Thursday, June 4, 2009

How I use the internet-

Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, blogs...the list goes on.  There are so many ways to use the internet as a social network.  Social media I think is the more professional term to use for these things, or the term to use when using the sites for work purposes.  I use these sites for work, I have a Facebook page, MySpace account, Twitter and Flickr account for San Antonio College's Office of Student Life.  For personal use I have them all.  I'll be the first to admit that I am addicted to my Online Social Networks (OSNs as some people call them) and I have access to most of them on my phone, adding to the addiction.  I may one day need help-

Personal Tyler
I've had MySpace since 2003ish when I went to college.  My friend Angela was going to school in California and was all over the MySpace thing so I got one and didn't touch it for a while.  I couldn't figure out how to do any of it but eventually made friends and started adding people and pictures.  I still use it personally today but also have a lot of students from work on there as friends so sometimes it gets cross contaminated with work stuff too.  I use MySpace for more socializing and to keep in touch with people I didn't know from a school or professional setting.  Also the students at SAC use MySpace more than the other social networks.

Facebook came out in early 2004 and back then your school had to petition to get added and you had to have an .edu email address (yes back then mom, dad and grandma weren't on Facebook it's fine they're on it now, it's evolved).  TLU got in the game in May-ish and I jumped on the bandwagon.  I liked Facebook lots better than MySpace, it just seemed safer and the people on there were my friends that I actually saw everyday so it was cool.  It was also easier to use and everyone's profile looked the same.  Your "coolness" wasn't determined by your background or if you had music on your page- everyone was equal.  I liked this cause I was really bad at computer-y type stuff once- I'm still bad but in college I was way worse.  Facebook is how I keep in touch with people from high school, college and work.  

I got my Flickr account because of family peer pressure.  My birth-family used it to share photos with one another.  I was really into it at first and uploading pictures and sent the links to my friends and family, but after I filled up the 200 free pictures they give you I kinda forgot about it.  It's still out there at but nothing too new is on it.

YouTube is a new acquisition.  I don't use it, but I wanted to get my name reserved in case in the future I ever figure out how to use it.  I really want a Flip Camera and then I'll add stuff...

I am totally addicted to Twitter.  I love it and am always "tweeting" (a term I hate).  I am a total "Twit" (person addicted to Twitter) but I'm okay with that.  I've even started to follow that more than my Facebook which is my old obsession.  I think Twitter is attractive because it's short and sweet and people are funny when they're only allowed 140 characters.  You can also find some seriously entertaining viral videos and blogs.  Get in on the addiction

LinkedIn I just registered for last week and I've made maybe a dozen connections, but I really just did it so if people at conferences ask me if I'm on it I can say yes.  It is supposed to be the Facebook for professionals which is fine I don't really care, but we'll see if anything happens with that.

Finally blogs! I'm all about the blogging- my wonderful birth-family got me addicted with the family blog ages ago.  They've been blogging since summer 2003 and once every blue moon I'll post something there too.  But I've been going to these Social Media conferences ever since I started at SAC and I just love the idea of blogging.  My family's blog is the perfect example of a really successful blog- lots of people post on it and so it's always new and fresh and it has expanded the community of people we can call friends.  I'm trying to start a blog for myself, I used to do LiveJournal and never got into it too much.  Randomly I'd post little vents about being annoyed and sometimes I'd post song lyrics, but it just wasn't for me.  I'm still debating on what type of blog I want.  Do I want a blog about my personal life, my work life, my family life? or do I want to combine them all into one?  I think it'll end up being a combination, otherwise there will be too much time where I have nothing to say.

Work- SAC OSL Tyler
My Facebook page for SAC OSL has over 150 fans- whoo-hoo, Twitter has over 150 followers, and my MySpace has a little over 100 friends.  We have a Flickr too but I don't know how to track the users, followers or whatever they're called there.  I hope to move to a student blog in the near future.  I want students to write about being students at SAC.  With help from this great company we work with SwiftKick I'm hoping that in the future we'll get student leaders to blog and have a really great something to show for it.

The idea behind using all these social networking sites for work is that students use them and are constantly on them (as evident by my usage as well).  If we reach out to them in a forum they are familiar and comfortable with the idea is that they'll respond and interact with us.  I see it happening, students love MySpace and actively search us out, Facebook was slower at first and now I see that more students have switched to it instead, they are also using Twitter in large numbers too- I know all of these will grow as the next semester starts and I'm really looking forward to it.

The addiction is real though.  I feel like I don't know what's going on if my internet goes out or I can't reach Twitter on my cell.  I feel like a huge nerd half the time cause if someone asks me "Have you heard from ______?" I say "oh-ya, I saw online that they're __________"- it's crazy!  What's even worse is sometimes a student or relative will ask me "how was karaoke last night?" and I get confused as to how they knew and then think to myself that I'm an idiot cause I posted it online for the world to see.  I probably don't use these sites the most, I'm sure there is someone out there who is more active than I am, but I'm also sure that there are a ton of people, most of my friends included, that don't use these sites even a quarter of how much I do.  
So I guess I'll see you online!

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