Geeky Stuff

Caught in the Social Nets

mostlylisasocialnets
The other day I met up with an old friend from my Blades of Glory days who asked, “When did you get so geeky with all that stuff on the internet?” (he’s not so technologically inclined). “You used to be so… organic,” he continued. I’m not entirely sure what he meant by “organic”… i blended well with shrubbery… i smelled a bit like dirt… i was tasty, good for you, and wasn’t sprayed in loads of pesticides???

Whatever he meant, I’ll admit that I’ve gotten pretty intensely geeky with social nets over the last few years. My very first experience was with MySpace in 2004. I lasted one month. During that month, I received over 100 creepy messages from internet suitors and Sir Spam-a-Lot. That, and the design aesthetic alone, was enough to turn me off MySpace permanently. But having a small taste of an internet community started an insatiable hunger in me to connect and be heard.

After finishing graduate school, I had a wee bit of a “Post-University-WTF-do-I-do-with-My-Life-Now?!?” Crisis. I literally ran screaming from my MA defense all the way down the west coast to Anaheim, California, through the Disneyland gates, to Futureland and up the steps to Space Mountain, then across the park to Splash Mountain, then finally settled during Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Peter Pan was closed. Lame.)

This was the beginning of my “Return-to-Childhood-Shirk-All-Adult-Responsibilities” phase. So far it’s lasted 4 years. I may push it through 2008, just for good luck.

So after uni ended, I moved from Victoria to the big city of Vancouver to find work and I was lonely and needed a creative outlet so I started my first blog “they mostly come out at night… mostly @blogspot in November 2006. The community was immense, but I am a bit of an elitist snob so I moved to WordPress shortly thereafter. And it was in one of these blogging communities, that I read about the Facebook phenomenon.

I was most reluctant to join Facebook and put it off for quite some time. It’s reputation as an American college dating site really turned me off. But one day I joined, and ever since I’ve been moaning about it. For every good experience there seem to be 10 bad ones. The wasted time looking at crappy, poorly lit, drunken self-portraits kills me, yet I can’t seem to part with the random delight of connecting with some really cool people.

Which brings me to my beloved Twitter. On June 20, 2007, I began my journey with Twitter. I started out slow, twittering to myself in the wee hours. And then within a month, I got literally obsessed with tweeting my every move and @tweeting everyone elses’. ‘What are you doing?’ became ‘What are you wearing, eating, drinking, listening to, thinking about?’ and most importantly ‘What techno iGadget are you lusting after?’ It was brilliant. it changed my everyday mundane existence into a bright and shiny one that I could share with glittering iFriends. And they are so beautiful.

And that’s how it started. And from there it all went pear-shaped. I lost control and the beast started controlling me. I was literally signing up to a new social net everyday. I’d create a profile, surf for a bit, add a few friends, then I’d lose my password, get locked out, and forget about it all by the next morning when more fresh, crispy bacn arrived in my inbox.

I’m at the point now where I can’t keep track of it all and I’m finding myself aimlessly wandering the 2.0 www for hours without a single recollection of what I’m doing, what I just did, and the kicker, why?

So over the next couple months I’m gonna start chucking the 2.0 losers and committing to the 2.0 winners.

Here’s the list I’ll be dealing with:
Twitter
Flickr
Lastfm
Facebook
Revver
Pownce
Virb
Vimeo
Digg
Jaiku
MyBlogLog
del.icio.us
Technorati
StumbleUpon

I know there are more, but I’ve already forgotten what they were. Anyway, this post is too long. I’m boring myself. I’d rather hear what you have to say. So lemme know what your favourite 2.0 nets are and what you love and hate about them. Much Love.

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Critter
    January 26, 2008 at 8:16 AM

    Took a while for me to ‘get’ twitter. FaceBook.. I could give or take.. /never/ really got into myspace and Pownce never really grabbed me, but twitter and seesmic… I am hopelessly addicted.

  • Reply
    Dennis Bjørn Petersen
    January 26, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    It took me a long time to sign up for Facebook too. I got tagged by a meme-list which was about social networks. I’m glad I signed up. I’ve connected with a lot of old friends, that I never found on MySpace. I haven’t been on MySpace since I created my Facebook profile.

    I’ve used Twitter for quite some time, but only for advertising my blog posts. I think my twitter account needs more followers to be interesting. Why should I tell 17 people what I’m doing? I’m giving it a chance though.

    I used Last.fm for some time, until I upgraded my PC to Windows Vista. The last.fm software didn’t support Vista, so I haven’t been there since.

    One of my favourites is missing on your list. I’m a huge fan of StumbleUpon. I’ve found a lot of sites and blogs because of SU. It’s a great tool and it’s an inspirational source for every blogger.

    Of course I use Digg, which is a great way of finding more inspiration. I’ve used pownce since it’s beta, I’m just not sure if I will become a regular, unless I connect it with my twitter account.

    Then there’s MyBlogLog, Blogcatalog, delicious, flickr, wallop, WAYN, Technorati, plazes and Linkedin, but that would make this post longer than your post =P

  • Reply
    Mitchell
    January 26, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Hey, found your blog a week or so ago through a friend, and can’t stop reading lol.

    As to this post… Twitter is awesome, Flickr is cool, Facebook is alright, as long as people don’t over-do it, fill their profiles with useless apps, etc., and Digg is always fun.

    Tried Virb, that didn’t work for me. Haven’t tried any of the other ones on your list.

    And I don’t have any of my own to add. I don’t really go social network-ing as much as I’d like.

  • Reply
    Gorilla Bananas
    January 26, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    “And from there it all went pear-shaped.”

    I assume you’re not talking about your butt. Perhaps what you need is a social secretary to vet all those eager beavers who want to be your buddy.

  • Reply
    Mel
    January 26, 2008 at 8:38 PM

    psh you never pownce anymore. i miss your witticisms, if that’s how you spell it.

    whatever you do, do NOT join buzznet. just don’t. if myspace sent you down a swirling tunnel of social network doom and web 2.0 hatred, then buzznet will cause extreme suicidality and sadness. it’s just… ugh.

    last.fm has become my life, ditto pownce and flickr. i have a myspace, thanks to camp friends who refuse to convert to the uberness that is facebook, but it’s pretty meh/sketcheh. i had a ravelry account for a while… but again, boring and not useful. so there are my thoughts on the matterr.

  • Reply
    Duane Storey
    January 26, 2008 at 9:52 PM

    I came to the realization a while ago that all those social networks were really taking up too much of my time. I use Facebook to track the odd event and keep in touch with a few people, but erased my myspace account a few weeks ago and basically gave up on twitter as well.

  • Reply
    Duane Storey
    January 26, 2008 at 9:53 PM

    Oh, I use Flickr pretty religiously – http://flickr.com/photos/duanestorey .. that’s been invaluable in my pursuit of becoming a better photographer.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    January 27, 2008 at 5:14 AM

    @Critter — Agreed. MySpace is a gong show. And Twitter is like the “Price is Right”; A sweet new prize every single day. You never know what you’re gonna get, but for the most part something geeky, techy, filmy, deliriously funny, and topical. My all-time favourite tweets are from Merlin Mann:

    Starting a blog solely to make money is like learning ventriloquism to meet girls
    They should make a Bluetooth earpiece that squirts cologne and yells at waitresses for you. I’d call it “Le Douchebagoir™.”

  • Reply
    Critter
    January 27, 2008 at 5:33 AM

    @Duane – There is definitely a balance to be had. “Everything, in moderation” pretty much applies to… uh.. everything.

    @Lisa – That /is/ a great tweet.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    January 27, 2008 at 5:38 AM

    @Dennis Bjørn Petersen — twitter is only as fun as the people you follow and the discussion they create with their tweets and question. you could maybe muster up a “what i had for breakfast” tweet or a moan about waiting in line at Starbucks for 17 people.

    Yes, I have read many great things about StumbleUpon. I actually think I have an account. I’ll check up on it, see if I can still remember my login name.

    Vista??@? booooo.

    I’m on MyBlogLog, del.icio.us, and Technorati. I’ll add those to my list *sigh*

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    January 27, 2008 at 6:00 AM

    @Mitchell — thanks for your lols. i aim to get as many as possible. i’ve kinda started a collection so far it looks like this: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: pretty cool huh? anyway, i hope you keep enjoying to read my blog, there are quite a few posts/pictures/videos to waste the better part of a weekend reading them.

    Agreed, Fb 3rd Party Apps like “hot or not”, “booze mail”, and “catbook” make me cringe in a really bad way.

    @GorillaBananas — it was Leopard that made my butt look fat, not the social nets. but either way i’m totally going on a no carb diet starting right after i finish this row of chocolate chip cookies.

    @Mel — it’s a deal, more witticism on pownce, no buzz killing buzznet as i’m already experience a pretty heavy dose of SAD. i’m also feeling a little low cuz the weather people guaranteed a super wikkid snow fall and i was so excited to go take snowy photos. i was gonna find my bestest pokadot bikini and shade and run out into the snow and recreate your epic photo, but i thought i wouldn’t do it justice as it is such an ace photo.

    @Duane — hizzah hizzah, you are free of myspace. *happy dance of joy*. i’m going to go look at your flickr photos right now!

    @Critter — pretty much.

  • Reply
    Christina
    January 27, 2008 at 8:05 AM

    I’ve been on Facebook basically since it started (being an American college student and all that), so my perspective is slightly different — not that I’m any less annoyed by how MySpace it is quickly becoming. It started out as a way to keep in touch with friends at other schools, it’s become what it has become. I still don’t get anything like the vulgar (and I mean VULGAR) comments that plague my MySpace account (I have one because I have to have one — I don’t update it, I don’t login), but it has certainly never been this huge relevant part of my online network — even when it was just for college students at supported universities – it wasn’t a huge part of my network — it was just a tool to connect with old friends/stalk ex-boyfriends/get nosy about crushes from fifth grade, etc.

    As for Twitter, oh Twitter – I love Twitter. Like, I refused to sign up for MONTHS because the whole thing struck me as so lame. When I started with WIN in late October, I felt like I had no choice but to get an account. But I wasn’t going to use it. Famous last words. It’s amazing and I love it and I never would have “met” or been exposed to so many cool people (like you!) without it.

    I had an old Flickr and then created one for more “public” use – but have just ended up migrating all the old stuff to the new page. Flickr is pretty cool, though I’m looking at SmugMug too, though I already paid for my Flickr Pro account this year (eh, $20, whatever).

    Last.fm I’ve had for forever, but rarely use because the scrobbler programs were so problematic – but now that CoverSutra does such a great job with it (better than any of the PC or Mac official clients ever did), I see myeslf using it more – but not so much for social networks, more for tracking my own music usage.

    And I’ll second StumbleUpon’s awesomeness. I think Pownce is a neat idea, but eveyone is on Twitter – I mean, I seriously think every single person I know on Pownce is also on Twitter. Making it kind of moot. The best service is rarely the service that wins — it’s the service with the most people. So we’ll see. Right now though, Twitter is my one true social love. And I mercilessly made fun of it before.

  • Reply
    Critter
    January 27, 2008 at 8:12 AM

    @Christina – Pownce does serve as a good backup for when Twitter is down :)

  • Reply
    Nathan Coffey
    January 27, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Twitter is almost an addiction, although I can’t seem to get anybody I know into it so my following lags :(, Facebook is a nice way to keep in touch with old school peeps, I tried myspace but got tired of all the crap they put on there – ads, etc., I owned a Pownce account but Twitter is more popular so I no longer have said account and msut say: del.icio.us is wonderful for bookmarks on the go – no need to take laptop with you.

    Those are a few of my favorite things.

    Oh and flickr is by far the best photo album program on the Net. Too bad it isn’t a Google product :(.

    Thanks for your add btw :)

  • Reply
    RBeezy
    January 27, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    twitter bores me.
    myspace is a waste of time.
    love my blog(s).
    facebook is good but it’s kind of ironic joining a site to interact with people that you thought you had shaken off forever. “Mary from Grade 8 English? You want to be my friend? Ummmmm…”
    flickr’s good. one day I’ll actually load some pix onto it.
    linkedin satiates my professional side.
    gigpark’s useful for getting tips/recommendations from people I trust.
    sneakerplay’s a good niche site.
    I’ve been a charter member of blackplanet too…since ’99 in fact but I’m rarely on it now.
    mashable keeps me tuned in to the Next Big Thing

    I went through a period of 2+ years were I didn’t go on any community sites. it was a direct result of having to moderate a psycho forum and message board at a previous job. crazy-assed people had me all burnt out.

    now I don’t mind it as long as it satisfies specific niches. I don’t think I’d join a general site again.

  • Reply
    Rachelskirts
    January 27, 2008 at 6:55 PM

    Gosh dang, I love Twitter.

  • Reply
    James
    January 28, 2008 at 4:15 AM

    Hi Lisa,

    Just come over from 20something bloggers after the comment you left for me. This site is amazing, the design is terrific. It kind of has a surreal feeling about it all.

    Anyway you really are al over web2.0 aren’t you. As for me well I’m not so keen on it all so just stick to blogging and my favourite website Last.fm. I have also just started with Twitter (@james_theink if you/anyone wishes to follow), so we shall see how that goes.

  • Reply
    ComposeAnalysis
    January 28, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    I think I am lacking quite a bit in this category seeing everywhere you are and I am only reg. at facebook. It was good in the beginning until all the crazy photos from the night before start popping up

  • Reply
    Heatherness
    January 28, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    You’re pretty.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    January 28, 2008 at 8:47 PM

    @Christina — aww meeting lovely people (especially film geeks) on twitter is a beautiful thing. i keep forgetting you are an American college student. One more thing to get in the way of our blossoming friendship. (thank goodness for the lastfm compatibility).

    i just looked into CoverSutra because iScrobbler is the laaaamest app ever. it hasn’t scrobbled the last 100 tracks to lastfm. argggggggg. so frustrating!

    PS I joined StumbleUpon to experience the awesomeness you described. i will personally blame you if it sucks the big one.

    @Nathan — flickr is totally booyah! no prob!

    @RBeezy –thanks to you i joined Mashable. Erg. *friend requests from crazy-assed people flood Lisa’s inbox*

    @Rachel — hi-5!

    @James — i’ll pass on your design kudos to the Coding Monkeys who designed the site.

    @ComposeAnalysis — yeah that happens a lot to me as I regularly hit the clubs and get super wasted.

    @Heatherness — ditto.

  • Reply
    oscar
    February 2, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,beautiful, beautiful, beautiful……………………………beautiful XD.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    michael wilson
    March 16, 2008 at 4:05 AM

    hi guys only just got into this whole thing a month ago. Agree with all the crappy third party app on facebook. Just tryed all the network bookmakers on lisa’s page.
    Join stumble and use del.icio.us but not really thinking about using any other than flicker.
    So am i part of the borg now or a cyberman????

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    Peter Steen Høgenhaug
    May 18, 2008 at 2:34 AM

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