In my last posting, I revealed the goals of my participation in social media, most particularly Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter [I’ve allowed the other memberships to fall into disuse]. In my case, I tend to use Twitter and LinkedIn primarily for professional networking, and Facebook primarily (but not solely) for social networking.
In watching my Facebook activity over the course of a day, there is a definite pattern that emerges. Here’s what it looks like (times are NY times):
7:30 a.m. – First check of friends’ updates. I knock out a few responses. Those that seem to beg for a funny response get one. Some ask for caring or friendship and I send those off. Some ask for a professional response, and I knock those out.
7:45 a.m. – Time for my first update of the day. I’m always trying to get a response of some sort, and when I’m lucky, even start a conversation that will go through the day and evening. Depending on my mood, this might be:
- a song lyric stuck in my head
- a factoid, sometimes about a holiday or event
- a question that I’d like my friends to have a go at
- an update about where I am at, geographically or emotionally
8:00 a.m. – My northeast peeps check in with replies. My friends may still be home; some are on commuter trains; others are parked in traffic. Most often, the first responses are funny. Once in a while, a response crosses the line that I’ve set and I have to delete it, but I try not to (in the same way that, in social or professional situations, I prefer not to reign in the conversation more than necessary).
10:00 a.m. – My midwestern peeps check in and leave their comments. There may be interaction between the northeast crew (most of whom have to now concentrate on work) and the midwesterners, whose workday is only beginning. A few colleagues have a daily routine with me in which we check in with one another via Facebook chat. In an organization with three locations, and consultants who often work outside our locations, this is our “water cooler” to stay in touch and to share news.
12:00 p.m. – My east coast people are taking a lunch break, posting updates and checking my update and comments. New comments and interactions flow around this time of day. By this time, the original updat I posted has become irrelevant as the conversations and interactions have taken on lives of their own. If my morning update was important, I might try to get the conversation back on track. Otherwise, I’m learning from how the conversation has moved in different directions. And by now, my friends might often have me thinking about something I’ve never considered, laughing at a joke, listening to a song, or watching a video, while still on the same “stream” that I had started in the morning. And invariably, somebody has posted an event or article that will change how I do my job, either immediately or in the future.
2:00 p.m. – There is a lull in the east coast and midwest activity, but now my west coast buddies have come to play. They join in too late to respond to my original post, but jump into the conversation that has emerged over the six hours since. Some Facebook chats start to happen, most of them directly work-related. If I have the time, I’ll check my friends’ updates and leave comments. And by this time of the day, I’ll often post a song or two from You Tube, just to share a little music.
This is also the time that my friends in England and Israel seem ready for interaction. Their work day is over, and they join my conversations and post their updates to begin new ones. Their updates tend to be more around news in the world, or updates about personal lives. There is an occasional check-in with nephews and nieces in Chicago or Israel.
4:00 – My east coast friends are beginning to show up online again as they end their workdays or shift from one place of work to another. If I have a long work day, I may post a request for someone to deliver a corned beef sandwich. But it’s often also a time to look back on the day.
6:00 – Most of my friends are either asleep (Israel and England), working (west coast), in transit (midwest) or eating dinner (east coast). There is a lull.
8:00 – My night people show up online. One Facebook friend consistently shares great classic rock videos, others kvetch about their kids, some show up with jokes, and some friends are ready to chat and catch up. They will go on late into the night. Around the time my Israelis and Brits are posting their first updates.
And so the cycle of a social network goes.
What do the patterns of your social media life look like?