Thursday, March 10, 2011

following and connecting

it seems that there are more and more ways of connecting with other people via one's beloved apple product and the miracle that is the internet. twitter, facebook, flickr, blogs, tumblr, but now also pinterest and instagram.  and now even etsy has this circles thing where you can see what those in your circle fave (it was about time on that one). but i have to say it all gets a bit muddy and confused. who am i following where? if people call themselves something different on one social media than on another, can i find them?

there are some sites that attempt to consolidate (hootsuite), but i find it clunky and it doesn't make me want to forget about going to the real site (like flickr stackr does on the iPad - i could never go to flickr again and be perfectly happy - at least for browsing - or tweetdeck, which is way better than the real interface for twitter). plus, hootsuite doesn't let me add everything i'd like to - like pinterest, tumblr, instagram, flickr. it really only consolidates twitter and facebook and linked-in and i'm not that interested in consolidating those. tho' there is a tiny overlap of audiences on those three, largely, i consider them different audiences and i don't want to broadcast the same status updates or photos on all three.

i've never really been that comfortable with the term followers - it has a messianic tone that i'm not that keen on. it also can (in the case of blogger after one is named blog of note) place an undue (and perhaps artificial and only in one's own head) pressure to lead. and to be honest, i'm blogging mostly for the sake of my sanity (tho' i do love that there are people reading and commenting on it, don't get me wrong), so i don't always want to have to post cheery, motivational, leaderly things. i'm mostly thinking out loud here.

i think we are moving towards the one set of followers world because more and more sites let you log in using your gmail or twitter or facebook account. i like that, because then i don't have to remember oodles of different log-ins and passwords. that said, it also feels a little bit like the borg are taking over and it's only a matter of time before we're assimilated into the giant hive mind that is the internet. that whole notion of assimilation grows increasingly touchy here in denmark what with our new "integration" minister wanting us all to assimilate (but that's the stuff of another post).

and what affect does all of this opportunity to social network have on the blogging world? i read recently a pessimistic piece on the future of the blog. it had actually appeared in the new york times, so it must be true, right? and i would say that i think the blogosphere has changed since i began blogging in earnest in 2008. a lot of the blogs that i followed back then are now dormant. a lot of the circle i interacted with has drifted away (thankfully not all of it) and i have drifted as well. i read less blogs and comment less, possibly because i'm busy browsing tumblr, which doesn't prompt comments in the same way, or pinning pretty things on pinterest. maybe my bloggy social circle has moved to flickr. and i'm getting the interaction i once got through blogging over there.

or maybe because blogs feels a bit more commercial and like they're trying to capture the attention of those who might award fabric lines or book contracts and less real, nitty gritty and personal these days. and on some instinctive level, i'm turned off by that. i think there is a place for commercial interests in blogging - i guess i love blogs where people share their handmade work and encourage you to visit their etsy shop - because i think there's still something honest and good about that kind of individual creative interest. but there's an awful lot of showing off going on out there.

however, i'm beginning to ramble and this is just the beginning of some thoughts on this whole thing that i've had tumbling in my head for awhile.

and if you want to find me any of the aforementioned places, just look for julochka. i'll probably be drooling over beautiful things on pinterest.


Elizabeth said...

Need to keep reading your blog just to get an update on what is happening in blogosphere, haha!!!!

About this integrations stuff. Maybe these very polite Danes should learn that integration is a TWO way street. No one is able to integrate when they keep the door locked for those who are knocking!!!!

Barb said...

Hi J, I agree that I'm not at all interested in the more commercial blogs. The ones I like to visit most are the personal ones with real life stories. I don't really care if they like this product or that product.

Unknown said...

FlipBoard (for iPad). It will literally change the way you view everything on the Internet.

Anonymous said...

I recently returned to blogging after a 3+ year hiatus. I agree that it is entirely different now than when I left the blogosphere. So much more filling a niche/advertising, so much less personal thoughts/spontaneity.

It saddens me when I think about how blogging has changed, but it also makes me feel much more free to be me-- do what I want-- be a quiet voice of sanity amid the noise.

Numinosity said...

It is interesting how it's all starting to intersect for me with the networking and blogging. I all but abandoned my Etsy shops in favor or blogging which was so much more satisfying for my facetime on the internet.
Now that I decided to boost up my shops again I found that I have a much better platform for sharing my wares should anybody be interested. I just happened to walk back into the Etsy world as the "circles" were being launched and I must say it's pleasing me and keeping me more engaged in the idea of selling online.
Unfortunately I'll be returning to dial-up in the near future and all this online progress will slide to a screaming crawl.
Meanwhile I ought to check out pinterest and Tumblr while I still can!
xoxo Kim

P.S. Thanks for adding me to your circle :)

celkalee said...

Ditto. I think. I blog to track myself, keep me focused. I entered the realm late, working 60+ hour weeks left only time for sleep and a little laundry. I totally enjoy most blogs, they inspire me. I crave others thoughts and insight. This is the way for me to learn, everyday. In my mind if the activity does not inspire or teach me something, I can find a better way to spend my time. I am less and less inspired by those blogs that have essentially turned into forums for advertising. I found you Julie, quite by accident, because of your photography. You have great talent. My blog name comes off of my old google account so one may see me as celkalee or corrine. Beyond that, I'm just the lady with 12 unfinished quilts screaming from their Ikea storage containers!!

Char said...

i've moved away from flickr...i don't know why really but it was so much to keep up with that i couldn't do it anymore. i post some - mostly to share just photography and not my thoughts. but i love my blog. tweets are infrequent. as is tumblr ...i have applied for a pinterest, but i'm not sure.

Lynette said...

This is a thoughtful piece -- thanks for sharing.

will said...

Dear Borg,

At this time I must refuse joining the many new sharing sites with you and the rest of the Borgettes. Oh, I can see the value of these sites ... if they are artificially important to you, that is.

For now I will continue with my rarely visited blogs and tumblr sites, all of which are eclectically just me and stuff I like.

Sammi said...

I have just been finding it hard lately to find time to blog, and also with a lack of time and only working and sleeping, it seems through the winter months, less to blog about!! I hope to get back into it because I don't want to be updating my life in 140 characters a la twitter or facebook status'... i am trying to get back into using my livejournal (my private blog that i've had for years) and then maybe i'll finally get back into blogger too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I've been thinking about blogs lately too, and questioning whether I need one. It seemed like a good idea in the beginning, a year or so ago, but now... I find myself not so sure.

Mel said...

Your blog is one that's inspired me over time... I've always loved your tag "an unexamined life..." I didn't feel like I could be really honest with my old blog once it got attached to my real name; too many possible employment repercussions - can't afford the risk while I'm paying off debts and figuring shit out. I'm much more interested in honest process and conversation right now, and I'm happy to have the freedom to do so again - and to see other people doing the same, in spite of the "death of the blog" tho it does seem to be going that way in the knitting blog community.

Andi said...

I think this is a really insightful post, I don't have anything to add, it just makes me want to think on this further. I get social media fatigue as well in terms of trying to remember who I follow where and would love to have one place to keeps all that info, but then again giving that control over to company X feels scary as well. I can tell you one thing for sure, my blog reading has taken a serious hit since my addiction to Pinterest began!

Pia K said...

lots of things here that i have been thinking about too, in brilliant minds...;)

* to be able to keep track on who/where/what at the same place would be a bliss! and what's up with people having different usernames, really? different passwords yes, but in case you have something naughty going on, why have different usernames... that said, i'm with you on the thought of the borg too:)

* i'm totally with you on the follower thing, messianic and i too blog for my sanity. i did back in 2005 when i started, but it took a while to find my voice, i had hiatuses, other commitments so i think one can say i began blogging for real in late 2006. and no i'm not at all proud with a lot of what i wrote back then. i don't think i was really comfortable with the media somehow. but it's still there. it's a work in progress. i know i've discussed this with other bloggers before, the feeling of "having to" be cheerful and inspiring all the time. conclusion then, and i still feel like that, is that you really haven't. the things you write through, whether upbeat or blue, it has to ring true and personal (but not intimate) to be interesting/worth reading.

* gosh, do i hate commercialized blogs or do i hate them, brimming with bling and ads, i so shy away from them and i feel sad when i can't continue reading blogs i've enjoyed because suddenly they're for sale showing all sorts of obnoxious ads i'm not the least bit interested in. and really, i NEVER push an ad button, do i want information i google or follow links in a text. it just makes me sad with blogs up for sale like that. yes i have been known to seel a minor few of margin textlinks ads, for stuff i'm ok with. they don't spoil the layout or make thinks look cheap and for sale. but all and all, so not what i think good blogs are about.

* i do read more blogs now than i did before, but i've always been good at sifting, because i really do not have the time to read more, do more, be more active online i feel. and pinterest, really, the few months i've been there i quickly realised it's too addictive for my sanity. i could spend all day clicking, liking, browsing. so i'm not there that often. at all.

end of looong comment:)