which one to use or use multiple services. The other question comes up if you should delete your account because you like features of a new one that came out?
I’m one of those that is on several and do not deactivate accounts when a new service I like comes out. In fact, I kept my MySpace account for about a year after I joined the mass exodus of users from that service. One of the things I’ve noticed is that user bases are different on each service. Likewise, the uses serve different purposes. Think in terms of restaurants. I might go to one for more professional types of social gatherings which wouldn’t go over too well in a McDonald’s. Turn that around and I want to grab a quick bite to eat on the go with a friend. McDonald’s works out better in that scenario. I like both and will frequent both but for different purposes.
So how does one choose a social network to be on and the questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want to get out of the service? There’s a reason for everything, and there is most likely a reason for signing on with a social service. The reason I initially got involved in anything with social networking was because my kids wanted to use MySpace. I wanted to keep an eye on what was going on. Then I saw uses for my wife’s business later on with other services and is now one of the leading drivers for me looking at services that pop up as well as possible Church uses.
- Who do you know on the service? Some people tend to forget that little word “social” in “social network”. It’s about the connections and the quality of those connections. We connect better with people we know, and we know people for different reasons. If my parish has a very active Facebook page that shares a lot and has great faith discussions, I’ll want to have a Facebook account to participate. One of the primary reasons I picked up Facebook was because a lot of my high school friends were on there. I picked up LinkedIn because a lot of my past professional contacts were on there involved in more targeted professional discussions. Twitter, well, that’s a whole different story. Just like it always is. That service really is in a class all of it’s own when you think about it.