The Social Networking dilemma

Right, so now I have a blog, and active Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts. There’s also Linkedin, Friendster, and god knows how many other networks out there. So what do we do with them all?

The blog is fairly obvious – it is for longer posts like this where I want to outline my thoughts on a subject in more than just a few words – that’s clear.

Twitter is great for simple observations that don’t need any depth, though the 140 character limit can be just that – limiting,and I am increasingly using services like Twitlonger to get around that if I need just those few extra words.

Facebook is Facebook – a bloated awkward means of maintain a link with people you haven’t seen in 20+ years, workmates you see almost every day anyway, and friends who you should be trying to maintain a more than virtual link with.

Google+ feels to be a lot of Facebook, with a hint of Twitter thrown in. The best part of it is circles – being able to easily define groups of people, and post to the groups of your choice. Nonetheless it is really just a sleeker version of Facebook, and so the same root issues of types of relationships prevail, and may even be more highlighted by said circles.

So none of this is really news, as everyone pretty much knows all this anyway. Why then the blog post? My problems are as follows:
– no one “follows” the blog, so my more in depth ramblings go unnoticed in the wider world – I ironically need the other social media to advertise said ramblings, causing immediate cross-postings.
– I prefer Twitter as a means of putting stuff out there, but only a handful of friends use it, so to share with those I know, it isn’t sufficient – it does however provide a limited extra audience of those sick puppies who consider me worth following even though I don’t know them
– Facebook is Facebook – almost everyone seems to use it, but most don’t really know why. It is full of bugs and privacy issues, so I don’t like using it, but it is the most comprehensive means of sharing stuff.
– Google+ is new, and not many people I know are on it yet. It too seems to be showing some privacy issues, and being new has some kinks to iron out, but I feel compelled to give it a chance.

So where does that leave me? When should I post what where? I find myself often cross-posting on all three, but for what purpose? Anyone linked to me on all three must be sick of it surely? Unfortunately I have no answers on this one, and am actually keen to hear some feedback. I can distinguish the concept of Twitter against the others, but my friends increasingly use FB in a Twitter-like manner despite maintaining they don’t like or understand the concept of Twitter. Ideally I would drop FB altogether, but until people of genuine interest to me (ie friends) switch elsewhere, it seems it will stay. I would like to use G+ just for more personal sharing with friends, but again most of them simply aren’t there yet, and may not see the need to switch from FB.

And so I come back to the question of what should I post where …

Apple vs Samsung vs Google vs the world

So Apple are taking legal action to try and prevent Samsung releasing their new Honeycomb tablet in Australia, and now in Europe also, on the basis of breaching patents. Some of the patents seems questionable at best (such as using a gesture to unlock the screen) and in my view it is ridiculous that such things are allowed to be patented in the first place. Needless to say Samsung are taking action against Apple for other things, Apple against other manufacturers also, and just about everyone else in the mobile industry seems to be taking action against each other for just existing. Meanwhile Google are spending a ridiculous sum for Motorola Mobility seemingly primarily for 25,000 odd mobile technology patents as a bit of future protection against such actions.

Now, I fully appreciate that some ideas are truely innovative and need protecting, but the extent to which all this sort of thing is happening all seems a tad fucking pathetic. Honestly, if company X thinks they have the superior product to company Y, why not fight it out in the shops rather than the courts?

On a side note the purchase of Moto by the big G is interesting – Google say they are out to protect Android against certain legal action, but it gives them the hardware to become an all stop shop like Apple. I’ve not been a big fan of Motorola in the past, but the Xoom is a seriously nice piece of kit (see earlier blog post) showing they have potential to compete in the hardware stakes. If Google do start giving Motorola an advantage, then (as has been mentioned on a few news websites) other Android players may “up shop” and switch to a new platform. Given how quick Motorola were in releasing Honeycomb 3.2 compared to others, who’s to say it isn’t already happening?

Google need to be very careful here – there’s already the threat of paying a per handset fee to Apple for alleged patent violations, and now there’s a chance they could alienate their biggest allies. They need companies like Samsung and HTC on side, and to do it they need to show Motorola won’t get any advantage in earlier releases or extra OS features. Motorola’s market share is currently too small for Google to stand alone with. Then again if Google and Samsung were to merge …

Could Ice Cream Sandwich be the last version of Android? I hope not, even if it’s only because it’s too stupid a name to go down in history as the end of a technological era.