I’m going to go into hibernation for a bit regarding this blog, and start deleting some of my online traces where this is possible. The plan is to end up with one website dedicated to my PhD, where I will then also integrate my twitter eventually, as well as – maybe – a blog in the future. However this won’t be a daily one like I’ve attempted with this one.
The reality is that my life is pretty steady right now – I know where I’ll be living, working, and who I’ll be dating for the foreseeable future. I have no desire for change.
Hence, I will focus on the things in my offline life and enhance them, and make them better and better. There’s not much room right now for social media, or ‘web 2.0’ (apart from maybe twitter, but that’s micro and not intrusive upon my life!).
The other point is that I think the backlash against social media has begun (see for ex. Bobbie Johnson’s Why I’m finished with Social Media). Brought on partly by the credit crunch, but also the fact that companies will realise that they’re have to make money out of it somehow, then they’ll introduce some shite, and users will desert. I’m not a doom-monger, but I’ve always been kinda right in my vibe about the internet. I might just be starting a new trend here 🙂
Over the next few days, I’ll be scaling down my online output. I’m going to put the blog on hold and, once I’ve done that, will in the coming weeks/months be updating my ‘main’ website (the one hosting my PhD) to be a static, search engine optimised, half decent representation of my online identity (all in one place. Most other stuff will be gotten rid of).
I own my main website’s domain name, but all the files are hosted on webspace the ex owns – not ideal! So either way I’ll need to host it myself. It’ll just be a process to get back to a manageable online presence that I’m comfortable with. I may even keep my twitter and integrate it, and e.g. use the wordpress platform to publish my personal website and PhD (but not as a blog, i.e. not updated).
We’ll see. It’s good to keep moving with these kinds of things, and it’s not as if I completely want to erase everything. I just want to get back to a decent static representation of myself, with no additional effort required! And forget all the stuff about personal branding and the importance of online visibility – I see myself staying in my current job for years and years to come (it’s public sector so I don’t exactly need to be worried about losing my job…).
Yes, they need to make money somehow, someday. It’s more crucial than ever in 2009, to justify the (very likely very highly inflated) value that’s been put on it:
Zuckerberg said 2009 will be Facebook’s “intense” year as it tries to justify some of the mammoth valuations that have been placed upon it by making some serious revenues through advertising.
What they are planning on doing (maybe)? Offering up their user base for market research purposes (polls, questionnaires and such). While not as bad as intrusive advertising (remember Facebook Beacon anyone?), it still raises concerns about privacy (somehow they will need to query your data in order to see whether you would ‘fit the bill’ of the market research brief). Good job I have disabled my FB profile.
But it is another development that confirms my intended retreat from the online world.
And one other quick point about inflated company evaluations: Remember Friends Reunited anyone? The company was sold to ITV for £175 million in 2005, and this was a ‘web 1.0’ social network. Just how much less Friends Reunited is worth these days is yet to be audited (ITV to slash value of Friends Reunited) – but undoubtedly it’s going to be a fair bit less (have you been on the site? It’s DIRE, and the competition for online social spaces is now so much higher than back in 2005).
I’ve been thinking of reducing my Internet use at home to the bare minimum, i.e. just emailing (when I have to) and ‘information search’ (including buying stuff).
For a number of reasons.
One, security/privacy. I don’t like the idea of putting myself about online – I’ve completely gone off that idea. I don’t want anyone to know anything about me 😛 . I’m thinking about googling my own name and deleting every profile etc. that I can find that’s under my name.
Two, boredom. Producing stuff online, putting myself out, using online tools to tell the world about me, just doesn’t hit the spot any more. I’m in the grip of some kind of internet fatigue.
Three, general media apathy. I’ve completely reduced the amount of media that I consume, especially, visual media, and I feel better for it. The only visual media I use in my private life is the occasional game, and, the occasional (mostly educational) programme on iPlayer.
Thus, I’m going to think about it. I might just stop blogging and twittering for a while. Or I may disappear altogether 🙂
This strikes me as a great idea – and no doubt other ‘celebs’ already have a ‘personal online brand manager’.
Britney Spears (well… her ‘people’) is looking for her own Brand/Social Media Manager. Apparently this was posted on the Harvard-only private job board (according to TechCrunch, link above).
You don’t have to be posh to be geeky. I’d say rather the opposite. There again, Facebook was founded by Mr. Zuckerberg while at Harvard, I believe.
Either way, I can’t think of anything duller than having to maintain Ms Spears’ various online identities. Yawn.