Social Media Currency – If Time is Money, How Do You Spend Your Online Time?
Twitter‘s down for updates. Buttercup is down for the count – asleep with her new kitten sleeping at the foot of her bed. GeekDaddy is somewhere in a plane, en route home from a business trip to Philadelphia. What better time to update the blog?
And there’s the thing tonight – Time. When does anyone ever have the time to do anything online?
These past few months, I’ve been going slowly past just dipping my toes into the vast pool of Social Media and wading in deeper, in the hope of learning to swim in what is rapidly becoming a veritable sea of choices.
The faster I get up to speed, though, the more choices there are to spend my time on.
Earlier today, I was reading Jeremy Pepper’s blog post on The Question of Community and thinking “geez… that’s just a sampling of the places I could spend my time online today – and it doesn’t include so many of the places I already visit daily – and even if I did nothing but spend my time online, I couldn’t get through all of those in one day.”
Then I was on Twitter and reminded by a friend in time to catch part of Jeff Pulver’s broadcast today on PulverTV. Unfortunately, I ended up missing Loic Le Meur‘s interview because I was driving a pajama-clad Buttercup & her best friend to preschool, but I was there for long enough to hear Jeff talk about the intention of PulverTV to become a 24/7 online independent TV station full of indy content.
Later, I managed to get over to Loic’s blog to catch the video from his presentation yesterday at DEMO. I had to miss that live yesterday, but wanted to see what was up with Seesmic and it’s new threading and conversation features.
Okay, are you over the play-by-play linkage yet? Me too. But imagine then, the time I invested in doing all of those things. At the same time, I was keeping up with my email, Twitter, and a handful of other daily sites I visit. I didn’t include the half-dozen blog postings I visited, read, and commented on. I didn’t include the time spent creating new accounts or modifying old ones at social networking sites to reflect my current status. I didn’t include dozens of things done online worth noting, but unmentioned because I’m afraid this is already too lengthy. I didn’t mention fitting in the offline adventures of parenting a 5 year old.
It got me to thinking about how people make choices regarding Social Media. How do they choose which blogs to read, which videos to watch, what sites to interact on?
There are folks I see working in this field who seem to spend more time doing it than is really humanly possible. They’re online when I give up in the small hours of the morning and force myself to bed knowing that my daughter will be up and raring to go far earlier than my body thinks is practical. If I get up 5 hours later and manage to find a moment to open a browser between waking and breakfast, they’re back at it again. They seem to have an omnipresence I can’t begin to fathom. Managing blogs, Facebook, Twitter, streaming video, showing up at conferences and trade shows, knee-deep in every event I hear about.
I’m utterly mystified as to how they are doing it – but I’m somewhat convinced that they must be following Thomas Edison’s famed ‘polyphasic’ sleep habits. Maybe cloning themselves as well, so that their families and loved-ones don’t miss them while they are busy living the Web 2.0 Life.
So as my forays into this Social Media field increase, I’m finding that I’m going to have to make choices. I’m going to have to budget my online time as carefully as I do my money. Because while I might win the lottery one day and not have to worry a bit about spending too much on shoes – I’m pretty certain that I’m not going to get more than 24 hours out of every day any time in the near future.
What I want to know, though, is how to start prioritizing these things?
Whoops… Timing! Now the news on TV in the background has cut over to Bill Clinton, live, about 5 miles from my house… and the 25-hour bean soup I’m making in the crockpot needs stirring and I’d better wrap this up before Twitter comes back up again.
Brother, can you spare an hour?
~ by Lucretia on January 30, 2008.