Dealing with social networking overload

A lot of people talk about Information Overload being a real problem and I agree to a degree inormation oerload is a problem for many. I was recently interviewed by a post-graduate Information Science student who was looking at this very problem and how it affects the work of Information Officers and Professional Support Lawyers. One of the problems I see is that we prepare a huge amount of current awareness material, which we then send out but we never ask our clients, whether what they're receiving is actually useful or whether there could be a better way for us to send it to them. That will be the subject of another post no doubt.

In this post I want to talk about how information overload is becoming a problem in relation to the many social media tools people use. Mashable have written a post on this very subject. Called "How to deal with social networking overload" the article provides four step plan for helping you figure out how to keep up with your social media universe and get over that overloaded feeling. The steps outlined in the plan are:

  • Ask yourself why you're using a particular site? Is it because you heard about it from your friends, who all heard it was cool. Ideally you should have a genuine reason for using each social networking site you use.
  • Consider your purpose - or what value you think each Social Networking site provides you.
  • Creating boundaries - is a very important point - this is about keeping one social networking site for friends and family and one for work. This is actually quite difficult to do and the boundaries are and will continue to be blurred between the two different types of usage.
  • Communicate your plan - or make it clear how you intend to use each site - just because you're on Facebook doesn't mean you have to change your status every two minutes and tweeting 20 million times a day might be fun but your friends might soon stop reading everything you Tweet.

I found this a really interesting article, which I recommend everyone read for some good suggestions on how to manage your Social Networking applications.