Sunday, May 25, 2008

A quixotic campaign against insularity

In case you're wondering about my previous post, let me catch you up a little bit - at least from my perspective.

A few hours ago I was looking at Google Reader items on my Motorola Q when I ran across a TechCrunch item with the title "Twitter!" When I looked at the item in mobile Google Reader, there wasn't any text. This didn't surprise me, because video or other content often doesn't appear in mobile Google Reader, so I just figured there was some type of content that my phone wouldn't support.

But as I read contents in FriendFeed, I slowly realized that I had seen the entire post. There wasn't anything there, other than the title "Twitter!"

This started several things, including my "TechCrunch!" post and a whole slew of similar items entered as FriendFeed comments. I contributed a few comments to this thread, veering more and more toward my 20th century non sequitur roots as time passed. Here's a sample of the responses:

Seesmic! - Robert Scoble
Facebook! - Robert Scoble
TechMeme! - Robert Scoble
Wordpress! - Robert Scoble
Wordpress! +1! - Robert Seidman
FriendFeed! - Thomas Hawk
Drupal!?! - Anthony Farrior
Firefox! - Robert Scoble
Macintosh! - Robert Scoble
Microsoft! - Robert Scoble
iPhone! - Robert Scoble
Sex! - Robert Scoble
BlackBerry! - Susan Beebe
Linux! - Susan Beebe
Amiga! - You via fftogo
Ubuntu! - Susan Beebe
SCOBLE! - Robert Seidman
Epic. - ax0n
Lisa! - You via fftogo
Hide - Brian D. Eisenberg
GOOGLE! - Susan Beebe
FriendFeed ROOooooms!!!!!! - Susan Beebe
Rula Lenska! - You via fftogo
TI-99-4A - Jeff Day via fftogo
Click it or ticket! - Mike Lewis via fftogo
Shut up! [adding to FriendFeed noise ;) ] - David Risley
Rosebud! - You via fftogo
Dorks! - Geoff

Then I went to dinner.

By the time I came back from dinner, I figured I'd check to see if the "Twitter!" post had made TechMeme. It had.

This got me thinking. And eventually I commented to my own FriendFeed native item:

I've gravitated to a realm of insularity and self-referentialism. And it's not "them," it's me. If I am favoriting things about Twitter, FriendFeed, and Barack Obama, then I'm part of the problem.

And it's true. Because I share and unshare items in Google Reader, the most authoritative list of items that I've shared can be found in FriendFeed. And while my shared items aren't 100% on Web 2.0 services or the 2008 Democratic nomination process, it seems that the majority are. Here are some titles from today (Sunday) and yesterday:

3 hours ago

Pan Mass Challenge - Training (& English Beat)
3 hours ago

Are you a dick? Check Dickipedia
4 hours ago

Twitter Enforces ToS, Cares About Users
yesterday at 9:54 pm

enforcing Terms of Service violations
6 hours ago

Web 2.0 - a philosophy of elitism and technological divide
6 hours ago

"Back Up and Recover", Oracle Magazine, May/June 2008, Technology
6 hours ago

Making My Blog Search Legit With Lijit
9 hours ago

My Own Memo to Zuckerberg: Don't Listen to Any of Us
9 hours ago

Evading Sola Fide
9 hours ago

'Laugh-In' Star Dick Martin Died Last Night
11 hours ago

My favorite pre-prom picture
16 hours ago

The #1 Reason FriendFeed Will Not "Dethrone" Twitter
yesterday at 9:54 pm

Goodbye, Avram Grant
yesterday at 4:03 pm

Chelsea Fires Avram Grant After 8 Months as Manager
yesterday at 4:03 pm

FriendFeed won’t kill Twitter but Twitter might
yesterday at 12:36 pm

The Plan - God's Covenant with David
yesterday at 12:36 pm

Al Gore's gonna have to get a new gig
yesterday at 12:07 pm

Cristiano Ronaldo and the fake Madrid circus
yesterday at 8:32 am

FriendFeed Still Has a Lot of Killing to Do
yesterday at 8:32 am

Jesus Lays Waste to "the Law of Attraction"
yesterday at 8:07 am

Hillary Clinton Wanted To Remind Us Someone May Want To Shoot The Black Guy, So She Better Stay In The Race
yesterday at 3:20 am

Historical Inquiry: What About Senator Clinton's Apparent Point?
yesterday at 3:20 am

Winter wonderland in Southern California in May
yesterday at 3:20 am

Let's face it, that's probably the most boring set of items to share that normal people have ever seen. If it weren't for the unfortunate death of Dick Martin, and the unfortunate firing of Avram Grant, then there would be a numbing sameness to most of the items above. FriendFeed. Twitter. Hillary Clinton. FriendFeed. Twitter. Hillary Clinton. I mean, heck, when you use Al Gore to break up the monotony, then you know something's wrong.

Now if I were writing a blog that was primarily a tech blog, as Michael Arrington, Steven Hodson, and others are doing, then I'd have an excuse for sharing this kind of stuff. But I'm not writing a primarily tech blog. By design, mrontemp (like the Ontario Empoblog before it) is supposed to be "all-encompassing." Well, it ain't encompassing a lot lately. Here are the titles from my personal Blogger blogs (mrontemp and mrmicro-oe) during that same Saturday-Sunday period:

4 hours ago

Poetic justice - the steveballmer thick search (i.e. all the comment spam)
5 hours ago

FriendFeed search for the words steveballmer and spam
5 hours ago

Next year's EPL storyline - the old guy
9 hours ago

I demand proportionate representation for NTN/Buzztime users in the climate change councils!
yesterday at 7:30 pm

Now that's what I call a re-release
yesterday at 7:00 am

It's the grip of a threat, c'mon
yesterday at 12:30 pm

When something's funny there's a feeling you get
yesterday at 12:20 pm

Let's run to a place somewhere the party never ends
yesterday at 12:05 pm

C'mon lyrics (mobile!)
yesterday at 7:02 am

"C'mon" in my head in 2006
yesterday at 6:52 am

Tilly "Two Thumbs" McClain speaks -
yesterday at 4:15 am

OK, there's a little more variation there, but not much.

So if I am part of the problem, how do I solve it?

By taking one day - Monday, May 26, 2008 - and attempting to write about things that have absolutely nothing to do with FriendFeed, Twitter, or Barack Obama (or Hillary Clinton).

I may schedule some posts to load up on non-routine content, but we'll see how it goes.

P.S. I'll try to minimize my mentions of Devo also, either of the "Shout!" album or the "Total Devo" album.

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