How Twitter and Facebook are fragmenting my online identity

services2For subscribers of this blog (and it does get one or two hits), who’ve been wondering why I haven’t been updating with greater frequently, I’d like offer an explanation.

There’s a profound fragmentation going on right now in online identity. The change from isolated web sites (with technical, and in the early days, financial barriers to entry) to readily updatable, easily subscribable, often free blogs, acted to more tightly integrate the public web. An unfortunate side-effect of newer forms of blogging, more sophisticated social networks, and the surfeit of emerging web services, has been to splinter identity across multiple platforms. Ultimately this problem may be solved by more open and intercommunicative social networks using something like Open ID, by an ur-MySpace aggregating all the disparate services, or by next generation life stream scrapping utilities. Until then here’s where where I am.. – makes bookmarking easy, available anywhere, and subscribable like a blog. It’s also a great way to keep informed of your friends projects.

Twitter, Jaiku – moblogging platforms, which allow you to create a mobile social network of sorts, create and receive updates on the go.

Facebook – my social network of choice. I’m on Bebo, Myspace, Live Journal, Orkut, and now Pownce; but Facebook plays host to my primary ‘online identity’. Facebook’s newsfeed provides a great way to keep up with the goings on of real friends; and it’s open API and platform are providing an evolutionary paradigm, an environment in which shared ideas, intense competition and rapid development are accelerating the improvement of social applications.

Tumblr – I use as a meta blog, adding all my feeds, and posting photos, videos, songs, and cool articles. I made the decision a while ago to keep the focus of on original articles and occasional media projects, which reduces hits, but hopefully increases quality. Additionally, I’m finding less and less time to blog proper, and in turn, feeling that each blog post must attain some arbitrary level of quality and originality. I believe quality is becoming more important relative to timeliness in the blogosphere; as rapidly updated information moves to micro and mobile blogging platforms, and as more people begin to suffer from feed aggregation overload. Tumblr’s also just a great way to give a technophobic friend a really user friendly blog they can update online, or via their phone.

An interesting point to note, is that for non developers there’s really no need to buy webspace any more; given that most features from web pages, to blogs, video hosting, to podcasting, are possible and easier to implement via free web services.

Right now I’m involved in three major projects. One is a prospective web2.0 / mobile service company, two is a documentary film, and three is co-writing a satirical (and partly parodic) novel. I can’t talk about the first two right now, but I’m more than happy to suggest you check out the book, which is being updated in real time on the web (please avoid if even moderately easily offended), or the main satirical review site – with over 100 movie, music and other reviews (again offensive); not too frequently updated right now, but that should change in October.

One thought on “How Twitter and Facebook are fragmenting my online identity

  1. Pingback: Jason's musings

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