Google Reader I am back.
Last month I returned from five weeks backpacking Europe and moved into a new home in Frankford, a neighborhood in lower Northeast Philadelphia.
Somehow, even though I was travel blogging and video podcasting at WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com, my month-plus European tour was an Internet vacation (IV) for me.
It was a chance to look at what social networking devices are easiest to put on hold.
Yes, I was regularly blogging, but I am obsessed with finding ways to exist openly and expansively online without it dictating my being.
So, after squirelling away more than 30 posts, I was able to forward post every other day on this site. With a weekend of writing, a couple months of ideas, and an RSS feed, I was able to let my social networks grow while I was gone for more than a month.
- Twitter: A site of microfeeds, of course, should be the hardest to keep alive while you’re gone. Fortunately, someone went and created Twitterfeed, which Tweets an RSS feed. Better still, one can add multiple feeds to one Twitter account, which means I could have had my feed for ChristopherWink.com, in addition to the one for WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com. That’s hardly microblogging per Twitter’s famed standards of incessant updates, but one to two Tweets per day keeps you involved, to be sure. Since I have seen drops in my followers during even moderate absences from Tweeting, a single post per day can keep you well covered.
- Facebook: Tossing an RSS feed into your Facebook microfeed is easy enough to maintain an active presence in one of the more popular social networks there are. To go one better, add the Twitter application on Facebook and allow your Tweets to be automatically posted as your Facebook status. If you have a Twitterfeed, particularly one that only checks for new posts once a day, you could have duplicate links to your Web posts, but at alternate times of the day. I have learned what great traffic Facebook can bring your site, so it’s worth maintaining, and perhaps even embracing redundancy.
- Flickr and Youtube: Well, if your IV is for travel, it’s worth getting online from time to time to upload photos and video. Considering I was runing a blog while backpacking Europe, and still got a break from the Internet, this is completelely reasonable. Throw up some examples on a simple WordPress or Blogger blog and you can put that RSS in your Twitterfeed. Putting up travel content is a sure way to grow subscriptions for both of your accounts. If this is a general IV, well, then these such social networks will have to grow stale.
- Couchsurfing: Similarly, if you have a CS account, which you should, and your IV is travel-related, then you better be signing in, to meet great people and get cheap places to crash. Oh, and that way your official sign-ins, which are tracked geographically, will dot the planet. With a general IV, this grows stale, too.
- LinkedIn: There isn’t much to be done here. If you’re on an IV, you aren’t looking for professional networking anyway, right?
- MySpace: You should have already thrown in a widget to offer some semblance of an RSS feed from your site, but otherwise MySpace is lame. Let it go, friends.
- Wired Journalists: This site has actually afforded me at least three professional relationships of value, still, I only sign in when I get an e-mail addressing an update. Otherwise, all I’ve done is slap an RSS feed in there and let it sit, which I can do on an IV or otherwise. This goes for similar journalism sites like Publish2 or NextNewsroom.
Of course, I didn’t much keep up with news. That meant, my Digg account (or ones for other news aggregation sites, like Del.ico.us or other active memberships like Stumble Upon) would grow stale, as did my Google Reader feed.
I had 10,000+ items in my Reader. Here’s some advice: “Mark All as Read.”