Awhile ago I started a blog called "A Dovetailed Life" in which I rambled incessantly about what was going on in my mind via longform blogging. Typically my posts would be/could be between 400-1000 words (that longer range of words is not recommended by most successful bloggers) in length and, depending on the topic, would range substantially in amount of views.
That was the longform material. Shortform stuff, however, I left to mostly sharing on Facebook, with my rants about why guns are bad or why Samsung felt the need to endlessly copy Apple. In my mind it served as a nice distinction between the two services. I would rant on my "A Dovetailed Life" blog in longer form and rant on my Facebook page in short form. Two different forms, same types of ranting. This, in turn, clogged up my Facebook page (and friends' newsfeeds) with countless comments about who knows what and, because of Facebook's notification system, such conversation threads would count to--easily--forty or fifty comments. The entire thread would be filled with jabs at my character, unbelievable shouting matches, and zero progress made.
It's time, I think, that that changes.
I bought this domain name (jamesbryant.me) sometime back with the hopes of one day figuring out how to rebrand myself. I promised on this very blog not long ago that I would rebrand my Facebook page, too. While I've steadily become better at this "rebranding", I have not successfully or fully lived up to my promise. Most of this is due, I'd imagine, to my failure to adequately understand the distinction between purposes of social media. I have a Twitter account, for instance, and post regularly. However, I post on Facebook far more often with short, pointed statements that would be better suited for Twitter. Why? I don't know, that's just what I do. As a result of my lacking acknowledgment of social media distinctions, people's newsfeeds have been flooded with my nonsense, causing them to hide me from their feed on a regular basis or completely defriend me altogether.
It's time, I think, that that too changes.
All of these problems culminate into one larger question: What is Bryant Manning's social media strategy moving forward? I should first articulate my thoughts on sharing on the internet.
We've seen a boom in internet activity in the last 5 years of its existence. This is in part due to social media networks working diligently to provide easy sharing mechanisms. Already it is possible to get online and be more familiar with the ongoings of today's news and be more informed about a topic of which you had no interest ten seconds prior. This is due to sharing. Facebook and Twitter have become experts at this (many other networks, notably, are playing an insatiable game of catchup as a result) and have completely changed the way most people with a computer or a smartphone attach themselves to information and commentary on the information. It's now literally possible for me to tell 2,500 people how I feel about any one topic all at one time And, I can do it in less than 5 seconds. Sharing is the future of humanity and technology is aiding in this sharing endeavor.
That's mostly what I've done on Facebook. If I read an article and have a reaction to it, I'll often post it on Facebook (they've made it so easy to share straight to Facebook from almost any page or app) with a bit of commentary. That link (and a thumbnail preview) will instantly find its way onto the newsfeeds of anyone who hasn't blocked me and the ensuing conversation regarding the topic will take place on Facebook. This sounds great in principle; I can share information, provide commentary, and participate in discussion all in one place quickly and easily. In practice, however, it has some downsides. Facebook is a proprietary platform that can take, parse, and use any information I willfully give it to their benefit, financial or otherwise. I own nothing on that site. If, for some reason, one might need to refer back to that at a later date, one is at the mercy of a company who doesn't really have your best wishes in mind.
So I am, today, beginning a new way of going about my social media extravaganza. This new process consists of several rules which intend to use the services as they are intended to be used.
- This site: This site will soon contain both longform and shortform commentary. An example of a longform piece might be the piece you are currently reading. A shortform piece will likely consist of only a link, some quotable material, and a short bit of commentary on my part. These will be posted far more often (several times a day?) on this site. I invite commentary here (comments now hosted by Disqus).
- Twitter: Twitter can and should be used to provide relevant commentary to a specific moment in time and links for sharing. Twitter does not naturally serve as a good conversational ground, although it can provide that service in a limited capacity in a pinch. I will continue to tweet things that I find appropriate for Twitter and fall within Twitter's 140 character limit. This includes short bits on my life and links I think are worth reading.
- Facebook: Though I'm still up in the air with how to treat Facebook, I think I'm going to pull back the reigns on sharing links so frequently there, replacing it with the sharing of shortform commentary here. Any sort of commentary or bit about my life that may seem to fit in Facebook will go there, but my guess is that, as a whole, my sharing on Facebook will come (largely) to a hault. For artciles that I think are worth a read but not commentary, I'll likely still share them on Facebook.
- Sharing these posts: Posts on this page (both longform and shortform) will be shared on Twitter after every single post. Longform posts will be posted on my Facebook page, while the shortform posts won't be seen from Facebook. The intent here is to move the sharing of articles to a non-proprietary-me-controlled source which, at this time, is this site. If you're interested in what I post (I don't see how in the world you are, but whatever...), you can subscribe to this site with an RSS reader. I recommend Feedly. Adding jamesbryant.me to your RSS reader will provide you will timely updates to every post of mine.
This may not work. It probably won't. But, in an effort to rebrand, it's worth a shot. Thanks for keeping up with me. You're far too kind to do so.
Don't worry. The typos will still be here.