Taming social media in the new decade

I sign up for everything: GeoCities, Classmates, Ryze, Orkut, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, Flickr, LibraryThing, Plurk, Lifeblob, Meme, various Ning sites, Technorati, RSS feeds and God knows what else. Partly it’s to learn what they’re all about, partly to link to the folks who are there, partly for the sheer info-glut geekiness of it all.

But here’s the thing: it hasn’t made me richer or happier. I’ve learned a lot from all the blogs and feeds, I like keeping up with long lost friends, and I’ve profitably lurked in Twitter streams to see which links smart people are sharing, but it all takes too much time. Spam in ubiquitous, 140 characters is gibberish, and I don’t need real time search. User-generated content is mostly garbage and the professional stuff often link bait.

For me, closed loops are no fun. Who cares what my friends think? Most of them hate each other anyway. I’d rather learn about the things my little circle doesn’t know about and do my work better, smarter, faster, deeper. That’s why we dreamed up this worldwide thing in the first place.

Starting now, everything I write will either be here on this blog or – if it’s big or worth saving – on my main site IN3.ORG. I’m consolidating HealthcareNBIC and Pervasive.TV into tagged posts, combining the Twitter feeds @JackPowers, @hNBIC and @ConferenceIdeas with follow lists, and posting forwarding messages and auto-tweets elsewhere.

I’ve only got about 50 years left. I want to make the most of them.