Overwhelmed by online social networks?

Recently, Erin was interviewed by the Washington Business Journal for the article “Social Organizer,” which hit newsstands Friday, Oct. 3. The article addresses how an employee can get the benefits from these social networks without seeing a drop in their productivity and work product.

With so many new distractions, new discipline is required. To help, there are now Web sites designed to do all the login and password remembering and organizing for you. There are also some easy tricks to harness the online social flood.

Pick just one

“I think that the same principles that you address in any project, definitely apply to your online relationships,” says Erin Doland, editor-in-chief of Unclutterer.com, a Reston-based Web site that focuses on home and office organization. “You have to start by picking and choosing. You have to make choices about what you do.”

Take Twitter, for example. The social networking site, which enables users to send short messages about their activities, has competitors that you can use, such as Pounce.com and Plurk.com. But do you really need them all?

“For most people, you can’t have three blenders,” Doland says. “At some point, you have to decide which blender you’re going to buy.”

The article has numerous tips and tricks to help you keep your social networking behavior under control. What additional advice would you give?

11 Comments for “Overwhelmed by online social networks?”

  1. posted by Michael Kaply on

    Have you ever tried Minggl?


    It’s actually designed to solve this problem. It organizes all your social networks in one place, so you don’t have to worry about where your friends are or what network they are on.

  2. posted by Some Dude on

    Now you’re in the Washington Business Journal?

    I just saw an AP article in my local newspaper a week or so ago that quoted you talking about enameled dutch ovens.

    You’re becoming ubiquitous Erin.

  3. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Some Dude — The crock pot vs. Dutch oven interview I did for that article was the most hysterical interview of my life. The article doesn’t mention that I’m editor of Unclutterer, so I didn’t link to it on the site. But WOW was it funny. The reporter asked me such worldview-shattering questions as, “What is your favorite memory of your mother’s Dutch Oven?” I just kept laughing.

  4. posted by Misty Gibbs on

    Great press and article Erin! It is true all this social media can be overwhelming and at times, a time-sucker. But what is astonishing is how both can be used simultaneously for both personal and work! In my eyes, making it way more productive than one thinks.

    Happy Friday!
    Misty with My Inspiration Lounge

  5. posted by Lori on

    Spot-on advice. I have a minimal presence on a number of social networks, but I point them all back to my website, which is what I focus on (when I have more time — not much lately). I do my own website, Twitter, and the Etsy forums religiously, and that’s *plenty* to keep up with. Better to do a couple things well then everything half-a$$sed.

  6. posted by Lori on

    thAn. thAn. thAn. You’d never know I’m a professional editor sometimes.

  7. posted by freecia on

    It’s also not a crime to minimize online presence so you get actual face time. If you can go see people occasionally, they know the person behind the online nickname. I find that people will do things for someone they’ve seen more willingly for someone they’ve never met in person.

  8. posted by Chris on

    Erin, I agree with your thoughts that you need to limit your social network use. Every time you sign up to a new social network you get a whole new “group” of friends that you feel accountable too. There is a danger of spreading yourself to thin.

    The best thing to do is avoid joining in the first place. Stick to what you know, if you have chocolate in the house you’ll eat it. If you register to every social site you’ll use them. The best thing to do is limit to those that will bring you the most benefit for what you are looking for.

  9. posted by FrugalNYC on

    I totally agree about spreading yourself too thin. In fact I wrote a post about why I would never join facebook, mostly because there will be another social network that will take the crown, and everyone will flock to that new king of the hill.

  10. posted by trillie on

    The sentence “Think also about how you interact with your computer compared with how you interact with people” really hit home with me.

    When I was fed up a few weeks ago, I deleted everything except name and location from my profile pages on several social networking sites. I then switched on email notification for messages and requests. Now I get the urgent stuff via email and can then decide whether it is worth to log in and react. In the end, I do that about once a week. And the most interesting part is: Before, I have been fairly active in daily updating and interaction with friends on several sites, and when I made that change, noone (!) has commented on it. I guess as long as everyone’s busy with their own stuff and they get replies from me eventually, they are all happy. And I’m happier too because I’m less distracted.

  11. posted by trillie on

    On a side note: A few weeks ago, I also counted all my accounts (login/password combinations) for various websites and online customer services, and there were around 30 that I could think of off the top of my head! I deleted the accounts that I no longer used and still have 18 that I use regularly. It’s a weird world.

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