Fragmenting my public face

As I cultivate relationships across a wide variety of web 2.0 platforms, I am increasingly asking myself what the relationship with each “connection” or “friend” means. For example, it’s very clear what it means on LinkedIn — either we did business together, or would like to do business together, or at the very least, met in a professional context. It gets a bit muddier on Facebook, where I have “friended” people I went to grade school with as well as current close friends, and professional colleagues. Twitter, which I will refer to as a micro-blog platform for ease of understanding, is a particularly intimate place for me where I have sometimes denied connecting with people that I know, because I intentionally want to keep that community small.

Twitter is where I might just blurt things out, and even though it is in the realm of possibility that one of my Twitter connections might pass my “tweets” on, it is highly unlikely. So amid the wild seas of web 2.0 and the trends of exposing everything, I have attempted to carve out a space where I can quietly mutter to myself (and trusted associates) and hope it will all be fine.

Regarding Twitter and so many of these other web 2.0 services, the sense of timing is pivotal. My “tweets” on Twitter seem hardly relevant the next day, since they might have been referring to something so specific to a moment. Also in a space where you are limited to 240 characters, it can be difficult to be explicit about what you are referring to, though read in the context of the time of day, or based on how quickly a tweet appears after another may provide other clues.

I looked back through my archive and found a few recurring themes and somewhat interesting thoughts which I thought I’d share here, with everyone, a random selection of what I share in what I consider to be my online “safe space”:

  • Eagerly anticipating the haircut.
  • Getting excited about tomorrow’s opening at Canada House.
  • Unwinding.
  • Looking for recipes involving polenta.
  • Sitting on a pile of Krugerrands.
  • Planning + plotting.
  • Watching the rugby at a pub in Manchester.
  • Evolving into a true microwave gourmet.
  • Really irritated by Imogen Heap’s voice and wishing would quit playing her.
  • Terrible weather outside contributing to productivity inside.
  • Unable to shake hangover.
  • Trying to remember how to do proper MLA citation.
  • Waxing poetic.
  • There is the biggest rainbow outside my train window as Arcade Fire crescendoes in my earphones – I love life.
  • Looking at food porn.
  • Thinking of naming my imaginary band “Incompetent Terrorist”.

It’s all fairly unremarkable, like everyone else’s tweets. In fact, you would only care about them if you really cared about me. For me, I suppose, that’s the allure of a service like Twitter: I have finally found a place in the web 2.0 world where it might really simply just be about sharing in an honest, open way, with people who might give a damn. And that feels good.


You know what?

…this blog has largely become a dumping ground for me to promote the latest and greatest things I’m involved in, with very little insight or commentary.* I’ve been re-reading some of the old posts on this blog, and I have realised that I used to write rather lengthy and impassioned posts about a wide range of things that are interesting or relevant to me. Those essay-style posts are far more entertaining and valuable to me (and, I imagine, to readers as well) than the recent announcement-style posts. It’s too early for a new year’s resolution, but I just wanted to state for the record (and for the handful of readers that might have been with me all along) that I see how this blog has evolved, I’m not too satisfied with it, and will be trying to return to the original tone and range of content. Wish me luck.

* I think there may be a few notable exceptions, but the balance has definitely been tipping as of late.


Blog purgatory

I know that there is simply no way I will ever complete all of the draft posts I have sitting in my blog database. It’s pure blog purgatory, where I toy with some of these posts once every few months, but they never reach a postable state. In fact, most of these drafts are just titles, with no body to them at all, or body text consisting of one line to remind me what the post should be about. This paucity of text combined with the passage of time (every day a small sip of the water of Lethe), makes the probability that these posts will ever be completed quite low. The titles of these unfinished posts confront me each time I open my blog software as a series of blazing headlines demanding attention. The last time I looked at them all, it occurred to me they might be worth sharing in and of themselves – and so, here they are:

  • Aggrandization of the oppositional
  • Smallweb Part Two
  • What’s in a name?
  • Dust
  • Hyperbole
  • Why this blog is not very interesting anymore
  • Supermodel taking a shit

Whew! There, I feel better, after sharing that with you.
Who knows – maybe someday, some of them will get written, now that I’ve outed how much is in the queue.