Hmmmmmm. Women over 55 are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook. Wonder how 25 yr old founder Mark Zuckerberg feels about that. Especially after he turned down a reported 1 Billion dollar offer from Yahoo to sell, just last year. Well, Mark, don’t despair. According to Inside Facebook 56.9% of all Facebook users are women and that number is growing more than 150% per month. It’s OK if you are not in to Cougars, Mark, the stats indicate there is also a size-able pool of women close to your own age on the site. In reality, that statistic (the ratio, not the growth) also closely represents the over all ratio of women to men world wide, so that just means Facebook is keeping up. Good job, Mr. Zuckerberg. And when you get down to it, I bet that the female over 55 group has more disposable income (or did until recently) than the female 20-30 group. Maybe Mark is even smarter than we thought.
I only have 12 Facebook Friends. I am a Facebook Failure. And I am not 55 or older. At first Facbook was fun. There are a lot of artists and creative people in Milwaukee that I have met through Facebook. I like seeing what my 12 friends are up to and comparing our top 5 albums of all time, but we could do that in person. And while I did play a fascinating game of on-line Scrabble, I don’t like those applications that send a virtual drink or a virtual hug. I don’t believe I am saving the planet or saving green space by sending a virtual plant. The problem is most of my friends don’t see the value in Facebook (they are busy making a living?) so my ‘Friend’ pool is pretty limited. After I get the nerve to ‘friend’ my high school sweetheart whom I found on Facebook the other day and haven’t spoken to in…never mind how long, I’ll be out of options (I wasn’t really looking, I just accidentally found him. That is my story and I am sticking to it).
Doesn’t matter. Anyway, I have moved on to Twitter and I have 29 followers there. On Twitter, you don’t have to actually know the people you follow. And they don’t have to know you to follow you. I must have hit some Twitter ‘Sweet Spot’ yesterday because I picked up 11 followers. In one day! Yes, they are included in the 29 aforementioned followers.. stop doing the math. Hey, I have …. a bunch…of connections on Linked In.
Each social networking site has its own protocol. Facebook is pretty friendly. Like a Puppy. Yea, wanna be my friend; come on be my friend, pant, pant, it will be fun; pant, pant, lick. Linked In people are more selective about who they invite and who they accept invites from. At least that’s the prescribed method of behaviour. All bets are off if you’re a recruiter or in HR. They (we, as I actually belong to that group; if not to the behaviour) subscribe to the ‘more is better’ philosophy. The LI purists (engineers and analysts, you know who you are), say you should only ‘connect’ with people you actually know and would pick up the phone to call. This idea is lost on recruiters and sales people because we will call anyone. A true Linked In snob will not accept an invitation from anyone below their title or rank. Yet, it is an accolade to reach 1000 connections. Whatever. The reality is, while Linked in can be a very useful networking tool, it’s pretty stuffy and not really very fun.
Enter Twitter. Some people on Twitter are indiscriminate about who they follow and I kinda like that. I don’t want to compete for popularity among my peers like a second grader on Valentine’s Day (thank god for the decorated shoe box so no one could see I only got 3 Valentines). Your # of followers is prominently displayed on your front page just like Facebook and Linked In but you don’t see that during normal discourse like you do on the other two sites. @Blackbottoms from Colorado started following me yesterday. He/she is promoting a new type of biking short and other biking apparel. @blackbottoms obviously has not seen me in bike shorts (no one has, luckily) or seen the condition of my bike. @MikeFry SpecialNeeds (who obviously didn’t read the memo on how to select a twitter name) is a Christ follower in Naperville (I think he has been mislead because I haven’t seen Christ on Twitter), who specializes in special needs financial planning. What ever that is, I am pretty sure that if MFSN saw my ‘SpecialNeeds’ in the finance area, he would see no amount of planning is going to help. He followed me twice. Does that count? No matter, as soon as he realizes I didn’t ‘follow him back’, I’m sure he will buzz off. The unspoken rule of Twitter is that you have to give to get, and that’s ideally how you get people to follow you. You have something to say that other people want to hear. Just like everything else in life you have to have some currency to play.
@daltukhov from Moscow also started following me yesterday. I decided to ‘follow him back’ because he Tweets about stuff I am interested in (and it is in English) but I have no idea how he found me. My motivation for being on Twitter is about networking and learning. That is pretty much the same reason I am on Facebook and Linked In, but for some reason Twitter seems more accessible because there are no prerequisites for participation like there are on the other two. Yesterday I decided to look for more local Twitteratzi because, while it is kind of cool to kibitz with @daltukhov from Moscow I really want to get to know Milwaukee and the people who live here more than I want to get to know the world. I would like to actually be able to sit F2F and have a glass of wine or trade business with someone who’s relationship I cultivated through Twitter.
From a @twtrtip tweet I learned about a program TwitterLocal that shows you all the Tweets in your metro area within a specified radius. OMG. Now I know what happened to all the people who found out that Facebook was cultivating the AARP crowd. I am still amazed that people don’t understand the concept of a public profile. What happens on Facebook , Twitter, MySpace, etc. is like doing it in a fishbowl. Everyone is on the outside watching. Everyone. There are still many people who don’t get this; or don’t care. Anyway, after I filtered through the hook ups and hopes for hookups, and” I am picking my nose now” tweets, I did find a few interesting local people that I am now following. @Mike_Brenner, former owner of Hotcakes Gallery shares a lot of interesting things. And he can be colorful at times. We all need a little spice. @The_Bus_Blog is a guy who rides a MTC bus daily and tweets about what he sees along the way. Some of his tweets imply he is also a musician/performer but I am not sure. I am really in it to meet new people and cultivate relationships that are tangible and real world. Hmmm, that sounds vaguely similar to what I put on my Match.com profile when I first moved to town… Follow me @atalentpartner. I am not a prolific Tweeter but I promise not to tweet about ANY bodily functions.