How do you use social networks?

I suggest we all ditch LinkedIn. Who’s in?

Social Media Icons

Jason Snell and Myke Hurley discussed social networks on Upgrade #4, “I Regret My Endorsement of You”, and I got to thinking about how I use my various social networks.

When I want to write something long (or mid-length, as mentioned in my previous post), I head here to my blog. I love reading and writing, and my blog is a great outlet for my creativity. As you know if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, I especially like posting book reviews. I also do a lot of short- and long-form writing on a question and answer social network called Quora. I mostly lurk in the religion/theology sections and once in a while write honest questions or thoughtful answers. I’ve crossposted a few of those answers here and plan to continue doing so.

When I think of something witty to say and think I can do it in less than 140 characters, I make a beeline for Twitter. Twitter is my go-to social network. I purposely follow only ~30 people, which makes it easy for me to stay up-to-date (I’m a Twitter completist; I read every tweet from the people I follow) and keeps Twitter feeling like a tight-knit place where I hang out with my closest friends. I can check Twitter in less than ten minutes a day. I also crosspost photos from Instagram. I know a lot of people who carry on conversations on Twitter, but I tend not to at-reply a whole lot. The aspect of Twitter I most love is being able to contact and have conversations with the podcasters I listen to.

I am also a relative completist when it comes to Facebook, by which I don’t mean I read everything from every one of my connections, but I do try to read everything that hits my news feed. I keep my feed very heavily pruned by marking every one of my connections as either a close friend or an acquaintance. As with Twitter, I only have ~30 close friends. People seem to generally hate the way Facebook “diddles” with peoples’ feeds, but I’m actually really impressed with how the filtering works. For those I’ve marked as close friends, I see everything, up to and including what you had for lunch (well, if you posted it—it’s not creepy enough yet to show me your lunch even if you didn’t post it). For acquaintances, I see only the most important life events like weddings, childbirths, graduations, new jobs, promotions, etc.1 Due to this magic, I can stay up on Facebook in less than ten minutes a day just as with Twitter. But I don’t really like posting to Facebook. About the only things I post are my Instagram photos. I use Facebook Messenger to keep up with old friends more than I post status updates or anything else.

As I’ve already mentioned, I take photos with Instagram. Mostly of my cute kids. These get crossposted to Twitter and Facebook. As with other networks, I purposefully keep the list of people I follow on Instagram to a minimum, and I can generally check out everything new on Instagram in less than five minutes.

I am on LinkedIn, but I’m honestly not sure why. I don’t post anything to it and I never read anything others post to it. I have never needed it and hope to never need it in the future. It is the worst social network in existence, I think, and has only gotten worse over time. It was Jason and Myke’s discussion of LinkedIn in particular that spurred me to write this post. They seem to hate it as much as I do. Why do we all feel the need to be on that site at all?

I’d love to hear how you use your social networks. Please drop me a comment below. Should I ditch LinkedIn? Should we all ditch it together? Who’s in? 

  1. I also see funerals. Earlier this month I had a really weird week where my feed seemed to be filled with death. My heart went out to all my friends who had loved ones leave this mortal coil. Love all you guys. []

Short-form blogging

wherein I briefly blog about blogging briefly

I follow a few blogs. I still use a feed reader1. As far as I know I’m also one of the few people in my circle of friends who still blogs with any sort of regularity (six posts so far in 2014, not counting this one).

One of the bloggers I follow, Jason Snell of Six Colors, recently posted about short-ish blog posts, a kind of halfway point between the long-form articles you typically find on sites like Medium and the sort of micro-blogging you typically find on Twitter or Facebook.

Jason was riffing on posts from Andy Baio of and Gina Trapani of Here’s the conversation as I’ve encountered it so far (go ahead and read these—I’ll wait here):

I like this idea. I tweet several times a week, but when I sit down to blog I typically feel I need to write something relatively long-form. I haven’t really been allowing myself to post shorter blog posts. I wish I had time like Jason Snell to post daily2, but the reality of parenting and working makes that near impossible. But, beginning today, I’d like to blog more often.

Here’s my own version of Gina Trapani’s new rules for blogging:

  • If it’s a paragraph or two, it’s enough to publish.
  • A picture is not required for every post.
  • Don’t obsess over proofreading before just clicking Publish.
  • Have fun. If it’s not fun, walk away. Play with the kids instead.

What do you think? If you have your own blog, what’s keeping you from posting new content? Are Facebook and Twitter enough of an outlet for you, or could blogging be just the thing you need to get your creative writing juices flowing again? 

  1. Specifically, I use Feverº by Shaun Inman as my self-hosted sync service and I actually consume my feeds using the Reeder app by Silvio Rizzi on my Mac and iPhone. []
  2. Though, in Jason’s case, his free time happened because of a layoff, which I absolutely wouldn’t wish for. I sincerely hope he’s able to turn some mad profit with Six Colors and all his podcasting. He deserves it. []

WordPress upgrade script

I just upgraded Janene’s and my blog to the latest version of WordPress using a slick bash script created by one of my buddies, Aaron Toponce. If you’ve never upgraded WordPress before, I’d recommend doing it by hand at least once so you understand the process (instructions are here), but if you’re looking for something to automagically upgrade your blog with minimal fuss, check out the script on Aaron’s blog: WordPress Upgrade Script. Worked like a charm for both the blogs I used it on, and I’ll definitely continue using it in the future. Good work, Aaron! :syzygy:


My blogs have finally been combined into one. WordPress 2.1 was released a few days ago with a shiny new import/export feature (among other cool updates). Nothing could’ve been slicker about the migration. It was as easy as clicking a button on my other blog, then selecting the downloaded file and clicking a button on this blog. Not only are posts copied over, but complete comments, custom fields, and categories as well.

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Adventures in waking up, day 21

I stopped blogging about it, so you probably all thought I gave up on it, right? Well, I didn’t. I’m still going strong getting up at 5:00 am every morning. I’ve had a few rough mornings where the alarm clock failed to go off and a few mornings where I took a little “nap” after getting out of the shower, but I’ve been on time to work every day for the last three weeks and I’m pretty proud of that.

I love having time in the mornings to get things done. I’ve been so much better about spending time alone with God and reading my scriptures. I’ve also had time to catch up on my finances and budgeting, and to work on a few other projects that have been ignored far too long.

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I know I haven’t posted much around here. It’s so much easier to simply post a link on my sidebar than to write a full post, and I’ve become a bit lazy of late.

I really like what my friend Jordan did over at He simply gave up on full posts and made his links the featured content. I’m thinking about doing that myself, but I’m not quite ready to give up on blogging. We’ll see how things go for the next month or so.

Testing Blog by Mail

I’m writing this blog entry in an email and sending it to my wordpress software via a secret mail account I’ve set up on my server.

I’m not sure why anyone would do this, since it seems less convenient than blogging by internet. The only place I can think of where I have email but not internet is on my cell phone, and how much blogging will I honestly do from my cell phone?

Nevertheless, I suppose this is an interesting feature.

Update @ 12:31 pm: Well, I thought I had email on my phone, but apparently I don’t. This feature is utterly useless to me.

Janene’s Blog

I installed a copy of WordPress on my wife’s website a couple weeks ago. Since then she’s been thinking a lot about what she wants to blog about. I don’t think she’s arrived at any conclusions, yet, but at least she got the ball rolling today.

Please give a warm blogosphere welcome to my lovely wife over at “Janene’s Blog”:

P.S. She isn’t a big fan of Homestar Runner (gasp!), so if you could keep the HR inside jokes to a minimum, she would probably appreciate it. Thanks.

Delicious Crazy

If you’re subscribed to my bookmarks feed, I apologize for cluttering up your feedreader this morning. I think I added over 30 bookmarks to my list. Whew!

I just did some spring cleaning in my own feedreader — deleted a bunch of stuff, reorganized my folder hierarchy, etc. — and decided to finally compile a definitive list of the blogs I read. There’s some great stuff in there. Take a moment to peruse “my list of blogs”: