Rethinking Blogging in Light of G+

Initially, I was excited about G+ as an alternative to Facebook, which I mostly boycott because of their horrid ToS and Privacy Policy.  I was an early Twitter user (March 2007) and it’s still useful for broadcasting brief bulletins and updates, for asking questions of your network, etc., but there are times you want to write a little more than 140 characters or share a picture or video and you want it to be convenient for the reader to see your content.

fleep: Thinking twitter is a little creepy and perhaps addictive.. who are all these people and why do I care what they are doing? 09:54 PM March 11, 2007 from web 

When G+ rolled out, I thought YAY finally a useful alternative to Facebook!  I happily circled all my friends and started meeting new people to circle and all was happy in G+ land – until I got suspended for not using my real name.  Nevermind that I’ve been using Gmail for as long as it’s been around and have always had the same name on my account and the plethora of other Google services I use, and the most ironic of all – that I use Fleep Tuque on the net primarily because it’s unique and ranks higher on Google search!

Google search for “Fleep Tuque” are all hits about me, whereas
searching for “Chris Collins” brings up a zillion people who aren’t me.

I’ve written quite a bit on G+ about why pseudonymity should be allowed since my account was reinstated, but I’ve found myself hesitant to post on high profile threads or controversial threads in the worry that my account may be suspended or banned again, and that experience has made me re-think participation on networks where the value I create is primarily hosted on someone else’s site.  Just like with Second Life, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of creating and sharing and chatting without thinking of the long term consequences of all your stuff being hosted on someone else’s service.  When they decide to shut down the product or that they suddenly don’t like your name, then what?

My blog, on the other hand, has been around since 2005 – I discovered my first post when re-doing my theme this weekend – and I have backups of all its content.  If Dreamhost goes out of business tomorrow, I’ve got all my content backed up in the cloud and on physical media.  I’m not at the mercy of Google or anyone else to decide that after 6 years of using a service, my name is no longer valid, or the content I post doesn’t meet their standards.

So, for the next while, I think I’ll be creating all my content here and sharing links to it on other services instead of creating content elsewhere and hoping my name or content passes muster based on someone else’s criteria.

Maybe you should re-think your dusty blog too?  ;)

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8 comments

  1. You’re absolutely right! And it’s not enough to have access to your data but to your publishing engine’s code, too. That’s why I love WordPress – http://eicker.at/WordPress – and that’s why I’ve never added unique content to any of the social networks. – But! This might change in future: Diaspora – http://eicker.at/DiasporaSummary – offers identical advantages like WordPress does for the social network-side. Possibly I’ll switch to my own Diaspora Seed lateron and move my blogging-focus to this seed as well. Right now there are still too many constraints, but the guys of Diaspora are developing quite fast. ;)

  2. Chris, errr Fleep, I certainly understand the feelings of safety that personal blogs afford. Problem is that many have already migrated away from the time consumption and adjusting to varied formats that blogs present for the convenience of getting familiar updates from an entire network in one or two places like FB, twitter, or G+. A great deal of readership have also abandoned their RSS readers. Things have changed.

  3. Ain’t no dust on my blog- it has always been the home. I’m not sure why you suggest it is one or the other. Things like Facebook, G+ or twitter leave no legacy (old tweets disappear from search in weeks now), and provides little way of keeping your past organized- it is all about the flow of now.

    plus ca change, Frank, the more I blog the same.

  4. Nod Alan, I think that’s the smart move. I guess I got caught up in the flurry of trying new tools and neglected the one space I actually control. I don’t think I’ll make that mistake again.

  5. I’m very hopeful about Diaspora. Still in Alpha/Beta ish land but the concept of nodal social media (i.e. you host and then connect) is appealing to me for just the reasons you mention. Facebook ala WordPress. I’m hopeful. Particularly if you live in #nymlandia

  6. I’ve been rethinking my blog. Not for reasons of this nature… but thanks to you, now I am!

    I blog in spurts. I blog without every a soul ever responding. I’ve always blasted the link out with my other networks, so your strategy is my strategy and it’s worked for me. I think.

    The highest ranked post (according to my analytics) I have is a weirdo rant I went on about “virtual cupcakes”. http://blog.anthonyfontana.com/2009/10/06/virtual-cup-cakes-are-better-for-you/ It makes me feel my art, tech, publishing, etc. that I post on there are worthless.

  7. Fleep, for me it’s been the same path of actions and thought. lack of legacy, fear of boring some people to tears with too much of one subject or another, etc ….

    I made the mistake of attaching my oldest gmail account to +1 and now I’m waiting for google to take down my legacy of Picasa photos … well except that I immediately understood the risk (thanks to coincidental timing of other’s losses) and I’ve never +1′d anything. and yet, still, I’m waiting.

    I’ve been MarillaAnne on the web since I could get to the web. in truth, people who know MarillaAnne tend to know me more completely.

    I’m ready to settle back again into the routine of interdependence of blogging vs hit and run social networking … not that I ever got all that accomplished with it because there is nothing even semi permanent about it. … well that and my personal audience wasn’t present until after I developed my doubts … and they are still so totally random that I would have to tweet the same bloom’n msg every 8 hrs for a month in order for them to catch it just once.

    oh and totally agree re wordpress

    to tell you the truth, I’m almost ready to return to email lists.

    nice to know I’m not alone.

  8. Well… the ones who haven’t been rethinking blogging in light on G+ should – and soon will. I got here because I am wondering if I could keep my blog attached to my oldes, official, GMail account (which is already linked to G+) or if I should move it to another Google account, or go to WordPress. My blog is not so “important” to get its own domain, but I wish I could keep doing it independently – and anonymously. Google is spoiling it all. I had been trusting Google all these years, but I don’t even believe this manoeuvre will be good to them, after all. They’ll surely lose tons of users.