On social media mindcasting and lifecasting: it’s tricky

Jay Rosen Earlier this week I read a blog post by Bora Zivkovic titled Twittering is a difficult art form – if you are doing it right (which started with a tweet by Aaron Naparstek) and followed his link to Jay Rosen’s blog post from a year ago, Mindcasting: defining the form, spreading the meme. Rosen tweeted about it this week, too.

mindcasting I also re-read the March 2009 article in the LA Times, On Twitter, mindcasting is the new lifecasting.

  • Mindcasting (WordSpy definition): “Posting a series of messages that reflect one’s current thoughts, ideas, passions, observations, readings, and other intellectual interests.”
  • Lifecasting (Zivkovic definition): “to be in a continuous presence in a community of one’s liking.” Rosen extreme example: “what you had for breakfast or how much you hate Mondays.”

All this helped me rethink my own use of social media:

Among the people I follow on Twitter for business and civic-related issues, I don’t mind a little lifecasting (5%), especially among those who tweet several times a day. 

But I always unfollow anyone whose mix of tweets feels like a balance of lifecasting and mindcasting (unless they’re a family member or close friend) because then they’re expecting me to relate to their whole life… and I just don’t have the personal bandwidth for that.

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