I think that to succeed in the social media world, a key concept is social density. I work towards this by constantly looking for new sites and services to maintain a presence on and being active in many different microblogging communities. I also manage to at times have a life and do the writing that pays the bills. I do this by using a few different techniques to streamline my interactions with the virtual world.
Recently I got a comment on this post and realized that it would be helpful to some of my readers to learn how I do this until something better comes along (any venture capitalists reading? :P).
1. Make a profile document
You are going to be entering certain information again and again for awhile. Get used to it, and get used to changing it. You can get a plugin for Firefox called Sxipper that can automate this process and also automate your logins. I very much recommend it.
Make a plain text document (use Notepad) and list the following information:
- First name
- Last name
- Nickname/Username (you won’t always get what you want, be prepared with alternatives)
- A single sentence that explains who you are and what you do
- A short bio that explains who you are and what you do with no links to your work or other profiles
- A slightly longer bio with links to your work or other profiles
- An even slightly longer bio that is pretty much your online resume
- IM accounts
- Main email account
- Three interests (separated by commas)
- Three musical genres or artists you like (separated by commas)
- Three favorite movies (separated by commas)
- Three favorite books (separated by commas)
- Three to seven tags (simple words or phrases people looking for a person like you might use in a search engine; for example, I commonly use “writer, freelance, social media”) (separated by commas)
2. Make a picture or logo
You will need a pic for many sites. Prepare three versions, one big, one small, one thumbnail.
3. Make accounts pt. 1
Go to the following sites and make accounts:
4. Make accounts pt. 2
Go to Friendfeed and look at the different services they have that you can aggregate. Pick at least one site from each of the following categories:
- News (if you make just one choose Digg)
- Bookmarking (If you make just one choose StumbleUpon)
- Microblogging (if you make just one choose Twitter)
- Pictures (if you make just one choose Flickr)
- Social Profile (if you make just one choose Facebook)
- Business Profile (if you make just one choose LinkedIn)
- Music (if you make just one choose Last.fm)
- Video (if you make just one choose YouTube)
- Commenting (if you make just one choose Disqus)
5. Make accounts pt. 3
Go to Ping.fm. and there will be a list of services to which you can post updates. Go find each and every one of them except the blogs and make an account. That’s right. Every single one. Fill them out completely.
6. Aggregate your accounts
Go to your Friendfeed, Profilactic, and Ping.fm accounts and connect up all of your accounts. Make sure to put a feed from all your blogs on the lifestreams.
Download and install:
Use SocialAddict to connect to Ping.fm. Use it for all normal microblogging. Use Twhirl to connect to your FriendFeed and Twitter accounts. You will then get updates from everyone you follow on both services and be able to interact with each service. Either put your Profilactic badge and lifestream on your blog or point people at them in your profiles so people can see what services you use. (The reason to use Profilactic is because it will aggregate services FriendFeed doesn’t).
Use the search function on FriendFreed to find rooms and people you are interested in and follow them. Go to their profiles and add them on whatever you share in common. Some will add you, some will not. Get used to it. Do this at least once a week.
10. Be social!
Now use the service you have accounts with. When you read a post you like, submit it to news sites or vote for them. Peruse the news and bookmarks sites to find things you like and vote for them. Listen to music on your music site and favorite or scrobble or whatever the process is. Favorite your favorite videos. Comment on blogs. Live your online life in this social way. And most importantly, use the microbloggers.
This guide is tentative. The method is not as clean and easy as I would like, and the technologies and services offered change far too quickly for any guide to be definitive. Nonetheless, this is what I do, and I hope it helps at least the reader who asked the original question.
If you have any tips on further streamlining this process, please share! If you have any other similar questions, ask away and it might lead into a new post like this one!
Good luck and remember to be social!
I was reminded by Pamir of another great service that allows you to aggregate your services and create a dynamic online business card called Retaggr. Even though I have an account with them, I had completely forgotten about how useful it is. See, this why we need to be as social as possible: none of us can know everything or do everything, but working together we can succeed as if we do, and that is all that matters.
It occurs to me that a lot of people would like a Google link for searching for FriendFeed rooms. I got this from Andy Beard here so if you like it, give him some positive feedback.
Thanks for all the great comments and questions, everyone! Keep ’em coming!
Unless you are aching to be on every possible site, you can safely ignore my earlier advice about Profilactic and use FriendFeed for all your lifestreaming services. In the time since I wrote this post, FriendFeed has come leaps and bounds while Profilactic (sadly) has not. Sorry, Profilactic team, but I have to recommend the right tools for the job, and FriendFeed has most assuredly become the best tool.
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