Some months ago I mentioned I now have a Tumblr. Lately I’ve posted in it a lot and even re-branded it (including a lovely lime-green background). Well, don’t worry guys, I haven’t forgotten about this blog and I even have a real post coming tomorrow morning (“real” meaning not a plug for something). In the mean time though, please do take a minute to check out Q&A with Matt Aromando over at Tumblr. Ask me questions, anonymously or not, and I’ll answer them…probably in a silly way. I always need new questions to answer, so don’t hesitate to submit one (or twenty). Subscribe either through RSS, with your own Tumblr account, or both!
The big internet shock from the other day is that Instagram was purchased by Facebook. I have mixed feelings about this. My immediate reaction is that this is bad for innovation. A large, well established company buys a small but energetic company and probably ruins what’s great about it. Then I think about examples like when Google bought YouTube or Apple bought Siri and brought those products to new heights. But I’m not sure why Facebook needs Instagram. It doesn’t belong with Facebook. It’s the same reason I use Foursquare instead of Facebook’s Places app or WordPress instead of Facebook Notes, or Twitter instead of updating Facebook 12 times a day (and yes, I’m calling all of you who link Twitter and Facebook out). Instagram just feels right as a separate app. I know that the plan is supposedly to keep Instagram as a separate service, but I’m a little skeptical of this in the long-term.
Then there is the problem with how much Facebook has ballooned. One of the main reasons that Facebook put Myspace down to rest, is that it was much more reliable, easy to use, secure, and sleeker looking. Facebook changes things frequently (and I’m not just talking about the big/obvious changes) and almost always seems to have bugs nowadays. I think Facebook needs to pull itself together before it goes out buying up other perfectly good companies and attempting to integrate them. Who knows, if they don’t, Google+ might actually stand a chance.
A post over at A Confederacy of Spinsters, called Your Status Update Not Welcome, inspired me to write a comment. After a couple of minutes trying to think of a concise sentence or two for the comments section of their page, I decided I needed to write a full-blown post about it. From the original post:
If I had block button, I’d erase from my feed: Anything relating to babies.
… Bible Verses
… Mushy sentiments about having the best boyfriend/husband/wife/girlfriend EVER!
… Any vacation picture without a person in it.
I would take this idea of a topic-blocking button a bit further. I wish there was a way to just ignore any status updates that are uninteresting. Facebook could devise a way to figure that out, easily. Let’s say an update get’s viewed 50 times, or something, and no one has liked it or commented on it yet, then just stop showing it in feeds. Most of what people post on F-book (I heard a couple of now-in-college kids use this term the other day. I love it because I hate it.) is mundane enough that it rightfully should be ignored. I guess for the saps out there, there would be a way to turn this feature off so everything would be in the feed, but I think most of us would enjoy the feature.
Facebook would probably be hesitate to add something like this because they seem compelled to overload everyone with as much information as possible. Maybe they have decided this is the way to keep people hooked. At this point though, people are already addicted and it might be best to just not annoy their addicts with uninteresting status updates.
I’m a bit of a fiend when it comes to social networking. Without any real need, I pretty much sign up for every site there is. First I had to have Facebook and MySpace accounts and from there it all snowballed: Last.fm, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, Google+… All the nonsense I could get my hands on. Well very recently I decided to sign up for Tumblr, but I couldn’t really figure out how I would use it, I mean, I already have a blog.
While fiddling around with my account trying to set it up, I came across an interesting box I could check: “Let people ask questions” and I checked it off, not really thinking much of it. Then comes along tumblrbot and tumblrbot asked me a question: “WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?” This, I decided, is what Tumblr will be for. So please, check out my Tumblr and ask me a question. I’ll be happy to answer it