Charles Peters

Designer / Developer

Logging Into Another Thing

I deleted a bunch of my social media accounts: LinkedIn, Behance (removed all my work), StumbleUpon, FourSquare, Klout, Timehop, Knotch, Pinterest. I haven’t used them, I haven’t cared about them for a while and I haven’t found them useful.

More importantly, I don’t think I’ve really gained anything from them, no new clients, new friends, self-assurance or a higher self-worth. Plus I don’t think I’ve put anything into those networks that benefits other people on them.

Why did I accrue that many accounts in the first place? Really, it boils down to because someone attached some element of urgency to them, that it would make life better in someway to use that network. In reality it just didn’t.

If you take a moment and consider all the things you log into in a day, it’s not surprising. Statistically, on average people have about 36 accounts online and people log into those accounts 7 to 25 times a day. I think that’s a pretty low estimate.

When we look at the desire to connect with others on social media and how many services we use that revolve around them, I don’t think I need any more for now. I need to contribute to the things that I have.

I don’t need another thing to log into; I need to use the networks that exist and bring something to them.

For example, there’s Dribbble. This social network is a show and tell for visual designers that uses a timeline of 800px by 600px screenshots of your work. You have to be invited to even post. It’s a great network. I love it and I’m a premium user, but your mileage may vary. On the whole, it gives you 24 shots (posts) in a month for all users, premium and regular users. I rarely use all of them, maybe a good two-thirds of them. What if I did?

Codepen is in the same vein but for HTML/CSS/JS and has great preprocessors, live reloading, Emmet installed; it’s pretty great spot show/share work in progress and work at the same time. I think my workflow could be a lot better if I prototyped a quick idea there instead of firing up all my software. Plus, I can share that idea faster with people who’d probably like to see it (because they’re doing the same thing).

On some level, we’re all trying to share something, our story, our process, how we get from one end of things to another. And how we do that is important. There’s a huge notion of “working in the public”. Social media gives us the vehicle to do that kind of work and share the things we’re most passionate about, on top of connecting with people who matter.

Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform’s native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Why would we dilute that effort? Using a network requires some commitment on some level, to check in, deposit a status/update/post, to respond and connect more. Sharing your story is going to be a lot harder the more places you have to do that in. Watering down your attention to 25 different networks doesn’t benefit you; it robs you of the energy you could be spending making things and making real connections with people.