The problem I have with social networking and social media (or whatever it's called now) is that I am absolutely allergic to anything that requires work to make it work. Why? Because this stuff is supposed to be easy.
Here are a few of the things I don't do.
The two biggies here are ShareThis and Add To Any. These are web services that put dopey little icons at the bottom of all your blog posts.
Both are worthless because it adds needless crap code to your blog that slows it down, and - news flash - nobody uses these things.
If somebody wants to link you, they will do it, and do not need any additional helper-style buttons to accomplish that.
On a biz blog I suppose they could serve a useful purpose for simpletons that don't know how to link something. But for personal blogging.. um.. no.
Podcasting and vlogging
For those not in the know, podcasting is a recorded audio show, vlogging is just like blogging except in video form.
I'm shooting myself in the foot here because people did genuinely like it when I did these things, but I have good solid reasons why I don't do them.
- They are a pain to produce. Writing is easy. Recording audio and video is not. I can get an idea out in minutes when writing. It can take 30 minutes to an hour for audio or video.
- The bandwidth draw for audio or video is huge.
- Even if I chose to host my audio or video elsewhere, that completely defeats the point of having a blog in the first place because I want the content to be here. I pay monthly hosting fees just so I can post content where I want it to go with the least restrictions.
- When posting content to other web sites you are subject to their rules, and if you do something wrong - poof - buh-bye content. No thanks.
- I do not want people pulled away from my content based on how I look or sound. It's not that I look or sound horrible, it's that I feel that audio and video serves more as a distraction than anything else. Furthermore it makes your content less accessible.
I stopped doing my newsletter because I run a personal blog, and there is nothing in the newsletter that I wouldn't post publicly here.
The problem is that I had to specifically separate content just to put something in the newsletter each week. What a pain that was to do. "Should I write this public.. or.. newsletter it?" The whole thing was a hassle.
Newsletters are for product, period. It does not suit well for personal content.
Anything off-site hosted
Every few years I get fooled into thinking, "Okay.. I'll try hosting some content elsewhere because it will probably work the way it's supposed to."
My most recent debacle with this was with Disqus. Comments didn't post correctly, it slowed my site to a crawl with all that code it has to load, etc. I ditched it. Lesson learned.. again.
I do not trust anything that I don't host locally. The only exceptions I make are for things that do not affect my content directly, such as the Bing search and Weather Underground stuff in my sidebar at the time I write this.
The rule is this: If you host it, it wil work. If somebody else hosts it, it will break. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen.
I've mentioned this before and will say it again - RSS is a dead horse. The masses never caught on to using it and nobody cares about it anymore.
What I did in my RSS feed was purposely set it to excerpt-only. I know this ticked off a few people but I don't care. I put a lot of effort into my site, and if you want to read my content, then darn it, you're going to have to (gasp!) load the article here.
And for the readers I lost because of that, whatever. It's not like they'd ever see this anyway. They don't comment. They don't participate. They don't do anything. Screw 'em.
By the way, for those that force people to use RSS just to read their content, you can be rest assured I will never be reading your blog. Either put your content where it matters or don't bother.
The only thing I use RSS for is posting it to my Facebook account. That's it. And that's only to let people know I wrote something here.
My identity has always been here
My primary identity on the internet is menga.net. Not Facebook. Not Twitter. Not "share a million places" crapola. None o' that. It's here. On this site.
That being the case, when people want to see my content, they must come here. I know several would argue saying that I'm doing it totally the wrong way.
I don't think so.
I don't let social media define my internet presence and never have. My site is a custom made destination for anybody that wants to read my stuff and learn about me. To recreate that over and over again with social media is a step backwards.
I'm not saying that the way I do it is right - but it is right for me.
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