Every now and again, I think about the vast amount of data which is at our fingertips in today’s world. This morning, I was looking for a plumber. Typing ‘plumber’ into Google gives 86 million results in less than a second. In a moment of nostalgia, I also opened the Yellow Pages – at only 128 pages of A5, I fear an older generation wouldn’t recognise what used to be a volume large enough to hold open a door. Indeed, my grandparents’ generation obtained its knowledge from books – every home had an encyclopedia. Now, every home has multiple digital devices which can access Wikipedia in the blink of an eye. You look up the largest cities in the EU, click on Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh out of curiosity, then on Burgh, Borough and before you know it, you’re also looking at a list of the London Boroughs, learning the difference between those with and without royal patronage… and the search goes on, an hour has easily disappeared.

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Lost at Sea

Unless you have an awesome grip on technology or a complete aversion to all things modern, the chances are that, like me, you have accounts for: Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, WordPress (among others) and are consequentially lost in a sea of social media platforms.

Perhaps you are a little confused how to use each one to the best effect? This is the challenge I am trying to overcome tonight. I’ve spent the evening browsing a variety of sites, reading a few blogs and articles. Luckily, some of the content I found was interesting – so much so that I wanted to share some of it with friends, while other items I wished to save for later, as a reference. But which tool is most fit for each purpose? I don’t like to share everything via facebook (partly because it just doesn’t feel like the right place; partly because I don’t think it’ll be the most convenient platform for the recipient). Neither do I like to save everything into Evernote (I recently exceeded 100 notes and realised it will soon become difficult to find things unless I categorise them properly).

I’ve identified 8 platforms which I have accounts for and which could potentially be used to share or store my findings:

  • Facebook – sharing with friends (individuals or all),
  • Google+ – sharing with the few people who use it,
  • LinkedIn – sharing with colleagues or friends in a professional capacity,
  • Tumblr (4 blogs) – supposedly for sharing, but more for my personal record,
  • WordPress (2 blogs) – this blog and another one which was an attempt at an alternative to Tumblr,
  • Evernote – my private store of notes (categorising these will be a task in itself),
  • Instapaper (4 categories) – mostly used to send articles to my Kindle to read later,
  • Google Docs – a few more things which I like to have access to via the cloud.

What next? Get rid of the duplication – why do I have 4 tumblr blogs? Is my WordPress Tumblr-alternative easier to use? I guess I’m okay with the FB/G+/LI distinction for the different recipients. But I definitely need to give my ‘multiple blogs’ idea some more thought – I currently have no idea what each is even supposed to be for! I will now get a piece of paper (in fact, it’s already been patiently waiting while I wrote this post) and plan out for which purpose I will use each tool. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to once more set sail across the sea of information that is the world wide web!

Have you come across a similar problem? How do you manage your social media platforms?