Thursday, March 05, 2009

Where Are We?

I'm writing this at It's the website where I write the content that will appear on my blog, Monkey Disaster, which appears at I started the blog way back in, jeez, 2003? Or something? Six years ago, just about. It was to be an outlet for my writing, my training facility for other writing, a way to stay in shape. Friends started reading it, then strangers, I've never made a dime on it and never will but I believe it's read by people.

Now, in October of 2007 I joined Facebook and soon after that enabled a feature there that imported all the posts from the blog over to Facebook. So sometimes when I make a post that gets a lot of comments, an I'm On To You post for instance, they show up both on the blog and on Facebook.

And, forgive me Facebook readers, but I've sometimes thought that you're getting it wrong. That comments belong not on the Facebook servers but the ones connected to the blog. That felt like the REAL place to me.

But I'm not sure about that anymore. Because, jeez, what does internet real estate really mean anymore (What did it ever mean, John?) (Shut up.)

I recently heard a speech by the new president of NPR, Vivian Schiller, who said that she sees a day in the near future where the website just wouldn't matter anymore since people would receive that content on their Facebook and iPhone and a million other places. It should be noted that Schiller used to be at the New York Times and she claims credit for being the one to take down their dumb Times Select pay feature. Meanwhile, one of the brainy web people at my own company says he wants to move away from the idea of a radio show web page being a "Walden" experience, this pristine disconnected from all other realities. "More Emerson, less Thoreau," another colleague noted.

Meanwhile, I must admit I'm rather hooked on the press-the-lever-get-the-pellet nature of Twitter and do lots of writing there. We're at a curious time in our communications and technology history. It was a short while ago that I marveled at the idea that anyone could create a blog and have instant distribution to anyone who had access to a computer. It was the most dispersing and democratic thing I could think of. Now, this whole blog - which I have no plans to abandon - feels almost like a relic.



MattyMatt said...

I know exactly what you mean. I hardly know where to put my media nowadays. On my own site? Flickr's? Facebook's? Twitter's? Do I put it on just one, or put it on a whole bunch? If I put it on whole bunch is that comprehensive, or redundant?

And with all those disconnected buckets of media floating around, how will I ever know which one to put stuff in? And how will I know when someone's put something in one of them for me?

I wish the Internet would go on vacation.

Ben said...

I went through exactly the same thought process about my blog when I first got on Facebook. I almost stopped writing it, then I realized that the content and use for all the myriad Web timesucks is different.

Now I just have to find the right balance...

Andy Joe said...

Following your new boss's logic, OPEC should find a way to get rid of oil rigs and wells, then find a way for the pipelines to go to every gas pump at every gas station in the world.

Main sites like npr.og and your blog provide the content that make Iphone & Facebook apps interesting and worthwhile. Those sites and products aren't useful on their own; they need wells and rigs to provide content. They also make it easier for you, NPR and other content providers to get their ideas into our heads.

The only way your blog, and other equally important sites will lose importance is if you stop putting up important ideas. If you don't then no one will come to your well.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, your blog isn't a relic. There are probably countless strangers like me reading it who wouldn't come across what you're up to otherwise.

And if you're wondering, I found this blog after reading your stuff on McSweeney's. Winnie-the-Pooh Is My Coworker is in my top 10 list of things that make me chuckle.