Leave Facebook–build your own communities (Starting with Twitter!)

The tide of opinion seems to have shifted against Facebook, and there is a growing movement to “Leave” facebook.  Alas, many of us are finding it hard to leave Facebook.

What to do?

How about this–build your own community!  The tools are already here–we just need to come up with a coordinated way to share.

Let’s start with Twitter as the “hub.”  You can use Twitter to keep in touch, and follow your friends.  Of course, it is important to note that your public tweets are just that.  PUBLIC.[1.  Heck, they are archived in the Library of Congress!]  So what to do?  First, watch what you say (always good advice.)  Second, if you want to add an extra layer of privacy just create a “Blocked” account, and only allow your followers to see what you post. So you can share with your friends what you are doing, and they can share with you.  And let’s not forget the direct, one-on-one messages you can share, or “DMs.”

But that’s just the start.  Do you like sharing your photographs?  Flickr is a much better site for photo storage and sharing anyway. It’s the purpose of Flickr. And in Flickr you can create or join photo groups that are focused on things that interest you, ranging from entertainment groups you might have been in, to people sharing the same interests in photographic subjects or cameras.  In addition, you can make your photos public and visible to everyone, or just to friends, or for family.  You can control the access to your photographs and even control who can download the image or reuse it. On top of all of that, you can even choose to make your photo available to photo services to use and pay you for the use! If you haven’t checked out Flickr, you really should.

And when you add a photo to flickr, and want the world to know about it–tell them on Twitter!

Now maybe you want to share videos.  There are many sites for doing that, as well.  Certainly YouTube is the most well known but Vimeo is making a strong showing as well.  Again, you can share your videos publicly, or share only with friends.  (And Flickr also now supports limited videos, as well!)

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  These three sites (Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube) really address the majority of how people use Facebook–to connect, share conversation, share photos, and share videos.  Why turn over control to Facebook, when you can “roll your own?”

So let us know–how else do you use Facebook, and what other community tools do YOU know that could help wean ourselves off Facebook?

And let’s start with Twitter.  You can find me there as @scmprofessor


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