Fallout from Shiny Things and Further Thoughts

My post about seceding from Scoble’s blog and the quest for the shiny seems to have caught a lot of traction. It’s crazy, you can never predict when or to which post it will happen. However, writing about Scoble increases the odds because if he links back it’s automatic for the people, baby.

That post has already gotten over 30 comments and trackbacks. I’m a little surprised that so few people call me an idiot. It seems like I really tapped into a nascent feeling that was waiting to be expressed by many people. My favorite negative comment is the guy who calls me too stupid to work Facebook and wonders how long until even this blog scares me. That takes a pretty strained mis-reading to get to that interpretation. I think it’s pretty clear that all I care about is not wasting my time in duplicate efforts, in following fads that ultimately will not pay back that investment.

People have asked if I am burned out on Web 2.0 in general, or merely SNS. It’s kind of the latter but trending towards the former. As the proprietor of a podcast directory, I’m very sensitive to this kind of issue. It’s not like such directories are not thick on the ground, so I knew from day one I’d have to do something different. I also tried to make it as easy as possible to get in (OPML import) and out (OMPL export) to minimize the duplicated efforts. If you have a subscription in a podcatcher that exports OPML (which is most of them) you can rate all those in AmigoFish very quickly. Two years ago I was worried about burnout and today it is worse.

I didn’t know about it at the time, but the same day as my original post, Jeremy Zawodny was also independently making a similar post. I think this has a lot to do with the traction. It wasn’t just me or Steve Rubel, it was a number of people in a perfect storm of getting sick of this all at the same time. The podcast I recorded Wednesday night discusses this issue some more as well. The more I think about this, the more I think my cry of frustration is a continuation of my recent thinking. The retirement thinking and money, sustainability of lifestyle and happiness, the living in a small town in South Carolina rather than Santa Clara and being happier because of it, it’s all of a piece. The idea is to achieve the maximal happiness with the minimal friction. I think I’m on pace for that.

In pretty much every way, I’m happier today than I have been in a long time. I like my job, I have as little money stress as I ever have, I love my house and neighborhood, I’m back in touch with old friends I haven’t talked to in 10 or 20 years. This is the good stuff of life, and makes me happy in a way that an increasing count of friends on a SNS cannot. I don’t want to be the cranky old man yelling at the kids to get off my lawn, or like the people who talk about how iPods destroy this mythical (fictional) pasts where everyone talked to their neighbors all the time. I also don’t want to say no one finds use in Facebook. My wife has been on it for years as a teacher, and she likes it. However, I already have so much infrastructure in the form of this blog/podcast and all the various things I have already joined, I just don’t have the emptiness I need Facebook to fill. I not only don’t want to use it, I don’t really want to hear a lot about it. If that’s your focus and you are excited about it, talk away by all means. Do what you love. However, it might well mean I’m not listening. That’s just the way it works.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

4 thoughts on “Fallout from Shiny Things and Further Thoughts”

  1. mike dunn says:

    good points on http://amigofish.com dave, it is an easy tool to get info into and out of – which points to the problem i’ve seen w/ a ton of sns plays, most (not all) are walled gardens that can’t be linked to from outside or exported so you can take your grouplings elsewhere – thus you live in them and have to put a lot of work into them to make them work at scale (if thats what you want) then start all over when you want to try something new…

    jeremy was saying something very similar in his post, and he interestingly enough works directly w/ robert…

    maybe something smart will come of all this, the http://www.profilelinker.com/ that he mentioned looks promising – guess i’ll go check out that now, its very shiney 😉

  2. Funny, a next-door neighbor friend from 33 years ago just found me on Facebook and turns out she works for Oracle.

    Your post actually was interesting to me. I +am+ a professional shiny thing watcher. That’s what I do. I look for what’s coming next. Facebook lit up all my networks at one time, which is pretty rare. VCs are pouring lots of resources into Facebook because of its application platform (if you think it’s just a social network you’ll miss what’s really powerful there). All of Facebook’s competitors like LinkedIn now are working on their own application platforms. That, to me, is a good thing.

    Funny, last night coming home from Seattle there was a lady behind me telling everyone around her “I had computers, I don’t own one of those and I don’t have a cell phone either.”

    There’s lots of people who decide to get off the “keep up with the new” train. I’ll be there for those who want to know what’s coming next.

    You might be happier with my link blog, though, because there I just look for the best blogs. I’m still subscribed to you, by the way.

  3. Ken Nelson says:

    Wherever there’s a “next new thing”, there will be a dedicated SysAdmin there to provide its care and feeding; to provision its disk, to back up its files, etc,etc.

    Shabby and poor though my blog may be, I’m glad that I can write more about the provisioning than the hype surrounding the schemes that just don’t pan out.

    Admins are blue-collar, whether serving porn, hype, or soon-forgotten web service “services”. They are the first to be cut loose when the VC capital swirls around in the cyber-crapper. They are also the first ones to be gainfully and profitably re-employed with some place that offers such luxuries as a business plan.

    I’m sure Scoble is a good guy; he does have a nasty habit of getting on my last good nerve.

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