Facebook and web sites and Twitter, oh my. The intarwebs feature a lot of channels of information these days, and it seems that in recent years the web has been sort of polarizing around a few of them. I tend to overwhelmingly use four of these channels, and in so doing have come to see the strengths and weaknesses in them. I mention this not to promote my new internet marketing seminar (I’m not, because I just made that up), but because I spatter this web site with links to my Facebook page and Twitter feed, and you might want to know why they’re relevant. And also because I’ve just started working as the internet voice for my very good friends at Super Genius Games, for which I’ll be using largely the same tools.

So let’s start with me. Cause, you know, it’s me.

  • This web site is a great place for me to tell you stuff. I own the space, and can go into as much detail as I like. I love your comments—seriously, I await them breathlessly every day—but conversations on a web site tend to be short and not too immediate. Mostly, I talk to you.
  • On the other hand, Twitter is a conversation tool. It’s the place for people to talk to each other live and in (virtual) person. If you talk to me here, or on Facebook, or a message board, I might answer in an hour or a day. But if we’re talking on Twitter it’s a live chat. Twitter is fine for shooting out announcements, but they’re mostly just directing you to other places (like this). So mostly, on Twitter, I talk with you. (In fact, in the time I’ve written the above few paragraphs, I’ve chatted with three or four friends on Twitter.) Did I mention you can reach me at @charlesmryan?
  • Facebook is kind of like the web, but, having its roots in a social network, even business-oriented pages need to have a more casual, less corporate feel to them. And the nature of Facebook posts make them shorter and more immediate than a web site. I use my Facebook page as a sort of writer’s journal: Whereas I post on this site a few times a week (when things are ticking along), choosing Topics of Grave Import, I usually post about the writing process on my Facebook page just about every time I write. Posts tend to be brief, spontaneous, and a bit more personal than the web site—but more in-depth than Twitter. And you can find them on Facebook at Charles M Ryan (no dot after the M).
  • The honorable mention goes to message boards, the internet grandaddy of all this social media stuff. Message boards are a great place for in-depth discussion and back-and-forth. I love me some message boards, and I’m active on a lot of them. But they’re someone else’s turf, so their relevance to any given user can ebb and flow. My ENworld handle is CharlesRyan; you can also find me on the WotC Community and I still drop in on UK Roleplayers.

So there you have it: It all makes sense now. These communication channels aren’t bewildering and redundant after all—they all have their own, wonderful strengths and uses!

That’s how I use these things for my own purposes, and probably how we’ll be using them at Super Genius as well. (You can hit us on Twitter at @SuperGeniusRPG. We’re also on Facebook and the web at the obvious addresses.) I find that a clear understanding of each channels helps me get the most out of them, both as a general-purpose user and a guy with a message to get out. Are you active across all of these channels, or do you keep a limit on it—and if so, why?

Comment below; you know you wanna! And receive an email notification of every update to this site by subscribing (see the link to the right). Converse with me on Twitter at @charlesmryan, or follow my writing diary on Facebook at Charles M Ryan.