Too Many Platforms

I have a friend who hates the use of the word platform in tech and I’m starting to understand why. Lately it seems we are besieged with platforms with little soapboxes from which to shout our messages. Every platform is doing everything they can to attract us from the funny face filters of Snapchat to Facebook’s new Instant Articles and endless prompts to share, remember, celebrate, and for heaven’s sake, just post something.

Fear of missing out has also become fear of not posting. If a person isn’t posting on social media they aren’t just considered to be quiet or not so social, it’s also considered a potential career misstep. I work with many entrepreneurs who no have a fear that if they do something without posting it, they’ve wasted the opportunity of doing the thing in the first place. I’ve felt like that too and I’ve even chided people on not documenting details of their lives on social media (in order to grow their businesses).

When I tell people that they don’t have to be on every social media platform I’m greeted first with relief, then with a little bit of suspicion. It’s just to good to be true. For some people social media feels like endless hurdles like a distraction from, rather than an augment to, their core business. Sometimes it feels like that for me too.

I recently stopped posting on Instagram. I used to be an avid flickr user and enjoyed taking photos but the rise of perfectly posed selfies, the styled food shots, the home decor moments, it all just subsumed the pleasure of photo social media for me. And so I let it as a content platform and just use it as a feed now. I’m happier that way.

Twitter still feels like home for me but as it becomes less about ideas and more about photo/video it’s losing appeal too. Medium is rapidly evolving from a longform content platform into a magazine publishing platform, more about layout and style, less about words.

I finally got my beta for the Grid. Another platform. One that I’m not sure will suit my needs, once I define what those are. All I know is that it’s not possible to be on all platforms. Choose the ones you like, the ones that suit your goals, your style, your purpose. And trust, yes, trust, that the audience you desire will find you.

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