Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Twitter for experience, Facebook for friends

I don't live on social media. I have many other things to occupy me these days. I am writing my novel, working on getting a job (I have one prospect that I want very much), and I take care of my house as a stay-at-home caretaker. But I am on social media enough to know I prefer Twitter and Facebook more than any other websites. I like Twitter for taking part in ongoing events, and I like Facebook for the ability to contact friends, family and former co-workers.

I must add one caveat here. When I talk about these websites within a business framework, my preferences are reversed. A posting on Facebook with a business goal draws about three to five times as many responses as a tweet. Anyone taking a social media campaign into account has to place a high degree of importance on that fact.

My personal enjoyment of Twitter is never more apparent than when watching a sporting event. Twitter becomes a chat room for fans from both sides, and the byplay can be enjoyable. My favorite time is while watching an Oregon Ducks football game. I worked in Denver and Santa Rosa, Calif., during the golden days of two franchises, the current Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s. No pro team, however, can get me more involved in a game than the Ducks.

As long as the Ducks are on TV earlier in the day, a football telecast becomes a family affair. My dad, who is now 97 years old, comes over. So does my oldest brother. I am the only true Duck in the crowd. The others are Ducks in the sense of fans only, but that doesn't dampen their enthusiasm for the team. I enjoy that family feeling, but I want more.

I only have to get on Twitter to find other "family members" to follow the game. I receive a steady stream of updates from Rob Moseley, a former colleague at the Register-Guard and now the director of goducks.com, the university's main athletic website. I follow tweets of those on recruiting sites who follow the Ducks closely. I also follow former Oregon offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, now with the NFL's New York Giants and one of the best tweeters in the business. Schwartz is a great information source for the football strategy part of the game, especially on offensive line play. He also has great insights on his family life, particularly on his infant and the exploits of Oslo Pepperoni, the family dog. (Oslo even has his own Twitter account, which makes him a very smart dog indeed.)

All those voices add to the enjoyment of the game. I relay some of the best tweets to my family. They get as much out of them as I do.

On the other hand, I never use Facebook for breaking news. It serves a much different function. It is my best way to check up on the personal events of those with whom I shared earlier parts of my life. I have several high school chums, and a few from my college days. There are many contacts from newspapers at which I worked, especially The Denver Post and the Register-Guard in Eugene. We talk about spouses, children and grandchildren. We talk about trips we have taken, whether it is a trip to the Oregon Coast or a trip to Europe. We stay connected that way. It keeps us close on a more personal level.

I can embrace the business functions of both websites, and I utilize them well. I also could use YouTube, Tout (my personal favorite over Vine or Instagram video), and I could utilize Pinterest if need be. It's just not up close and personal, and I prefer both websites for their "social" connections. That's just the way I am.

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