Today I signed up for Twitter – not for personal reasons but because I needed it for work. Of course I’ve heard about it in the past as the leading micro-blogging service, but it hadn’t interested me in the slightest.
I have used Facebook since its early days (when you could only get in if you had an academic email address!), primarily to keep in touch with friends. When they brought out the status updates feature, I couldn’t see the point. Even less so having something like Twitter that’s purely status updates.
There are so many ways these days to get content out there and onto the web. But I can’t see the point in many of the newer sites.
Like I said, I use Facebook as a way to keep up with friends whom I don’t see very often. While I was at school, MSN Messenger was all the rage, but now we’re a bit more grown up we don’t all have time to sit on MSN all night. So Facebook is a convenient way to keep in touch from time to time – given that email is only really used for work these days.
But my only friends on Facebook are friends in real life. I don’t meet people through Facebook. For me, it’s just a direct replacement for emailing friends or chatting on MSN. I don’t broadcast my life to the world. I can’t see why they’d care.
Which brings me onto Twitter. I can’t imagine that anyone would be interested in snippets of my daily life. If they’re that interested, they can text me and ask. As I mentioned, I now have a Twitter feed and you can follow me if you want – but I don’t recommend it. I’m not intending to write anything interesting – only to use it for following boring feeds like these from the University of Bristol.
Blogs and websites
I’m more interested in personal websites, often in blog format. Maybe it’s because I used the web for years before these social, collaborative sites popped up, and the only resources available were traditional websites.
I’ve had my own website for over a decade now, in one form or another. When I was a kid, I didn’t have much of interest to say and there was nothing on the site. Nowadays I have two blogs: this one, mainly for technical articles, guides, reviews and so on; and my photo blog where I publish photos that I have taken.
I’m a geek, and so I have my own server and I run these blogs from scratch using WordPress. Obviously such an approach isn’t going to work for everyone, which is why I like sites like Flickr. It’s a really easy way to get your work online. I set up my own Flickr page some time ago, before I decided where I was primarily going to host my photos.
As you can see, there’s hardly anything on it and only two comments. I’ve worked a bit harder to promote my official photo blog, which also gives me the freedom to customise it exactly as I want, and here I have had thousands of views of my photos.
I’m not saying that “Web 2.0” is a bad thing – I’m just saying it only works for me in limited ways.
I want to publish my articles and photos in a more traditional format, and I only use Facebook because most of my mates don’t use MSN any more.