I haven’t been writing here, but the truth is I haven’t been writing anywhere. After the public launch of micro.blog, I had basically moved to that service for all my online social needs, but in the end I didn’t need a better social network, I needed no social network. I enjoyed the “just-like-early-Twitter” banter that took place on micro.blog, but I didn’t need it and the more we study social media, the more it becomes apparent that we shouldn’t need it nor should we force ourselves to be a part of a conversation about which we care little.
That’s unfair. I cared about the conversations, but like any addictive substance, I learned the best way for me to kick the habit was to get rid of my access to it altogether.
So let’s just get this out of the way: the big names in social media are all terrible companies. The worst part about that statement is the fact that I do not have to name them; you all know the companies I am referring to. I have started to systematically delete those accounts. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t care. These decisions are always about highly-personal cost-value propositions. Does this service provide enough value to you to deal with the issues that are apparent in your use of them? If the answer is yes, fine. If the answer is no, don’t keep accounts out of some misplaced loyalty or historic precedents or peer pressure; delete them.
Also, don’t tell anyone. Those people who notice and reach out to you, even if just to ask why, are the people to keep in your now more physical social circle.
I really appreciate the recent resurgence of open web technologies; see RSS, email, anything related to micro.blog, and other protocol-based technologies.
So if you’d like to reach out, feel free.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.