Oct 17, 2014


I post books I'm currently reading at Goodreads. I post family pictures to a private WordPress blog. I post a smaller subset of family pictures to Facebook. I post non-family pictures I take with my DSLR to Flickr. I post pictures I take with my phone to Instagram. (Sometimes Flickr if the square crop won't work.) I post interesting links to Pinboard. I post thoughts and slices of life to Twitter. I post interesting images to MLKSHK. I post songs I'm enjoying to This is My Jam. I have a personal weblog but I rarely post things directly to it. Instead I have some Perl scripts that syndicate things from some of these services to my weblog. I also have some IFTTT recipes that move things from these various services to other various services.

This all makes sense in a way. Audiences are fragmented. My tech-savvy friends are on Twitter. Family and geographically local friends are on Facebook. People who are interested in photos are on Instagram. People who are interested in books are on GoodReads. Music folks are on This is My Jam. Funny image people are on MLKSHK. A few people still visit Flickr.

When I think about where to post or share I'm vaguely thinking about these audiences. It mostly works. Sometimes a Perl script or IFTTT recipe places something for my tech world friends in front of my family. I have to scramble to delete that SHA-1 joke before the confused comments roll in.

I can't imagine a stream of everything in one place. The book people would be alienated by the family pictures. The music people wouldn't like the funny images. The encryption jokes would drive away everyone.

Using scripts to syndicate things feels like a temporary way to work around audience-hogging data silos. The audience fragmentation feels permanent.

In high school I had different groups of friends who liked to do different things. I had my family. I had co-workers. And I felt like I needed to be a different person in each of those groups. And those different mes were sometimes at odds. At some point I realized it would be healthier if I could be the same person in all contexts. (Maybe that's just growing up.)

I feel like my online life needs to grow up.


legato train whistle
a plane's glissando descent
engine brake
staccato dogs
accidental song