My mom recently asked me, “What’s your favorite online social networking service?”
After thinking a few moments, I replied “Email.”
I’ve never had much presence on the web, even though it should have been easy to. I learned HTML a pretty long time ago, from a book that described the <TABLE> tag as a soon-to-be-released feature. Fancy web skills in hand, I managed to miss the dot-com boom pretty good. If I’d been paying attention, I could have struggled to attain some sort of fleeting on-paper millionaire status for a doomed online pet food delivery concern. I guess I went to college instead.
My point is, I’ve been around the internet long enough that I feel bad not having a real blog-type thing. But during the years where I was busy making fun of “blog” for being a stupid neologism, the online social space got complicated. Things used to be easy: if you wanted stuff on the web, you wrote some HTML files and you FTP’d them to the server. Maybe you had a fancy Perl script to make it easy to update the “news” page. Every now and then, some root exploit hosed your unpatched Red Hat install, and then you restored your site from draft versions recovered off an old hard drive. Things were so much simpler then!
Now, I’m paralyzed by choice. I’m not sure how many accounts I have on how many services. When I have something to say, should I post it on Facebook
? Something else? Heck, even Friendster periodically wakes up long enough to spit out some new terms of service notification. I guess they’re still in the market to be the hub of my social graph, too.
Burdened with accounts on multiple fancy Web 2.0 services, I start to worry about ridiculous things. Like, what happens if FriendFeed cross-posts to Twitter, and then Twitter updates to Facebook, will Facebook post the same message back to FriendFeed again? Is it possible to create a self-perpetuating loop if I add Google Reader
into the mix?
See? Complicated. You know what’s easy? Sending email.
Now, with my elaborate justification of blogging laziness in place, I’m ready to try an experiment. See, Posterous
lets me pretend that I’m just writing email, but when I hit send it’ll get posted to all the usual places. As a nice bonus, I get to compose using Gmail drafts on whatever computer I’m sitting near, which seems pretty swell. If this thing works, I might even post more than once this year. Maybe I’ll even write about something interesting.