I’m Not Shouting Any More

Shouting OnlineBack in March I stopped following over 700 people on Twitter as it was a far too time consuming process to keep up with everybody and I wanted to actually see a connection between myself and the people I was actively following.

That’s worked out really well. Almost two months have passed since I made the cull and Twitter has once again become a valuable service to me.

Once again, I have a connection with the people I follow. Important tweets aren’t getting lost in the blizzard of updates and once again, I feel like I am part of the community of people I actually follow.

Last night I started cull number two, except this time it was on Facebook.

As I’ve followed more and more people the value of Facebook has declined for me. The message has gotten lost. In the mass of updates I’ve lost touch with my friends, family and the people I want to follow.

I joined Facebook in order to be connected to people and instead it has turned into little more than a publishing megaphone. First it was Twitter updates on Facebook, then RSS feeds, then Google Reader shares. Lots of information, lots of noise but very little conversation.

I spent a couple of hours last night removing nearly 400 people that I was following on Facebook. I removed them for various reasons, but mostly because I’d never actually met them and we don’t engage in conversation.

In other words I removed people that I was shouting my message at, while they were shouting their message at me. As we all know, it’s very hard to hear anything when everybody is shouting.

In wake of the recent privacy issues with Facebook, I also spent some time locking down my profile. Most of my information is now only available to friends, even in light of the fact that Facebook should be offering “simpler” privacy controls soon.

As a content publisher, blogger and podcaster, making my profile private causes some new issues for me.

A larger number of people I was “friends” with on Facebook had added me because it was an easy way to get updates about activities on this site, such as posts and podcasts.

I don’t want to cut everyone off from easy access to those updates so have started a Facebook Page for this blog and you can see the new “Like” box in the sidebar.

The page will have all the latest posts as they publish as well as the ability to listen to the latest podcasts without having to come here and search for them.

It should also create a better balance for everyone as folks can now get all of the updates for this site, without having to listen to the minute details of my life, how often I want coffee or how badly I got pwned in COD:MW2 last night. You can follow me on Twitter if you want those updates.

In return, I’ll be able to get back to talking to people instead of drowning them out with noise.

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