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.