Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Social Media Zeitgeist

Several years ago, one of my friends, Brian Thompson, sent me an invite for this thing, called "". I remember seeing the invitation in my email and thinking, what the heck is this?

Fast forward to today. I'm over at over 400 connections and has pretty much become a lot of things for me -- my resume is obsolete -- oh, yeah, I still update it pretty frequently -- but it's almost irrelevant. Why? Because my resume is to LinkedIn what the old search engines are to Google's search algorithm. That is, obsolete. Why again? Because my resume says nothing about who I know or who I did what with way back when.

Linked-in has become a lot of things to me. It's a way for me to stay connected and to know at a glance who's doing what, where and with whom. It's a digital extension to my (pretty outgoing) geek personality. It's a Rolodex of sorts. It's a nifty spamming tool as well...

Blogging came about a different way. I used to write a lot for technical publications (Linux Today, LXer, Linux Planet) and that was a creative outlet. As I became somewhat less connected to Linux as a focal point (some might use the words "less obsessed") I began to find myself wanting to write about things that were completely unrelated to anything technical. I realized that I needed to blog the stuff and started doing that as a natural progression.

FaceBook was something different. I came across FaceBook like this, looking over a co-workers shoulder one day: "Oh, hey, that's like linked-in, but for friends." Yes, this is intended to be funny. I decided to create a FaceBook page at that point, after realizing that there was indeed value in being digitally connected on the friendlier side of things.

And now something similar is happening with Twitter. I'm assimilating it today. I'm not going to try an sell you on it (although if you want a good reason to start using it, with some idea of the kind of banter you're going to be exposed to, here's a good article by Adam Cohen -- DISCLAIMER: Adam is one of the partners at my firm, a marketing company, who's really into social media.)

Of course, no good technology gets swallowed by me with out it being complicated (improved?) by more technology -- so I also recommend reading this article on how to update Twitter using a shell script. For those of you non-Linux/Unix geeks out there, just ignore this portion of the article. You'll sleep better not knowing what you're missing out on, being able to type command-line-level things to update your cool web gadgetry.

So, now I'm able to update my blog, facebook and tweet -- all at once. If only I could get this thing to update the status message on my corporate messaging/mail client at the same time.


If you're really bored feel free to twitter @fericyde -- bonus points if you can pull it off from a shell prompt ;)

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