Every so often I like to document my ever-evolving internet presence. Here’s how things stand at the moment. Click the flowchart to see it bigger; explanation is below.
I’m no great lover of FB, but I have a lot of friends and family who I can’t easily be in touch with any other way. For better or for worse, FB is a major center of social and informational gravity, a major feature of the landscape, and for all our complaints about privacy, I don’t see us abandoning it en masses.
Despite Yahoo’s neglect, this continues to be the internet’s most wonderful image storage and sharing tool, bar none. All the graphics I create for my blog live on Flickr, and the community there continues to be a lively one.
I don’t really know what to do with this yet, or whether I’m all that committed to it. I mostly just repost my blog posts and music there if I want to widen their reach, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
This frivolous-seeming iPhone app has turned into a steady source of creative gratification for me. Nine times out of ten I’d rather take Instagram photos than carry around a real digital camera. The iPhone is an awkward camera at best, but the pleasure of the filters and the instant sharing overcomes the app’s limitations. I automatically send all my photos to Tumblr and Flickr.
I’m not as active in the LinkedIn groups as I should be, But the news feed is intermittently interesting, the job postings are easy to use, and it’s a handy way to keep my professional contacts in one place.
Out of all the music sharing tools I’ve tried, this is the winner. Its embedded player is attractive and elegant, the timed comments feature is a nifty one, and it has a lively community. It plays very nicely with Tumblr, Facebook and Google+ too
I initially regarded Tumblr as a toy, a source of amusing internet memes and pictures of strange animals, but as I follow more people there, it’s becoming steadily more substantive. I’m starting to find full-blown essays and news there that I don’t see elsewhere. Also, the steady stream of science imagery is a daily pleasure. Effortless one-click reblogging is still the killer feature. Not too many people I know in real life follow me on Tumblr, so I automatically send all my posts there to Facebook — I wouldn’t anyone to miss a silly internet meme or picture of a strange animal.
While Facebook is good for being in touch with people I know, Twitter has been the best tool for me to get connected to people I don’t know. I’ve even made some valued real-life friends there, as well as a bunch of valuable professional connections. But mostly it’s a hub for ideas, news, gossip, hip-hop slang and pop cultural amusement. As the saying goes, Twitter is the golf course for geeks.
I use Instapaper constantly, and not just for offline reading — it’s a good way to make web pages more readable on the iPhone, especially Wikipedia articles. I didn’t list it here because it’s not really social, and I don’t publish anything on it.
I still make nominal use of Delicious, but it’s fallen far out of the regular rotation.
My WP blog continues to be the hub of my online life. I might post fragmentary or partial ideas elsewhere, and then they mature into complete thoughts here. Quora has been a really good source of blog fodder recently, and my old blog posts have been getting new life as Quora answers.