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What is a Social Media Map and How Do I Use It?

Being a very curious person I love to try new technologies.  This can make things a little messy at times for me on the web.  Over the past couple of years I have explored all the different communication / social media platforms that have come out.  There are a few of those that I have established as my main forms of communication - Twitter, Facebook and my blog.  This is not to say that I don't use Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Delicious, Google Reader, Posterous, etc.  I use all of these and a few others.  They all have legitimate uses and a place in life but I don't want to have to build a separate community on each platform.  My problem was that in order to share most of the items that I collected in different places I needed a more streamlined process.  So I started hooking things together and automating.  Friendfeed has been a great platform for me to do this because it connects to so many different things.  I would really love to have one master platform that everything connects to and I can manage what gets published where but we are not there...yet.  As I started exploring and automating more and more, I started to publish things to places I didn't want them to go or post things multiple times.

Finally one day I sat down and started to draw out all the places I lived on the web and how they related, thus creating my first social media map.  The picture resembled spaghetti with parts that made no sense.  By doing this, I started to question what places did I have an objective of being there and what places was I just there because I was curious.  I started to weed things out - yes believe it or not this is the cleaned up map.  

 

I have revised this map a few times and did this again last week.  The objective in this last revision was to make the use of this system simple.  After using these platforms for some time I know what I will use on a regular basis and what works well in each area.  

 

  • For pictures and video I use Posterous.  By posting these things there they automatically go to Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.  
  • Blog posts go to Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed.  But I don't use Friendfeed to post to Twitter because there can tend to be a delay of posting them.  I use Twitterfeed for posting to Twitter and Facebook. 
  • Most of the other random places I live I have hooked up to Friendfeed to go to Twitter.  The most important place for me is Google Reader.  I subscribe to about 150 blogs and as I find things of interest I share them and out they go.   
  • Finally I post things directly to Twitter and Facebook.  

 

I try not to act like a robot but use these services to send information I find interesting out to Twitter.  If social media is hard people won't use it very long or expand outside of Facebook.  

What does your world look like and how are you using these services?