If you're not sick hearing about Social Media, you're a stronger person than I am. I'm a blatant technophile living in a home with multiple Wii's, X-boxes, DSes, and more computers than actual users. Despite this, *I* am getting a bit tired of hearing about social media.
Of course this isn't going to stop me from talking about it, because taking social media for granted is actually a source of trouble.
Namely, when you get to used to it, you miss making a backup plan. Since Social Media is a big part of our lives and careers and job searches, you'll want one.
Yes, we can assume Twitter, Facebook, and soforth aren't going to immediately go away and vanish. However, social media sites can change, some may go away, and we can't always be sure we won't do something boneheaded to our accounts, or just need to get data in those rare states we're offline.
That's why I reccomend a social media backup plan. Do you have a plan for people to reach you – and vice versa – if you can't get to a social media source, if it changes, or you're offline?
This is of course a bit of a trick question – you probably have so many multiple ways to communicate you haven't thought of a backup plan. But it's the fact that we don't think of it that makes it important. When we can reach people via email, AIM, Twitter, Facebook, and more, its too easy to take it for granted.
Like it or not, social media is going to change, and not always for the better. Companies will shut down and change. Issues of internationalization may strike, local laws may cause global effects, etc. Things will change because change is a constant.
For that matter, your vital contacts may change. Few people an leverage all the big social media sites properly now. Some vital contacts may move on to other social media.
1) Develop and upgrade your social media strategy. Yes, even if this is all for socialization, you want a strategy. You don't want to get distracted and loose out.
2) Make sure you have multiple ways to reach important people. There's probably 5-20 people in your life you want to keep in good touch with no matter what. Make sure you have multiple ways to reach them. DO NOT forget regular mail and phone.
3) Backup what you can. Save member files and data if you can for reference if its very important, much as I've mentioned doing it for LinkedIn.com.
4) Work on having a few centerpoints of contact for yourself that are under your control – a cell phone, personal website, post office box, etc.
5) Keep up with your various social media, perhaps through RSS feeds or sites like FriendFeed that combine them, but in ways that don't overburden you. You never know when you may have to leap.
6) Ask yourself what is REALLY social media. For instance, Text messaging is so widespread it's a kind of social media to me.
We're all more and more dependent on social media. Its best to make sure we've got a backup plan.
– Steven Savage