Two Social Networks Diverged In The Woods

confusion demotivational poster

One of the projects I’ve had puttering on the back burner this summer has been what to do about my personal laptop. It’s a 13″ MacBook Pro that’s just finished its 3-year Applecare warranty. Although so far (knock wood!) it’s running just fine, being out of warranty means it’s time to do some thinking about what next.

Thanks to this year’s crop of hardware choices, what to do about replacing it has been a much harder decision than I expected. What I really want is a 15″ Macbook Air, but sadly that’s not an option. Hence my dilemma.

So over the weekend, Scott & I took a ride down to Palo Alto, where a Microsoft Store and an Apple Store sit side by side. We took a good hard look at the options. I came away more impressed than I thought I’d be by one of the Samsung ultrabooks (this one, if you’re curious). And then, like many confused people these days, I hit up my social networks for feedback. The results were interesting.

I posted essentially the same question on Facebook, Google+, and Both in terms of amount and quality of feedback, both Google+ and smoked Facebook. At first that seemed surprising, but then it occurred to me that this was actually good validation of the “Strength of Weak Ties” theory.

The other interesting aspect was that I got very different answers on the different networks. The thread on Google+ leaned strongly towards the Samsung laptop, whereas’s denizens were firm Apple advocates.

And then, when I was thinking about this, a related post hit my Twitter stream about being hooked on the familiar. Marco’s main focus is PHP, but the broader point is true for operating system changes as well. When the choice is a familiar OS on a form factor I don’t want, or a less familiar OS on a form factor I do want, the pull of the familiar makes the choice a lot harder than it should be.

One thought on “Two Social Networks Diverged In The Woods”

  1. Rachel, As someone who has spent the last year struggling with a move from Microsoft to Apple I can understand why the familiar is a good choice. Yes, lots of friends were telling me that Apple was better and some ways it is. But reprogramming yourself that is an entirely different issue, especially when like us you do more than click on a few icons.

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