Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tap tap...

So I faithfully write a 3-4 page post every 9 days and post it here, using my phone, and when I stop to admire my work -- gone.  Nothing. Well, that'll learn me for putting too much faith in technology. Still, I was using a rotary phone and it was incredibly difficult to get my hard returns to format correctly. So annoying.

This is the problem with social media, or perhaps the 'net experience in general: Convenience juggled with content, juggled with audience. I could just switch on Foursquare and let my phone leave a digital crumb trail, but the only people who care about where I am right now are right next to me, right now (unless I'm Christmas shopping -- don't look, kids). Or I could step it up a notch, cry Twitter and let slip the tweets of war. It's convenient but content suffers. I won't tweet TXT SPK and it's always a struggle to get it under 140 characters. Facebook gives me a little more room to prattle on, but I keep the settings locked so serendipity won't help strangers stubble upon my bon mots (read: political rants and ecard funnies). Pinterest? Nah. No one wants to see what I ate for dinner last night or the colors I've picked out for the bathroom remodel.

So that brings me back here, my Webbed Legions. My readership (both of you) know I'm not the most verbose of bloggers but already I'm past the "tl;dr" mark for Facebook. Here, I'll throw in a kitten picture as a reward for keeping up with me this long.

Maybe the solution to a balanced web presence is to compartmentalize, designate specialties. I have a LinkedIn account for business; that's a no-brainer. I've already resolved to use my Google+ account as a resource for my science and maker habits. By now I've reaching the point where most of the people who haven't unfriended me on Facebook are close friends and family, so I'll connect with them there. And I've never seen a better format than Twitter for humor. Arab Springs aside, it's like it was just made for one-liners and puns.

Note that this is all based on content, not format. Yes, YouTube reigns for videos but I'd much rather catch an embedded a video than browse their listings (and don't ever, ever read the comments). And Flickr is great for maintaining photo albums but have they ever figured out how to link through to other venues? I haven't checked recently but I doubt it. They're not still shacked up with Yahoo, are they?

See, it's not these elements alone -- not just videos, not just photos, not just prose -- the real trick is in joining them into something more. Like my friend in the picture above: it's not enough just to have a picture of a pudgy, annoyed cat. You need the caption. But more than anything, you need an audience.

...Is this thing on?