This is just a quick copy and paste of my thoughts with social media that I did up a while ago. My brother says it is very essay-esque, but again, I don't profess to be an English scholar.
The cultural phenomena of social media has become a major part of people's lives. Whether you embrace it or not, it is the way its going to be, and it's not going anywhere any time soon. Eventually it will be the best and only way to stay on top of current events, and depending on how far you go with it it might already be your main source of information. I for one love it. With a Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account I embrace all the major players.
Most people I know have a Facebook account, if you can't even bother with that then you might as well live under a rock. I won't go too much into it, as almost everyone knows Facebook quite well. The ability to stay in touch with friends and family in other cities, or countries even, is a great tool. So far there is nothing better, or easier, to organise parties and get-togethers than Facebook.
With that, and the ability to share pictures with people it is the best, all around, of the social media sites. Being a gamer, I do appreciate the fact that it has introduced more people to gaming, granted it is a very basic form of the medium. However, I believe we are all agreed that the spam that occurs from Facebook gaming could be done away with. I have blocked countless people who don't understand this. Although I do understand why people do this, the desire to progress in a game is strong, and sometimes the only way to do that is by sharing on your wall. A smart game mechanic by the developers, albeit annoying.
The next of the sites is Twitter. While I have noticed it starting to pick up with people I know, the majority still scoff at it. Mostly for the same reasons I put it off for so long. I was once a Twitter hater, and will admit that I was wrong about the power of it all. After jumping in and embracing the Twitterverse I have come to see its full potential. It has come a long way since its initial launch of being a basic Facebook wall. Being able to connect with and follow fun and interesting people has a positive effect on you. Everything I read on Twitter is interesting to me, because I follow people who interest me. Comics, video game people, musicians, all have something cool to say. I don't have to scroll past people talking about stuff I don't care about. It is the ultimate source of relevant information, personalized for me.
Almost every radio station, as well as the DJs, have a Twitter account. My buddies Jamieson Brown and Jordan Davidson being two of them. Which they use for contests and updates, as it is much easier to handle the amount of traffic they get. As well as promoting on-site events.
One of the main genres I follow are comedian, and they use it extensively to promote shows and the like. I know Joe Rogan was in Australia for a UFC event and ended up putting on a sold out, impromptu show, all he did to promote it was post on Twitter a few times during the day. I was lucky enough to find Tom Green at the mall. He tweeted an obscure picture of where he was and I tracked him down. I ended up sitting and chatting with him for half an hour. When was the last time you did that?
Another similar group that used it in the same way are musicians. I managed to go see Kyprios when he was in town just by checking my feed. I noticed he was talking about Edmonton. I tweeted at him asking where he was, he responded, and within the hour I was at the venue enjoying the show. Even got his autograph and he said how happy he was that I made it when I told him who I was and that I was talking to him on Twitter.
The latest of the social media sites is Google+. I guess Google figured they didn't control enough and they wanted into the social media game. Right now it is in beta, and is invite only (I can provide an invite if you so desire), while they work everything out. I am lucky enough to know like-minded nerds and was given an invite. Right now it is tough to get a true sense of what it is going to be like as there are not a whole lot of people on that I know personally. As it seems though it is a minimalist sort of thing. Incorporating the best parts of Facebook and Twitter.
It has circles, which are similar to groups but more accessible, easier to use and you can put people in multiple circles. The main thing I have noticed with circles is you can filter your main feed with them. If I want to see what my S.A.I.T. peeps have posted I can, or maybe I just want to see what my family has posted. It makes things a lot cleaner and easier to follow.
It also seems to be feed driven, meaning you can't post something on someone else's "wall" but you can comment on something they posted. This may lead to one of my Facebook pet peeves, which is when someone posts a comment completely unrelated to the actual post. However, it may also clean things up. I don't really care that So-and-so posted something on their friends wall.
Facebook has the majority of the market, Twitter provides a more personalized feed, and Google+ has potential. In all, I love my social media and urge those only on one to give the others a try. I for one am leaning more towards Twitter, as the one I would read if I only had time to read one, everything cool, nothing lame.
You can find me on Twitter - @the_lazy_gamer, or G+ and Facebook by name.
Steve, the lazy gamer.