It has been interesting to watch the shifting in preferred 'social media' platforms (I'm beginning to hate that term) over the past year or so, between personal blogs to Facebook to Twitter to the TurfNet.com Forum (and sometimes back again). And Linked-In is in the midst of that somewhere.
Some guys have posted on their blogs that they have "moved" to Twitter and will be posting in their blogs infrequently at best moving forward. "Easier and more convenient" are commonly cited reasons. Perhaps for posting, but I find I have to scroll through a whole lot of nonsense to find tidbits of value from others. It is, however, the best way to quickly share photos... the feature I enjoy most about it.
Facebook seems to have come and gone, quickly morphing from a cool, must-use platform of the young to a photo scrapbook for grandparents (a bit of an exaggeration, but not that much of a stretch). I all but abandoned FB over a year ago after finding lost souls who were once important in my life, catching up with them, and from then on finding it a tedious time sink.
I've never really been able to figure out the utility of Linked-In, although I've heard some say it has been beneficial for them in a job search or career change. I have 738 connections (all unsolicited by me) on there and I'm pretty darn sure I don't know 738 people.
Then there's our Forum, which, like some of the blogs, has seen a portion of our members move away from for various reasons, while our core group (the makeup of which changes over time) finds it best for conversation, camaraderie and serious Q&A.
Seems to me there are viable reasons for all, and all can (and should) enjoy a symbiotic position in your communication arsenal.
No doubt, Twitter is the preferred manner of communicating quick course condition updates and the like to your members, assuming they use Twitter and follow you (an educational process unto itself). A blog post would be an OK but more cumbersome second choice, FB maybe, and our Forum completely useless (and inappropriate) for that purpose.
Abandon a blog completely in favor of Twitter? I'm not so sure that's wise. A personal blog is much better for documenting course maintenance procedures, problems you might be having (and solutions enacted), and informing your membership of same. And perhaps most importantly, it leaves a "paper" trail should any issues arise in the future with questions about whether or not the membership was properly informed.
And then there's the Forum, which many still find best for sharing of tips and tricks and problem solving when the 140 characters of Twitter posts either doesn't cut it or makes a "conversation" overly fractured and fragmented. Plus it creates an archive of experience and opinion for future reference. But of course I'm somewhat biased...
Having been a mainstay of the TurfNet Experience almost since Day One, the Forum has fostered MANY friendships over the years (as evidenced by our Beer & Pretzels Gala), while solving a heckuva lotta problems as well.
Perhaps the best (unmentioned) feature of our Forum is the quality of the people. No doubt our membership fee acts as a filter to screen out the casual and uncommitted. The result is dialog, suggestions and solutions that by-and-large one can TRUST... and that's an advantage the other platforms will never achieve.