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The Ongoing Dilemma: How to Manage Your Networks

I just had my 5th year anniversary in social media. It’s amazing to me how much the landscape has changed since those early days around the Twitter watercooler. A question that has not been answered adequately for the last two of those years has been how to manage the ever growing number of people in my networks.

Technology drives the solution. Think about it… the beauty of vintage Twitter was it’s simplicity. You followed people. People followed you. You didn’t have to think too much about sorting and filing. There wasn’t much you could really do, even if you wanted more control. The stream was “pure.” Then came automation, bots, Twitter SPAM, people posting for brands. Twitter lists are a great tech solution, that makes it possible for you to weed out the noise. But for me, that meant retroactively sorting — meaning I had to create lists, and decide who belonged in each one. Can I tell you… my lists are a mess and the thought of organizing them is about as appealing as organizing my storage closet. Ugh!

Facebook… same thing. It used to be simple — you were either friends or not friends. Of course, it was a little unnerving to realize after you posted something that ALL of your “friends” could read an update — your besties, your mom, your uncle from Nevada, and your kid’s principal. Facebook lists (introduced after the launch of Google Plus), means this no longer has to be the case… at least for the 20 or so friends that I’ve added since I started using lists. For the 900+ friends are still “uncategorized,” oh well.

Thank goodness for Google Plus! Hindsight being all 20-20, I started on the right foot. I diligently set up my 30 circles. For all 20 of my Google Plus friends!!! Ha! Seriously, I am investing in my circles as a possible long-term solution. But I just read this article on Fast Company that says circles are not a sustainable solution after all, “Sure, you might create the perfect Circle one week–but will that same group of friends be so tight-knit a month from now?”

So now I’m back to the fish-in-bags metaphor. You know, that final scene of Finding Nemo? Where all the fish were floating around in individual plastic baggies in Sydney Harbor saying, “Now what?”

photo credit: stock xchng

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