So, I’ve been fiddling with various online social media thingies for the last while and here, in no particular order, is my perspective.

Profile of user: 40-something, intermittently grouchy, business user. Information hungry, with a low, low, loooowtolerance for twaddle. Good writing and intermittent humour essential. No nonsense? Don’t waste my time? Get to the point? Probably all fair assessments.

The Tools:

Facebook – I’ve tried to get the point, I really have. But it just seems to be a gargantuan time-wasting wank-machine to me. Or is it just me? I keep getting invitations to see what kind of superhero / big cat / Simpsons character I am likely to be. Okay, so some of those sound fun, but none of these steenking apps will let you try the little test without signing up for the app and spamming everyone on your friends list with the wretched thing. People have busy lives, I am certainly not going to inflict this kind of twaddle upon them … they’re supposed to be my friends! [I had to remove Robert Scoble from my friends list as his extraordinary catalogue of daily activities was completely swamping my frontpage on Facebook. Sorry Robert.] Please, someone, tell me what Facebook is for and what it is useful or good for. I’m going to be uncharacteristically generous and assume that it ‘smarvellous and ‘swonderful and that I am completely missing the point. Help.

Linkedin – Useful, concise, no-nonsense [harumph!]. Very useful for a quick backgrounder on people. Some nice business leads generated as a result of it and I note a fair bit of background checking being done on me using it.

Slideshare – Very handy [for the 40-something, grouchy, businessy type] with uploading and keeping track of my presentations being simplicity itself. I like the new privacy controls that will allow me to direct an audience from a talk or lecture to a particular set of slides that the general public can’t access. I also love the way that people can access and direct their readers / attendees to particular slideshows. Two of mine that have featured heavily are my PowerPoint shouldn’t be used in all situations Cinderella slides which Alan from CogDogBlog is now using as part of an ongoing series on communication and my thoughts on Visuals in PowerPoint which have now been translated into Spanish by [thank you for all your work] Rapunzell.

Twitter – It seems so pointless to me that I confess I’ve never really tried it. What am I missing?

Zoominfo / Spock / Pipl / Wink / Naymz – Yadda yadda whadevah. I have no idea what the traffic levels or traction is for these sites, but I’m not seeing any kind of activity regarding my minuscule involvement, so I’m just leaving them as holding pages.

YouTube – I’ve only put up a few clips [this one has had over 750,000 views], but I do love the idiot-proof functionality and the embedding and linking. I have no doubt that YouTube will be eviscerated by the Copyrighteous at some point in the not too distant future but in the meantime, I find it truly valuable.

Blogger – Superb, in every way. Quick, easy and marvellously user-friendly. I use WordPress for my all-too-rare posts on Lifehack, but I haven’t been tempted as yet to migrate my blog over to that platform. Blogger is sufficiently feature-rich and sufficiently simple to keep me happy for some time to come.

Technorati – very, very nifty. If I get linked to from another blog or someone is generous enough to comment here, it’s really handy to be able to look them up and get a sense of whether they are a lone-gunman-on-the-rooftop type or a healthy member of the blogging community. I read somewhere that Guy Kawasaki checks his Technorati stats umpteen times a week to see if he’s still holding his position (top 50 for links, top 20 for most favourited as of five minutes ago Guy). I don’t check quite that often, but it’s very handy to see who’s been linking to me and one day, when I break the top 10000, top 1000 or top 100 …

Delicious – In a word, magnificent. As a regular user of four different computers, online bookmarking is an invaluable tool.

Digg – I’ve never had a peaky mountainous spike of traffic because of Digg, but all the bloggers I talk to who have say it’s a worthless flash in the pan driven by a bunch of people with Attention Deficit Disorder. I’ve used it as a search tool a handful of times when I’ve come up dry with my usual sources, but overall … naaaah.

Flickr – I haven’t put much stuff up there myself, but the wealth of creative commons material I have come across on this wonderful site equates to the treasure of the Sierra Madre in my book. I have a few friends who are serious users, contributors, reviewers and advisers on all matters photographic on Flickr and that makes my paltry understanding of its value look pretty shabby. Wonderful, wonderful resource.

Google Reader – The lifesaver of lifesavers.

Stumbleupon – Great fun [oops is my harumphing 40-something serious-minded mask slipping a bit here?], but I suspect similar to Digg in terms of the quality of traffic it provides.

Opinions? Experiences? Thoughts? Do share …