This past weekend I joined Facebook, and now my social media world is so complex and intertwined that it makes my head hurt. To help me make sense of it all, I drew this map:
(I used bubbl.us, which is a really intuitive, easy-to-use, free mind-mapping tool.)
This doesn’t show all my social media sites, just the ones I use most regularly. But it did help me organize my social media efforts, at least in my own head. The black lines show everything that feeds into FriendFeed, which is my nexus and the most complete view of what I’m doing online. The gray lines show which services are being automagically updated by which other services, usually via an RSS feed or FriendFeed’s automatic output to Twitter.
I organized my social media universe into four quadrants. My home quadrant (tan) — my blogs but also my Google Profile – are my home bases on the Web and also where the world finds me. My networks quadrant (green) have organized quite naturally into a professional network that I use only occasionally (LinkedIn), a network of friends and family I know in real life (Facebook) and an online network with many overlaps with the other two networks that I use most frequently and is the largest (Twitter).
My links quadrant (purple) are my tools for collecting and sharing links. I read blog posts and other articles via RSS feed in Google Reader every day, and share interesting finds out to my network. Delicious is where I permanently store links and do research. StumbleUpon is more of a historical record of links I’ve blogged about, plus a lot of random fun stuff I discover while surfing the web.
Finally, there are miscellaneous tools that reflect my hobbies in the pink quadrant. I’m an avid reader, so I have several tools for organizing and recording my reading and books (LibraryThing, Lists of Bests, All Consuming), which feed back to my books blog and sometimes Twitter. I also use tools to track my goals (43 Things) and travel (43 Places), and to upload my photos (Flickr).
Of course, not everything is on here. I didn’t include really miscellaneous places like my Amazon Wishlist or Bookmooch, or places I rarely visit like Digg or Technorati. But it is nice being able to visualize my little online universe and my place within it.