Thursday, October 08, 2009

Online communities

Several years ago, everyone had a Myspace account. Facebook was basically void of anyone outside of high school. Then Shoutlife popped up and many migrated there, choosing Shoutlife's cleaner, Christian-based community over Myspace's increasingly trashy one. Then Facebook realized it would be smart to open up their community for everyone and anyone, not just students tryingto find each other through an online "yearbook". So everyone headed there and left Shoutlife in their dust. Now Twitter has taken over, although Facebook still holds its own.

It's exhausting!

I fear for quality, Christian based communities like Shoutlife who are losing members or at best, losing activity. Personally, I couldn't care less about Myspace, really, it seems all my Myspace buds are on Facebook now and I just kep my account open on Myspace for the heck of it. I have a Twitter account but that was before the big Tweet rush and haven't been on it since. I don't see the point in doing both FB and Twitter, though I've heard now the two can be linked.

Which brings up some questions today!

Which online communities do you participate in? Why? Which are your favorites to nagivate? Easiest? Hardest? How much time a week do you average spending on these sites? Do you think it's a waste of time or quality networking for authors? Do you network for your career or basically just chat with friends?

I'm a fan of Facebook. I really enjoy the interaction, and I still have my Shoutlife account I check but it seems most of my friends have left there or stopped participating. I'll probably end up deleting Myspace, forgetting Twitter, hanging on to Shoutlife for dear hope, and actually participating in Facebook. =)

So find me there!

(Here's a scary thought - if online communities have taken over the world these last five years, what will come in the NEXT five years? Yikes!)

5 comments:

Georgiana said...

You're right--Shoutlife has taken a nosedive. I went on recently and found out that they finally incorporated a status update option. Part of the problem is you only see what's happening with your top friends, so it's easy to forget the rest--or forget the whole thing altogether. It really is a shame because it used to be fun.

I don't do much with online social networks anymore. Occasionally Twitter when I'm curious what everyone else is up to.

MisterChris said...

Betsy,

I, like you started with MySpace (Christian Music promo mainly).

Then found out about FB from friends, and set up an account there, used it more and more frequently.

Wasn't until I started writing that I heard about Shoutlife thru ChristianWriters.com

Created a Shoutlife for my band, later for my writing.

Recently created a Twitter account to follow Agents and Query discussions as I get ready to take my novels to market.

I'm overwhelmed. Twitter, FB, Shoutlife, Blogger, and various Forums eat up far too much of my time. And there are too many to keep track of.

Most of my time now bounces between Shoutlife and Twitter, and I've left FB behind for the most part.

Occasionally I'll get activity on MySpace, but it's blocked here and I personally see no real advantage to it.

I like Shoutlife because it's Christian (obviously) but I find it somewhat difficult to navigate. FB does a good job of connecting me with people I KNOW. But it's too much of a time suck.

I should spend my few hours writing, not maintaining 10 networking sites...

But it's good to get your name out there where people can meet you and find out about the work you do.

Erica Vetsch said...

I seem to have come to Shoutlife about the time the boom was over and people weren't hanging out ther anymore. Isn't that just like me?

I am experimenting with Twitter, but I can't say that I love it.

I do like Facebook a lot, and I've never had a MySpace page.

Guess I'll see where Twitter takes me. I'm told it is a marketing Must Have by those in the know, but I have to wonder, if all the same people are following the same people, who is in the lead and just where are we going?

Rachel said...

I had a Shoutlife page for about 6 weeks, but then I deleted it. There were very few people there that I knew and it was cumbersome and entirely too "glitzy" for my tastes.

Never done the MySpace thing and refuse to do Twitter. I don't care what anyone says about it being the "up and coming" thing. I'm not doing it.

Facebook is where I live, as far as social networking goes! It's how I stay in touch with a lot of my extended family and friends that I don't see very often.

Catherine West said...

I can't even remember my Shoutlife password and was getting far too many 'friend' requests from strange looking older men for my liking. Just because something is "Christian" doesn't mean it's great. I interconnect my Twitter/Facebook updates - if you use Twitter the best thing is to download Tweetdeck. You can keep track of activity easily and shut it down when you want. It's cool because you can ask somebody something quickly and get an instant reply, assuming they are online at the same time as you. I like Twitter for posting things about my blog etc... it's a good networking tool, but so is Facebook.