Chris Brogan and Darren Rowse have been discussing the concept of home bases and outposts to describe the use of Social Media in their daily routines. Darren talked about the concepts of homebases and outposts in his post: Home Bases and Outposts: How I Use Social Media in My Blogging. From the post:
A home base is a place online that you own, that is your online ‘home’. For me my home bases are blogs but for others they will be other types of websites.
Outposts are places that you have an online presence out in other parts of the web that you might not ‘own’.
Chris Brogan also talks about the concept of Outposts in his post, Using Outposts in Your Media Strategy. Chris explains that an outpost is another way to define a social media service that brings awareness to the homebase, much like an outpost in mulitary terms.
I decided to go a step further and add in the frontier. Dictionary.com describes frontier as:
A: the part of a country that borders another country; boundary; border.
B: the land or territory that forms the furthest extent of a country’s settled or inhabited regions.
My social media definition of frontier: a website or service you have a presence on but rarely go. This is a site where you may have an RSS feed plugging your most-used social networks (Twitter) or your blog. The concept of frontier can be compared to Chris Brogan’s idea of a passport but shed in a little different light.
Above you will see an illustrated example of my use in Social Media. This is a mesh between Chris and Darren’s ideas, as well as my previous idea of the 4 Touch Points Model for productivity in social media.
In order to stay productive in Social Media I try to use four sites that cater to four different aspects of my life: education, social development, business interaction, and business productivity. You can read more about what these four sites mean in my being productive post. The four social media sites where you spend the most time would be categorized as outposts. I use the “home base” to center my four outposts and vice versa.
The frontier sites sit on a completely different level. Examples could range anywhere from Digg to Technorati or even Twitter. The frontier is a place where you have a presense (RSS FEED) but you have not cultivated the actually site in regards to your time. They also represent different combinations (overlaps) of the outpost sites.
This is a work in progress and I would love your thoughts. What should be added? How do you use social media? I am open for ideas! What is your outposts and frontiers?