Friday, October 16, 2009

Spray-feeding the Cloud

So a few days ago this gem pops up on my Facebook page from my kid brother Will, VP of Product for Tripit:

Will Aldrich is spray-feeding my URL in niblets open-face to the skein, maxing out the wiki snarls of RSS feeds (less jamming at the Google scaffold).

Will is having some fun at his nOOb older sib's expense. To his ilk, this makes perfect sense. To the rest of us it's more like a wake-up call.

Social networking. Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. RSS. These things that sound so easy and safe and yet probably are not, are everywhere. They lurk on our home computers, our laptops, our hand-helds. Their use may be part of the intellectual DNA of my four children (No, I'm not going to show them this post, but they'll probably learn about it soon enough), but not mine.

What the Html does all this mean? Less than five years ago I was fluent in the English language. Now I need lessons in a whole new vocabulary, sentence structure--and worse--a complete recontextualization of what it means to be a player in the world of ideas, imagination, and communication.

If you're like me you're probably getting desperate. I'm told social networking, viral marketing, and p-to-p are to this decade what email, listservs, and b-to-b were to the last decade. I'm just not ready for it yet. I liked the 1990s. Now I've got to navigate this new stuff. How do I start? What do I trust?

Someone on my own staff said to me last week, "I hate how you're using Twitter." Ouch. I had tweeted to my twibe a gwand total of five times. (What, am I seriously a twibe-tweeter? Oh how totally Elmer Fudd of me.) "You're the director of the Arts Council. I don't care whether your son remembers his soccer cleats."

Hmm...actually I thought I had posted that gem on Facebook. It turns out I had. But what I didn't know was in my zeal as a nOOb, I had conflated Facebook and Twitter by linking them so that what I posted to one also appeared in the other.

Yeah. Conflated. There's a word my brother Will will probably never use in a tweet. (Now, of course, he surely will. That's what brothers do.)

But getting back to the issue at hand.

One has to start somewhere. So here's where I'm starting.

Here's a guide to how to give yourself some privacy on Facebook. And here's an article that describes 12 ways to use Facebook in a business setting. Both the guide and the article were shared with me by another person on my staff through our listserv. How very 90s.

(Thank God!)

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