One Stop Shop or Too Much Information?

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Too many profile, too many sites, too many amazing social media tools to choose from . . .

This is definitely a quandary that has faced all tech-savvy students who realize that social media is made up of much more than just Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. While most of us probably have a profile on the 4 primary sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube), most of us have also probably dabbled in a large number of other social media outlets. I for one am guilty of being on Tumblr, Meebo (which I never really use), StumbleUpon (which I haven’t figured out yet), FourSquare (which may or may not be safe) and GetGlue (which only feeds my media addictions), as well as many other sites I can’t even recall at the moment.

In an ideal world, it would be perfect if you could have a one-stop-shop where you could check and update all of the sites from one main page. While applications such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and others allow us to post to quite a wide variety of sites, they don’t really allow us to view a wide variety of the content posted there.

Enter the Social Media Headquarters sites . . .

Paid services such as GizaPage allow companies and individuals a way to access all of their social media profile from one central “social media hub”. Other pages such as Power.com are “basically blurring the boundaries that separate one network from the other and allowing to use them all from one interface and exchange information and images from any of them and to all of them” (ThoughtPick) . DandyID suggests that you “Collect Yourself”.

Ever the curious one when it comes to social media, I tried out a few of the free sites. Retaggr allowed me to sign up for free and connect with every account I had and offered options for all sorts of random accounts I never thought about. Surely you want everyone to associate your Facebook, Amazon wishlist, Pandora channels and Meebo accounts with one another. Right? And, while using the site is free it costs to update the theme of your sight from the obnoxious blue color it is.  The other sight I signed up for was DandyID. The layout was a bit more Blogger-ish in style with rounded edges and a bit more of a bubbly design. There were so many account linking options on this site that they offer you the option of searching the sites or viewing the top 30, in addition to the default alphabetical list. To prevent you from having to experiment on your own, I will leave the profiles I made posted until next week (3/5)–Retggr & DandyID. One Retaggr feature I preferred was the way it actually pulled the RSS feeds for blogs and such so you could see a broad view of what your overall social media profile looked like. DandyID seemed to offer a simpler overall profile with better navigation options and analytics options (with a paid upgrade of course).

After experimenting with creating these sites, I began to worry though that these sites provide WAY TOO MUCH information about any person. With one click of a mouse, a stalker or anyone who was researching you could know what you have been blogging about, tweeting about, where you work, what you want to listen to, what you are buying, and so on. The idea of it even creeps me out. People who are concerned about simple Facebook privacy issues should be HORRIFIED!!! These sites even ask about your home address and phone number, and I promise you there are people out there dumb enough to share.

While the simple solution seems to be a one stop shop for all our social media obsessions, the simpler, safer and better solution might just be a social media purge. Is it really necessary that I have so many accounts, when all I really take time to use is a select few? I think not. Over the next week as I asses my personal online brand, I fully intend to eliminate some of the social media profiles I created months ago and have only used twice (including the two new ones I just built!). Will you do the same?

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