Google+ and the Tamagotchi trend in social networks

Multiple social networks are creating an ever growing daily list of digital house keeping chores to keep our online presence active. If you don't you'll gradually fade away online...
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

A large part of my day is spent maintaining my relationships on my social networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and now Google+.

Some of my time spent in these networks is genuinely useful but a lot of it is spent in mundane housekeeping chores. I'm constantly peppered with tasks: approve these friends, like these pages, it's Joe Smith's birthday wish him happy birthday, someone commented on a post you commented on, you were tagged in this post/photo.

Google+ currently requires a lot of clicking, adding people to circles, etc, and it's tedious work. With Google's circles I initially thought, great, now I can tidy up my mess of friends, acquaintances, family, readers, etc.

My initial enthusiasm for creating G+ circles was as short lived as my recent idea to organize my socks, underwear, and T-shirt drawers. I now pop people into just one G+ circle. And all I'm doing is recreating my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter networks on Google+:why?

I'm doing it for the same reason as others, that you have to be in it to understand it, otherwise you might miss the emmergence of something important.

Twitter is the best example of this effect, many people dismissed Twitter in its early years until they they began using the service.

Google+ could be the start of something new but it's too early to tell.

I never possessed a Tamagotchi, the tiny little electronic toys representing a virtual pet that required regular care and feeding through pressing the right buttons throughout the day, or they would "die."

But my daily chore of keeping my digital presence alive across all my social networks feels like each one of them acts like a modern day, adult-themed Tamagotchi.

Making the rounds of my sites is certainly pleasurable for a while, but mundane the rest of the time. I can understand why some, such as author and online marketing guru Guy Kawasaki, employs several people to stand-in for him online.

However, if I had a bunch of Twitter proxies acting for me, for example, I would never find those great people, links, content, conversations, etc, that help me be better at what I do. And I know that's true for many of us, we have to swim in this soup of media just as fish swim in water -- but not all of us are in the water. You have to get wet to swim.

That's why I recommend to others that they don't outsource the daily chores of their social networks. Chop wood and carry water -- it's the path to knowing just that little bit more about this changing world.

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