How do you use Twitter/Buzz/Facebook?

No no, I’m not late to the party and I’m not asking literally how does one use the above mentioned services. Rather, I’m asking how does one put these various services to use. When do you post something on Twitter but not on Buzz, Facebook but not on Twitter; or do you post everything everywhere (ping.fm style)? I’m not a heavy hitter by any means and my usage of social networks is mediocre at best. Yet I myself confounded with all of the various services and their accompanying warts and virtues. Don’t you?

To help sort out my thoughts, I drew a picture (don’t you dare judge me for my lack of creativity!):

Twitter/Facebook/Buzz

Below I elaborate more on how I currently use each of the services.

Twitter

  • I tend to use it for technical and/or non-personal content. Things that I would want to publicize.
  • Unlike Buzz/Facebook, I don’t pay too much attention to who is following me. Most tweets are public anyways.
  • The 140 character limit is sometimes amusing, but often irritating. Are people still using regular SMS with Twitter?
  • Multiple startups devoted to managing Twitter “noise” is not encouraging.
  • @ replies are bandaid. Twitter is a broadcast-and-forget medium — I can’t have (or follow) a conversation on it.

Facebook

  • Use it for sharing random, personal updates (or things I find interesting :p)
  • Mostly on because of network effect (read: don’t want to be left off the social bandwagon).
  • Like that I can “Like” most things and actually follow the conversation via comments.
  • Always worried if my privacy settings are working and if there’s a new “default” I need to worry about.
  • Pay more attention to who I friend. The noise level is still quite high despite that.

Buzz

  • Usage domain similar to that of Facebook. Unlike Facebook, can choose to make posts Public.
  • Love the email integration. Conversely, API/clients still have to catch up to Twitter.
  • Supports likes, comments and “resharing”.
  • Privacy is modeled around my contacts (chat or otherwise), which seems natural.

I’m fine with using Twitter for all of my public posts. The main confusion lies between Buzz and Facebook. Facebook obviously has more social traction. That said, Buzz is just more convenient to use (because of the email integration mostly). Of course, all of the various connectors available (Twitter <-> Buzz, Twitter <-> Facebook, multicast via ping.fm or Chromedeck etc) make the whole thing even more confusing.¬†At the end of the day, I might just go back to not using anything on a regular basis.

How are you using Twitter, Buzz and Facebook?

3 comments

  1. Xed

    I focus on who my core audience is. Since it is precisely one person, me, the primary place for my musings is on my own server. I have a bash script that has a variable which can be edited with the witty message du jour. When the script is run, it uses ping.fm (if it is actually working…grrr) to distribute the message to facebook and twitter. It also adds the message to the end of the script itself as a comment for a bizarre archive (which have correct timestamps – something facebook sometimes has trouble with). Google Buzz is bewildering to me. I have no idea how it works. The problem, of course, is I’m a Mutt user, so Gmail is a vacuum to me. It’s like a deaf person understanding music. Buzz on its own is much like Google chat on its own, i.e. I haven’t found it to exist. But some people know my Twitter stuff from Buzz and they also see my Reader comments there and that’s nice. I read my own Reader comments from my blogspot blog’s widget that shows them. You’re right to be a little put off by the complexity. I’m thoroughly confused. And that’s without even exploring the damn good question of whether it’s really worthwhile telling the world about your little thoughts.

    • Diwaker Gupta

      I had the same problem till I wasn’t using Gmail’s web interface. But with the priority inbox and other features, I gave in and consequently became aware of Buzz. My fear is that soon Twitter/FB/Buzz presence will start to have a serious impact (if it doesn’t already) on our personal and professional lives. If I don’t tweet about all the interesting stuff in my life, is my life really interesting?

  2. Anonymous coward

    minor correction: You can make certain posts public on facebook as well. Just click the lock icon while posting and customize to you hearts content.

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