I was very pleased to read David Pogue’s NY Times column on Friday morning. It was really a relief to find that someone as tech sophisticated at Pogue also struggles with the possible benefits of social networks like Twitter. Of course, I (and 1500 other people) started following him on Twitter immediately. His comments are most entertaining and I am sure there will be lots of tech tidbits that will be very useful to me personally. One of the biggest tips in his column was not to actually enter what you are doing right now when you Tweet (that is, when you enter a comment on Twitter). Entries that are personal are not really useful to the social network and are not really the best one can do. One of the first of Pogue’s tweets that I read was a link to a Twitter tutorial. If you have any interest in what Twitter is about, both of these articles will be useful to you.
For myself, I struggled this week with LinkedIn. Someone asked a question to which I had an answer, but it was a major effort to figure out how to enter the answer. In fact, I could not do it without also recommending an expert. While that might be useful sometimes, it was not what I wanted to do with my answer. Obviously, I was missing something and I could not find a way to get an answer to how to post my answer.
I also had a positive Facebook experience this week. We had a visit from a longtime friend and colleague who mentioned the name of another longtime friend with whom I had no contact for the past 14 or so years. I Googled this person’s name and found several references to someone with the same name. I read the various items and knew that some pertained to my friend; of others I was not sure. Then I found that the email for the “not sure” candidate was also on Facebook. I sent a Friend invitation and a note and the next day I had a reply. What a delight!
I also learned this week that not notifying my network of contacts that I have made a new blog entry results in few readers. So, this week I will return to my previous pattern of notifying certain folks that there is a new blog article that they might find interesting.
I am still not convinced that use of these social networks is going to be useful to me. They take a good deal of time to check daily and to make some entries. I have connected with people with whom I would not otherwise be communicating. I am not sure those connections will make any difference to my business or personal purposes. With enough time, I may make enough connections with others interested in mental health issues, behavioral health EHRs, and the ongoing struggles of healthcare professionals to be useful. Time will tell on this one. What about you? Has anyone else who reads this had any experience with social networks they would like to share? Do you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the other social media services on the Internet?