During my downtime I consciously decided to also take a break from participation online, including mobile, as much as possible. It was a test to find out what draws me in most. So what happened?
Well I did stay pretty much away from things, but after a while, I was drawn back to the web, because…I like it and use it to stay connected to what people are thinking and doing – both for work and personal.
I lurked quite a bit, and could stave off those feelings to participate…until today.
So on reflecting about my experiment, here’s what I found over the past few weeks. It’s not exhaustive or scientific, of course:
- I really like Facebook to find out what people have been up to, particularly personal friends and their updates – and I did respond occasionally. For me it’s a virtual access point with people I already know face-to-face.
- I like Twitter so I can stay across what people are thinking and doing in my areas of professional interest. Often there are great tip-offs about blog posts, links to information, etc. Twitter’s great for providing an access point to people who do what you do, as well as leading thinkers, authors and practitioners who tweet. I may not have met these people F2F and they may not know me.
- I played around on Linkedin a bit updating my profile, etc. I did this too with Facebook re my profile.
- I took the time to read blog posts more fully than I normally do, including watching videos. Great way to immerse myself in a topic area when I had few time constraints.
- I did look at my work email now and then on my mobile, although I resisted doing anything with what I saw (apart from one urgent thing). The magnetic draw of having the BlackBerry email there is just too tempting to resist looking at it from time to time!
- I thought about other things I’m connected to (e.g. Second Life, Flickr), but didn't really do anything.
I noted in my lurking that quite a few people were cleaning up their RSS readers and so forth.
That is something I will need to do – I have way too many RSS subscriptions to meaningfully get across them all. Realistically I read about a third of my 51 feeds. Will I have the courage to edit??
So tomorrow it will be full on into things again, with 2009 bound to bring lots of change, challenges and connections along the way. Happy new year!