I Feel Like I Should Have This Figured Out

With all the drama around claims that blogging is dead I find myself more confused than ever about content production, sharing, and everything in between. As someone who embraces the whole idea of sharing stuff, you’d think I wouldn’t be at such odds with myself over a few basics. I find myself constantly struggling with the notion that this blog can be the home for nearly all of my stuff … yet I go out and start a photo blog, start pumping content into Tumblr, and ignore posting to the one place that is under my control.

photo_blogI’ve been really trying to figure out why I find it so difficult to use my own space right here to post one liners, links to interesting things, pictures I really want to share, and these longer posts. Blogging is not dead in my mind as there should always be a place to track ideas and share thoughts. But as I engage in more and more online communities I wonder why I can’t just settle on something instead of continuing to fracture my online identity across Facebook, wordpres.com, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and on and on.

I understand the value of the embedded community, but at the end of the day everything I post here automatically finds its way to Twitter and everything that finds its way to Twitter finds its way into my Facebook profile. Those are probably my two largest sources of visitors and consist of the people I am looking to share stuff with (other than the handful of people who either show up here every now and then or subscribe via RSS). So, I ask myself again and again why can’t I see this space as a place to just drop pictures, videos, links, and random short thoughts? I just can’t seem to figure this one out. Anyone else in that boat?

7 thoughts on “I Feel Like I Should Have This Figured Out

  1. For me, it’s more about multiple facets of self. If I’m ahead of the curve, you’re light years before most of us realize there is a curve. Still, I use my Renegade blog for mostly professional–or at least PSU-related–thoughts/posts/works, and my Flickr account is readily accessible from Renegade. My Posterous blog is for the persoanl detritus of my life, those things I see as I’m out and about; a photo essay of the “2go” aspect of Robin2go, if you will. These are fleeting images; not necessarily things that are memorable long term, but memorable in the moment of me. For some reason, in my mind it works well with Twitter, as a secondary running commentary. A very distant third is Facebook; I don’t really care for it as a platform, but it is what it is, and people want to connect with me there, so I go there to be connected with. (Notice the structure there; I’m there for others more than I’m there for me.)

    Do I really care that I don’t put ALL my content in one place? No, actually, I don’t. I think that’s the power of the internet, and the essence/power of decentralizing content. After all, how many times have we said we don’t think a LMS is effective? If I can only be found in one place, I have far less chance of having an impact on the conversation than if you can find me on multiple platforms. But Twitter is (currently) The Great Connector; as you point out, everything automatically finds its way to Twitter and, as a result, finds its way to Facebook for those people outside my everyday circle who don’t get my updates any other way. Am I worried if one of those links ceases to exist? Nope. Something else will take its place. I back up images before they go to Flickr, and I back up my portfolio. Everything else, sooner or later, simply becomes dust in the ethers.

  2. I have content scattered all over the web as well, but I think that’s a result of the simple fact that different tools are optimized to achieve specific tasks, and I’d prefer efficient decentralized tools/content to the inefficiencies of trying to centralize all of my content. I can always use various aggregators and blog tools to bring it all back together.

    One example. I’m not going to upload all of my pictures into a blog when I can use Picasa to upload them into different online albums which have independent permission controls. I’m going to leverage, for me, the efficiency of Picasa and upload my pictures easily/quickly, and then add a quick link to the album when/where needed.


  3. Thanks to both of you for your comments! I guess what I am searching for is something that lets me live in between the total personal content managed postings of a real blog post and the throw away things that gets dumped into Twitter. As an example, I installed a plugin for WP today called miniposts that let’s me create a blog post that doesn’t make it to the front page like a normal post, but still gets included in the auto tweet of my site and lives on forever in this space. I made three such miniposts today and each one got a comment … that is the kind of thing I am after — a place to put things that are worthy of some conversation, but aren’t baked enough to take up real estate on the front of the blog.

    I’ll keep playing with it, but I am liking this kind of functionality for now. And @cmduke I totally agree with the right tool for the right job argument. This would never replace Flickr. And @Robin2go I love the notion of the “2go” portion of you is the “walking around” stuff you want to share … it is very cool (and don’t underestimate how far around the curve you actually are!). What I am wondering about is if I need a middle ground. That’s what I’ll be looking at over the next few days.

  4. You know. I struggle with this as well. Things finally started to come together for me when I decided that I was going to have one blog space with two over-arching categories and a heavy reliance on tags.

    For me the struggle with being fragmented is I feel sparse. Do you know what I mean? I felt so scattered that I did not feel like I was “there”. I think that was a big reason why my other blogs failed.

    So this go around I’ve been putting in everything–thoughts on higher education, running fitness, style, and even little mini stories–and I have to tell you it just feels right. This approach works for me.

    • Jeff … I’ve been watching your new blog and I like it very much … the way you are mixing things in make it more inviting to me. I’m looking for that flow and am hopeful that it is somewhere just right around the corner. Like I mentioned to David, the minipost (or Little Ones as I am calling them) are helping me get more of what I look at in this space. A lot like the 2go piece that Robin discusses. What I do like about all this is that it still feels really good to be participating even if I’m not sure of where and how to do it perfectly. Is there such a thing?

  5. It spews out — sometimes with more volume and viamence than other times. I travel, and the photos go out to Flickr, with a few representatives to Facebook. I twitter with mood, sometimes a lot, and some days on end not at all. The blog is where I think, because I need more words to think with.

    But what I struggle with is, “Where is my soul?” Where is the center. I tendril out in all these directions, but where am I.

    I keep coming back to some yet uninvented application that is profile only — attached to everything else that is me, automatically, seamlessly, but letting the air in at the same time.

    • You just nailed it for me … I love having all these great platforms at my fingertips that do one thing so well, but what I feel like we lack is a place where the things that are important to us come to rest. I’m trying something new with my miniposts here, but the process is cumbersome compared to Flickr, Twitter, FB, and the like. I feel like sooner or later I’ll get it figured out, but I am still struggling.

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