(April 2017: This page represents my attitudes to various social media as at May 2010. Consider it substantially obsolete today. Many of the platforms have altered or disappeared, new ones have come along, and my reluctance over Facebook has been replaced by new reluctances over Facebook. An updated page will be posted "in due course". - RE, 21.4.17)
Accepting right from the top that the term "social media" is both redundant and a misnomer and speaking as a fifteen-year veteran of various iterations of "social media", here are my current opinions on various "social media" platforms.
Twitter: My primary "social medium" since early 2009. Easy to interact with, especially when mobile. The 140-character limitation is a great discipline and it is amazing how easy it is to convey a worthwhile message of that size. (Often in as many as three sentences.) Disadvantage for me is that I do less long-form blogging. Perhaps not the best method of two-way conversation, but great for short-term group discussion (prime example in Australia, #qanda). Not recommended for private or personal conversation. I strongly discourage the use of the Direct Message (DM) facility, which is unencrypted and unreliable.
Facebook: Moved to here.
Myspace: Not my space. I had an account a couple of years ago. Barely used, eventually deleted. Why would I bother? A haven for bad web design, and ideological poison once it was purchased by the Murdoch empire. Probably visited two Myspace pages in the past twelve months except by accident.
Second Life: Does anyone use this any more? I set up an account and was immediately put off by the fact that I had to choose from a defined list of surnames. The Second Life software as too much of a memory hog on my computer for it to run properly. I think my last visit was to (attempt) to watch a virtual conference held during COP13 at Bali at the end of 2007, hosted by OneWorld.net. Slow, clunky and unnecessary. And I found the whole virtual reality thing spooky. For the record, the user name I chose was "Bramall Lane" in honour of the old Sheffield United ground and host of one England v Australia cricket Test in 1902. If you happen to see Bramall on Second Life, say g'day to me for me.
LibraryThing: My choice of "book club" social medium sites, even though I haven't seen a great deal of social interaction on it. Given me the chance to catalogue online my library (although I will be disposing of many of these in the coming months, alas). For what it's worth, I am now registered as a LibraryThing Author on account of my book "Today In Cricket" (and if you haven't bought it yet, why not?)
Newsvine: My online clippings site of choice (despite occasional flirtations with Digg or Delicious). Probably lost its lustre a shade since its takeover by MSNBC a couple of years ago. Its clunky interface is offset, for me, by its searchability by keyword. (Look, for example, for my pages of bookmarked articles on the Indian Premier League or water.) Big minus is the lack of a public API.
My Newsvine presence: rickeyre.newsvine.com
Flickr: My online picture gallery of choice for about four years now, and the one that I generally use for cross-posting of photos to Twitter et al. Unlike Twitpic, Yfrog and similar, I like the fact that it is an established site (backed by Yahoo!) not wholly reliant on the Twitter API and its ability to withstand transient growth in bandwidth demands. Nonetheless, I still have only 190 photos on Flickr at this time, and will need to shell out $US25 per annum for a Flickr Pro account once I pass 200 if I want more than just the latest two hundred photos to display publicly. Worth it? Maybe.
An important plus for Flickr is its respect for intellectual property (taking notes, Zuckerberg?) - you can set a default of full copyright or varieties of creative commons rights, and make configure the reproduction rights for each pic individually. I regard that as important.
My Flickr presence: www.flickr.com/photos/rickeyre.
LinkedIn: Unsure about this. Seems to be pitching itself as an upmarket Facebook for "professionals", though I suspect the late Dr Samuel Johnson was on the money when he tweeted posthumously on 4 February 2010, that it was a "ghostly Coffee-House of Commerce where the recently unemploy'd remind the World of their Existence". One main difference for me between LinkedIn and Facebook that I do more connecting with people I have never met before (although many of my connections are with past colleagues). While ever there is no Zuckerbergian tinkering with LinkedIN's privacy settings, I'll give it some more time to prove itself.
Youtube: For me, more a television substitute than a "social medium". I have an account but have barely posted any videos of my own, and have no future plans to do so. I find its value as a "video blog" very awkward, though I find its embed facility very useful - see the many entries on this website in the series "Youtube do dia" (broken Portuguese for "youtube of the day").
My Youtube presence - www.youtube.com/rickeyre.
Orkut: Google liked it, bought it, Waved goodbye and Buzzed off. Popular in India and Brazil. Less so elsewhere. Prognosis doubtful.
Orkut home page: orkut.com
My Orkut presence: http://www.orkut.com/Main#Profile?uid=1564962146779788898, which I have aliased to rickeyre.com/orkut.
WAYN: (acronym for Where Are You Now) I joined this briefly as a former work colleague kept inviting me. Essentially a dating site for what my generation would call "jet-setters". Not even remotely my scene. Account deleted. Not recommended. WAYN home page - wayn.com