When, Why and How people share information!


Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is a fundamental difference between the different social media and how they are used. Not how they are supposed or designed to be used, but how evolution has formed them.

When analyzing the different media, it is clear how people in different circles choose to use the media.
For example, at facebook, you pretend people are interested in everything you do and experience.
In Twitter you don’t care what people think, unless you are in a group such as #usguys or #EUguys.
In linkedIn, you very much think about your reputation and share interesting and career related information. The list of examples goes on!

My question is, why would someone share a picture of their cat chasing a ball, or their dog chasing its tail. My absolut favorite is a picture of themselves in the mirror looking awful! What drives people to do this?

When, Why & How you share defines your online personality

The “social media explained” image is actually a good and fun description.

I never started to use facebook, mainly because people reveal too much. To be honest, 90% is not interesting. In my opinion sharing personal information or nonsense updates should be kept to minimum. Sometimes, you get a feeling that people share for the sake of doing it. There is no other reason for sharing.

The more transient the media the less important is each single input.

Here is a number of criteria for sharing:

Choose Twitter when:

  • A quick thought, your location, a link of little value you want to share. Twitter is also excellent to appreciate people, send out a random thought or if something raises emotions!
  • Remember that you can share images or any other media as well. both Twitter/hootsuite/Tweetdeck, they all have media sharing available now.
  • Using # (hashtags) is something different. It is more of a chat and ongoing discussion rather than any of the above.
Choose Facebook when:
  • I don’t know, I don’t like facebook. It is like a neighborhood you don’t like. People still live there but that doesn’t mean you have to be there.
  • People share anything and everything. I understand and appreciate the size of facebook. Again, it is the level of sharing and the sheer amount of useless inputs!
  • I only use facebook for cross posting. I never post anything for facebook only!
  • Always ask yourself, who will benefit from this? Will someone comment on it?
Choose Google+ when:
  • Still a very new platform. I will wait for the comments until the collective have shaped the media.
Love your comments and this post is intentionally provoking!


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8 Responses to When, Why and How people share information!

  1. susan borst August 17, 2011 at 16:49 #

    Interesting post, Shahram. Definitely speaks to the different reasons people use different social media platforms. Perhaps the distinction is use of platforms for business vs. personal. For me, Facebook is strictly personal. It is a neighborhood of people I genuinely like – family, friends, neighbors and former classmates. I am genuinely interested in seeing photos of their kids – at proms, or camp, etc.. I am genuinely interested to hear their good news – or sometimes bad news. I share my own personal news/photos, and based on responses, my friends are interested (they are not pretending.)

    My Twitter universe is distinctly different from my Facebook universe – which is distinctly different from my LinkedIn universe. I decline Facebook requests from my Twitter friends because my posts are personal – and would bore the heck out of anyone who didn’t know my family or my lifestyle. My Twitter posts never go onto Facebook – that would bore my friends there.

    I do think my friends would appreciate the circle aspect of G+, but there’s no way they would change over from Facebook unless they could easily take their entire friend list with them. They’ve spent years building up their Facebook friend list and wouldn’t have the time/energy to start fresh.

    Like anything, Facebook isn’t right for everyone. But it works for me.

    Thanks again for a thought provoking post, Shahram.

    • Shahram August 18, 2011 at 08:31 #

      Thank you Susan for your comment. Great points. I like the distinction. I have a less disciplined distinction and have worked to create and maintain it. Definitely the linkedin connections are separat from the rest.
      What surprises me is the “corporate” pages/tweets/facebook posts that doesn’t make the distinction. At the moment, I get the feeling that non-IT companies make lots of misstakes and find themselves forced into using social media because that tis the latest thing.

      Thanks again, great comment and insightful … as always!

  2. Karl L. Hughes August 17, 2011 at 15:42 #

    Good thoughts. Many people don’t see the difference in social networks, so they only utilize one in their marketing online. I think this leaves them out of the loop and causes them to miss a lot of potential customers.

    I’ve also grown to sort of hate Facebook and rarely use it. I have all my tweets forwarded to my wall, and occasionally respond to comments there, but I took myself off the public search so I’m not a big player in it anymore.

    Google plus is interesting. I’ve started pushing myself into it more fully, but I’m really waiting to see how the business accounts work before I move into it full-force.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Shahram August 18, 2011 at 08:26 #

      Thanks Karl for your comment. I fully agree. Just because it is a site with lots of users sharing anything and everything doesn’t it make it a business crucial forum and tool. I think it is important to make a distinction as Susan points out as well in her comment above.

      Thank you for insightful thoughts and comments.

  3. Kimber Poliquin August 6, 2011 at 03:05 #

    Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my web site thus i came to “go back the favor”.I’m trying to find issues to enhance my site!I assume its good enough to use some of your concepts!!

    • Shahram August 11, 2011 at 07:50 #

      Thank you for your comment.

  4. Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu July 17, 2011 at 10:52 #

    I love how I expected some advice on how to use FB and instead got this:

    “I don’t know, I don’t like facebook. It is like a neighborhood you don’t like. People still live there but that doesn’t mean you have to be there.”

    I’m still laughing. I love it.

    • Shahram July 17, 2011 at 15:36 #

      I know! I have really really tried to like facebook. It just doesn’t work for me. Sorry to disappoint you. I guess people taking these media seriously will have a hard time using Facebook.
      It is made for the general public with no specific requirements or agendas! Wow I sound really negative I know!

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