Social media: not so shiny anymore

Because I’m a web copywriter, it’s almost an obligation to be involved with social media. It’s one of those things that we should understand and ‘get’. I have profiles on the standard hat trick of networks: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. And I’m starting to get a bit, well, bored. Of (gasp) Twitter in particular.

It’s a bit like a relationship that seems great at first, then gets a bit dull, until finally you realise you’re putting a lot in, but not getting much back. You really thought you would, of course, and you’ve ‘met’ (hey, let’s not forget this is virtual) some really nice people…

But I only use it for business; unless the person’s an extraordinary writer, I really don’t want to know what people are doing right now. I’ve made some interesting contacts, but now I read their blogs, not their Tweets.

I’ve tried to provide useful links for my ‘followers’, which has worked as their number has grown organically and they say nice things to me (yes, that’s certainly one of the good points). But while this …

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Your life in their hands

Travel social networking sites have been around for some time now (some might say the market’s saturated), helping people to plan and write about their trips. The key element of many of these sites is helping people to meet up and make friends, as you would expect.

A couple of brave souls have gone further than this and actually put their travels in the hands of their networks. In 2008, blogger and journalist Vicky Baker wrote a weekly column in the Guardian about her travel-networking experiment across Central and South America. She based the entire three-month trip around meetings with, and recommendations from, locals she met online.

Then this week, I read about freelance journalist Paul Smith’s plan to hitchhike around the world in 30 days, raising money for charity:water. Here’s the catch: he’s going to rely on the Twitter community for …

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