Monday, December 20, 2010

Delicious lessons: Why it's important to stay flexible and try new social media tools

If you were among those taken aback by Yahoo's apparent decision to end or sell off bookmarking site Delicious (leaked last week, then sort-of denied by Yahoo), you're not alone. There's a smart lesson or two here for communicators and social-media managers to consider, chief among them whether you are making the mistake of falling in love with just one or two tools, site features or apps.

Social media's getting mature enough that it has its own versions now of people clinging to typewriters and fountain pens. But companies and suppliers come and go, free options get replaced by paid ones, your favorite site may be bought up and left unloved (like my beloved FriendFeed) by its new owners, which means diminishing functionality and poor service. Even a robust service like Facebook will continue changing its options (as in its decision to get page administrators to move away from FBML as a publishing tool).

Your job? Dave Fleet notes it's best not to put all your social-media eggs in one basket. I'd take it a step further and say that you should solve two problems at once:  Keep trying new social media tools, not just to stay on top of trends and new options, but to make sure your options are wide open when a favorite site can no longer support you. Don't play favorites. And do get some great backup systems (more than one).  I use Backupify for most social sites, but I also archive tweets in Google Reader and use Evernote to retain things on a long-term basis.

What are you using to backup your social posts, explore new sites and move out of Delicious? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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