The Tools They Are A-Changing

by Greg on March 30, 2013

greader-logoChange, change, change – a constant in social media (and elsewhere, of course). Sometimes the changes are incremental, like when Facebook tweaks its design or news feeds. Other times, though, the change is bigger, such as Google announcing that they are shutting down Reader on July 1.

For me, this is a big change – I subscribe to over 300 blogs, and have them all in my Reader so I can view them on my own schedule. There are alternatives to Reader available – I’ve been playing with Feedly already and am sure it will be a worthy substitute – yet when changes like this happen, I try to use them to re-evaluate what I’m doing.

In this case, that’s led to two questions – do I need each of the subscriptions I have AND are there better/more efficient ways for me to get the information I’m gathering. Since one of the reasons I subscribe to blogs is to see what friends are up to, on that level, I’d make no changes – I still want to see their blogs.

However, I also use subscriptions to keep up on news – in publishing, in social media, in a few other areas – and here I see some inefficiencies. I am oversubscribed to sources that have mostly the same news, for example. Also, in many cases, I have switched to using Twitter to keep up with news.

So, I’ll cancel some subscriptions and continue to see if there are even more efficient choices for me to make. And while some argue that readers/subscriptions are a dying breed, I still like the way the tools work for me, so I’ll keep using them.

Another recent change has been easier for me to adapt to – Tweet Deck, the client I’veTweetDeck-Logo-1 always used for Twitter – is ceasing to be a standalone program and will either be used through the web or via apps.

Again, I asked myself if this is still the way I want to use Twitter, and, since it was, I’ll just use the same tool in a different form. It’s change, but relatively minor in the end.

It’s hard to keep on top of everything in social media. In fact, I think it’s impossible… and not necessary. Whenever one of my tools changes or I find a new thing to explore, I always ask myself whether the new shiny thing helps me, keeps me in bad habits, or is just something new and shiny.

With that as my guideline, the fact that change is a constant doesn’t stress me out. What about you? Do you have tips for adapting? As always, I’d love to hear….

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Musil March 31, 2013 at 7:30 am

Excellent points, Greg. I used to spend way too much time on social media, but now I’ve organized my time much better. Changes don’t stress me out at all.

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Jen Robinson April 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Greg. Change doesn’t stress me out per se, but I do get a bit frazzled sometimes when the change costs me a lot of time. Thanks for this perspective on it… I’m liking Feedly pretty well, too.

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Gloson April 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm

“Do you have tips for adapting?”

Well, I just switch over to the new version of something if the old version is going obsolete as soon as possible, like the new gmail compose. :(

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WriterSideUp October 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Hi, Greg :) I just now discovered you on Twitter (email suggestion) and decided to check out your blog :)

Over the past month or so, I’ve finally taken the very deep plunge into social media. After all, we aspiring writers need to develop a platform, right? Since I am an information junkie and have no trouble socializing when I actually do it, it is taking up an inordinate amount of time, which is the biggest reason I procrastinated for years.

Right now I’m following about 50+ blogs, go on Twitter, occasionally on Facebook, love Goodreads, etc. and have been told Pinterest is really good. HOW do you keep it from taking over your life? How much time do you allot each day for frolicking?

Thanks, John :)
:Donna

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