It’s a shame that I can’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. Considering I spent 95% of my time this weekend in bed (that minor surgery and a surprise cold), I’m really not in any shape to do anything fun.
I spent most of the downtime either sleeping or screwing around on my macbook pro. I’ve really come to enjoy Pownce and twitter. It’s funny how people (myself included) resist new things like this. I didn’t really start this weblog until 2004 — I thought it was kind of silly, really. I also didn’t think it was all that different from what we all were doing for a while. The difference, I think, was the focus, which was on writing. The huge benefit for me personally was that it helped me keep up with friends — I had recently moved to Minnesota and was geographically separated from people I’d been around for 10+ years.
I’ve kind of resisted generic social networks, though not entirely. Myspace reminds people like me of Geocities, Angelfire and (worst of all) the 90s AOL-on-the-internet mentality. I don’t need to get into it — everyone knows that Myspace pages are an eyesore. Facebook is often touted as better, but it’s really not that different. I have zero interest in 99% of the facebook apps that get sent around.
On the other hand, they play a similar role that weblogs have played for me in that they help me keep up (and reconnect) with friends. I recently got back in contact with a friend with whom I hadn’t spoken for something like 4-5 years (except one brief phone call 2 years ago or so), simply because he signed up on Myspace.
What really drives me nuts about the Myspaces and Facebooks out there are that they really want to keep you on their sites. I understand their desire to do that, but it just feels too walled-in. Where are the RSS feeds? Why does Myspace email me when a friend has an upcoming birthday, but not identify who that person is in the email? Why the hell are they launching their own IM clients/protocols? I already have to use general IM clients to be on AIM, GTalk and Yahoo (though I may as well turn the Yahoo part off — I don’t think anyone I know uses it anymore).
Maybe that contributes to the wariness people have with trying new social network-like things out. I went through the trouble of creating a Friendster profile back in the day. And Orkut. And Yahoo! 360. And Myspace. And Facebook. I have an AIM account (2 actually). Yahoo IM. Jabber/GTalk. Hell, I still have an ICQ account (never use it, though).
That’s not even counting sites which have some elements of social networking — flickr, del.icio.us, slashdot, digg, linkedin, etc.
It gets messy and overwhelming. I have profiles on some of these sites which say that I work at Thomson West (haven’t worked there for 2 years).
I’m not saying that I want it all centralized. In fact, that’s kind of what I like about pownce and twitter — they don’t try to do too much. They don’t have extensive profiles to fill out.
On that note — I find myself unable to fill out seemingly simple fields on profiles now. Favorite music? I like a lot of music, but I don’t know that I care to enumerate it. Same with movies and books. And the worst — Interests. Interests? Seriously? I think maybe there was a time when I enjoyed filling those things out. Maybe I thought I was impressing someone? I don’t know.