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Curation and the Information Balancing Act

March 22, 2012

A while ago, I stopped using Twitter.  I also use Facebook, Google Reader, G+ (rarely), Instagram.  And I blog on occasion (duh, that’s what I’m currently writing and you’re reading).  It was just too much coming in and I was suffering from information overload. It lead me to really understand at the visceral level what the attention economy means.

Just recently I decided to restart using Twitter.

What I’ve learned in the interstitial space between my habitation of the Twitterverse is the idea of balancing the number of posts I make and the number of people I follow.

What I’ve learned from observation of myself across different platforms is that if people post too much, I ignore them.  If they post the same types of things over and over, I tend to ignore them.  I find I pay the most attention to people who post only a few things and only those things that are particularly salient.

I’m working on that approach for myself.  I’m limiting myself to one post on Facebook a day (somedays I might do two if there’s something I really want to share).  I’m limiting myself to only a few tweets.  I blog only when I feel the need to write to figure something out or to get something off my chest.

What that is leading me to is thinking of my sharing as a curatorial act.  Just recently I’ve seen more and more written about online activities as being an act of curation rather than aggregation.  BrainPickings, which has quickly become one of my favorite sites, has a useful post about what curation means.  Popovov defines curation as “a drive to find the interesting, meaningful, and relevant amidst the vast maze of overabundant information, creating a framework for what matters in the world and why.”  In curation, there is care taken when considering what to post.  So now, I read through everything on my reader, my Facebook newsfeed, and my Twitterfeed before chosing THE few things to share.  I’m also giving more thought when selecting which platform on which to share something. Not everything should go on every social media platform.

But this also leads me to consider how I want to manage these different social media tools. Do I want to link them together using something like Seesmic?  Doing so will certainly ease my curatorial efforts.  Or should I treat them al la carte so that I selectively pick and choose what to share and where.

How do you manage your different social media platforms?


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