Social Anxiety Order

One Year Later
Cambridge - One Year Later

I’ve certainly never been a stranger to social/internet outlets. I’ve been consistently wandering around the online public space for a long time. I explored AOL 1.0 in the early 90’s, was part of online communities, forums, etc. I started building websites around the same time and was part of the “Independent Web” movement in the late 90’s/early 00’s. I watched the death of camportals and the rise of the “blog” (I remember Josh Kinney famously asking me “What was the internet before the blog?”). Originally it was “push to publish” services like Blogger and it’s lightweight version, Blogspot, that gave every person on the web a chance to have a voice. The rise (and fall) of assorted social media waypoints has provided a nearly continuous supply of outlets for anyone and everyone looking to fill up the internet with their personal content. More well known sites like Makeout Club, Friendster, MySpace, etc, to the smaller ones like BME:IAM (One of the first, real, networks. Sadly, currently in it’s death-throes.) and DeviantArt (though I’m not sure DeviantArt can be considered “small” anymore), and the millions in-between. We all know these stories. We live them every day, for the most part.

Rutman's Violins.
Rutman's Violins.

In any case, I’ve watched a lot of them come and go and have been a part of most of them, if not for just general curiosity. It’s interesting because they all really just serve as slices of what an established website can provide. I’ve never subscribed to the belief that a social media outlet, or remotely controlled social service, can provide the benefits that a real managed content website can. That’s part of the reason why I’ve always kept dropslash.com; to serve as a sort of home-base. A center-point to the digital mess. Social media resources have their benefits, and will come and go, but a well kept website will weather the storm.

Like I said, most of today’s social outlets are just slices of content that are loosely tied back here. Different outlets, of course, have their specific strengths and weaknesses, as opposed to this site which can be anything I choose to make it. That said, here’s where you can find me in the mess out there and what to expect from each.

Note: I’m really only including the major, relevant, outlets here. The “Social” links to the right will take you out to these places. You can find more on the links page.

  • Facebook: Of course. Although I do know people who are not on Facebook, it’s a rare thing these days. It’s almost become a necessary evil. I tend to not “friend” people I haven’t met in real life. I occasionally post low-quality versions of photos there, check into places (though the Android app is broken on certain phones, including my HTC Incredible II), and see what select friends are up to. I mostly use it to keep in touch with a few private groups that I am part of. One thing I will absolutely not do though is install apps, including games, so don’t bother sending me any invites for them. I do not trust Facebook or app developers for the platform. Privacy has always been a massive issue for Facebook and I take privacy very seriously (that is it’s whole own topic for later date).

  • Google+: I exploited the G+ beta workaround to get in early because I was really looking for a strong Facebook alternative and I wanted to be in on the ground floor. I’m still underwhelmed a bit, especially by the slow roll-out of promised Google services (my preferred ecosystem) integration. I love Circles and I like its media sharing options, especially the tie-in with the new Google Music and YouTube. In a public sense, I mostly post photos and music. I am far more active in a private sharing capacity. I was a huge Google Wave user, so G+ has really filled in that role now that Wave is deprecated.

  • LinkedIn: I’m not so stoked on all the new media aspects of LinkedIn. It’s grown from a business and work network into a generic social network with a deep work related pocket. I update my résumé when needed, but that’s about it.

  • Tumblr: I maintain two public and one private “tumblogs”. My main public Tumblr is mostly stream of consciousness posting. It’s quick and easy to update with various media types that don’t work well on Twitter, and are too one-off or short to justify a full post here on //dropslash. You’ll often find photos shared from my Flickr photostream, snippets of conversations, quotes, and other random tidbits. The vast majority of it is self-created. My private Tumblr is a project I’ve been working on for while, but is not ready for public consumption yet.

  • Tumblr [2]: The second is my “inspiration” Tumblr. It is simply a steady stream of, mostly, images that I find across the internet that I particularly like or represent something that has sparked some kind of inspiration, an idea, or something/someone I find particularly attractive or beautiful, generally photography related, for various reason. It’s part idea storage, part inspiration feed, part images I love, part beauty appreciation, and all definitely not safe for work. It is an uncensored feed.

  • Twitter: I actually have two Twitter feeds, my main one, dropslash, and my secondary, KyleMercury. The second was mostly just to secure my name as a handle. I have plans for it at a later date. Twitter for me is a public conversation tool and a way to keep track of things/people I am interested in. I only really follow people I know in real life and media outlets that report on news that I am interested in (though, even then, not very many. I use RSS for that.). Twitter is also my preferred way to publicly share links to content that I find interesting.

  • Flickr: As expected, Flickr is my massive online photo gallery. You will find the vast majority of my photography here. Projects, Travel, People, they almost all end up on Flickr. The only photos that don’t really go to Flickr are ones shot on my cellphone. I usually shoot on my phone only for the purpose of sending immediately to Facebook or Twitter.

  • 500px: 500px is something I don’t use as often as I should. It is a much smaller gallery, primarily reserved for my better photos. The trend these days is to use Google+ for this purpose, something I haven’t jumped on with totally yet. The quality of photos on 500px is incredibly intimidating. Take a look around for five minutes, the photography on display is astounding.

So that’s that. I’ve found myself working a lot in Tumblr lately, since it’s easy to pick up the slack from this site with. //dropslash has been a whole lot of long-winded, TL:DR, style posts lately, but I feel like it’s a good medium for that. There is a lot more planned for the site, so I need to have alternates available as I start to make transitions. Eventually, I hope to be able to integrate them all back here, especially the Tumblr and Twitter content.