Facebook vs. Twitter: Reinvent Yourself

Really interesting series of three blog posts, two discussing Facebook vs Twitter and one going over the process of reinvention. It’s best to read them all to get a sense of the scope:

Matt Haughey – Why I love Twitter and barely tolerate Facebook

Jason Kottke – Twitter is a machine for continual self-reinvention

Scott Schuman – After One Year In New York – Kara

I have been wondering myself why Facebook and Twitter feel so different, and how most of us have strong ties to one or the other. These articles do a good job of showing how Facebook is rooted in the past, with your detailed history, while Twitter is more immediate and allows you to sculpt your personality more the way you would like to.

twitter vs facebook kara reinvent yourself

photos by  Scott Schuman

I was an early fan of Twitter (joined in 2007) when it used to be a side project of the people who developed the podcast directory Odeo. Back then it was a very fun group and I was mostly following fellow podcasters. Conversation was loose and it truely was “What Are You Doing Right Now?”. It also allowed getting fast advice and checking in with peeps. It was fun. But over the years its expanded into a stream of promotion and links. I backed off from Twitter in recent years, I ended up deleting all the people I was following this year and have (very) slowly been building it back up with people I find interesting. It has made it a bit more interesting, but I still need to devote more time to exploring, or rather rediscoving, Twitter again.

I was much more into Facebook. I found the visual atmosphere with text, graphics and video allowed telling a much more compelling story. It really tied into my whole producer/director background. I was very active on Facebook though with my connections from family, friends and various public careers (writing, photography, directing, etc) I ended up maxing out my friend limit (currently 5000).

This past year I feel Facebook has been too much information overload. The site is certainly geared to having you spend more time on it, but the flood of notifications have pretty much made it more of a chore to sift through. Of course what I really need to do is trim down my connections, but that would take a lot of work, and I don’t have the time. The site is great for flipping through while you have idle time, but I find discovering really interesting things on it happens far less often. I go on and basically do information management, clicking away hundreds of notifications, untagging myself from photos and reporting people who spam my wall. Feels more like work. Sorry Jennifer, I really don’t want to play Bubble Bang or whatever it’s called.

I have no clear answer on what service is best. I do like Facebook’s diary of record, it is fun to look back a year or two to see what I was up to. Facebook’s subscriptions are a nice addition since I can no longer add new friends, people can subscribe to my life and also like my Fan page. I do intend to spend more time with my Twitter feed though, I think there is value there, I just need to follow the right people. Feel free to follow me and let me know what you are up to. I think having both as apps on my iPad, iPad mini and iPhone make keeping up amazingly easy, so there is no excuse to explore them more or perhaps explore them from a different perspective. Let me know what you think, and if you are interesting to follow, let me know that too.

I do think the above articles I linked to above are spot on with their assessment of Facebook and Twitter, thanks to Gina Trapani on Dan Benjamin’s podcast The Crossover for bringing it up. I have been thinking about how the two sites work a lot in the past few days. In the end, I am glad they both exist.

It would be odd indeed with an on-line world without Twitter and Facebook.

4 thoughts on “Facebook vs. Twitter: Reinvent Yourself

  1. Reblogged this on Simon Hamer and commented:
    My personal thoughts are that Facebook has lost some of its affinity with me for deciding for me what I will and won’t see. Thought the article stimulated thoughts about our use of different sites, and our perception of those sites differs greatly.

  2. I agree Simon, and had not really thought about it, but with Twitter I have complete control over who and what I see. With Facebook there is never any doubt, they control who/what/when/how I see things. They do have great algorithms in place to show more of the people I am interested in, but I don’t feel I have as much control as with Twitter. I feel like I used to have more control with Facebook, but lately, not so much.

Comments are closed.