In this period of economic uncertainty, many companies are trimming their (human) resources. Similarly, but virtually, I’m carrying out a ‘pruning plan’ on my online presence and projects. The verb to prune expresses my intent with utmost precision: to prune is to cut away dead or overgrown branches or stems, esp. to increase fruitfulness and growth. Looking back at how 2008 went, I have not been able to maintain all the projects I started — some, admittedly, on a sudden impulse. Also, I have not been able to update blogs and journals, or to constantly visit and update websites (social or not) where I have an account (ma.gnolia and Shelfari, I’m looking in your direction).
2009 starts with a new angle, and with the need of cleaning up the virtual online mess left behind. I need focus, and therefore I will devote my attention, energies and interest to some selected places, and delete or otherwise abandon other ones to their natural Web-rotting. To avoid confusion, misunderstandings, false expectations, and to help my current readers and followers to keep finding me at the right corners, here is a list of the places/accounts I’m dropping or leaving or abandoning, and the places I will continue to maintain and update:
Closing, deleting, abandoning:
- Wordth: One day, towards the end of September 2008, this neologism came to mind, and with it the idea of starting a blog where each entry would consist of one word only. The tag line of this blog was The width, length, depth of a word. It lasted a couple of weeks, then in mid-October I started to forget about it. It hasn’t been such a powerful idea in the end, so it goes. I cannot delete it at the moment because it is tied to a Tumblr account that also hosts another space I don’t want to delete, but consider it abandoned.
- Ma.gnolia: Not deleting my account, because I’d like to keep reading and consulting other people’s links and bookmarks every now and then, but I haven’t updated it in months and therefore is abandoned.
- LiveJournal: Rizlas of Rick: No longer maintained. I will migrate the contents of that space here, in the Literary Supplement. I will not delete the LiveJournal account for the benefit of those who have ‘friended’ the Rizlas of Rick journal, but I will post a notice pointing readers to the new space if they want to continue reading new material.
- Shelfari: I was invited to join the site by a Flickr’s contact in November 2007. I thought it was cool to be able to give people an idea of what I have on my shelves, which books I’m reading, and so on. And I was tempted to get more involved in the social aspect of Shelfari, joining groups closer to my interests and views, participating in discussions, writing reviews. I soon found out it was too time-consuming. I’m not deleting the account only because of the time I spent finding my books by ISBN and getting the right (or the most similar) covers for my virtual shelf. I’m leaving the social part of it but I may be updating my book list in the future.
Keeping in the freezer:
- Crosslines: A project I started on February 26, 2007. The idea is to write an ‘interactive webfiction’ as a collective work of writing, developed as a Role-Playing Text Adventure, where the parser is not an artificial intelligence (the computer) but, rather, the Prime Mover, who is the creator of the Story and is responsible of the general direction of the narrative (yours truly). The project, as the About Page states, has no expiration date. You’re welcome to participate but be warned that — since it’s not in my top priority list, interaction times may be long and slow. On the other hand, should Crosslines attract enough active and motivated participants, it can definitely return to an active state and updated accordingly.
- My main LiveJournal account, t_pot: I opened this account in March 2001 and spent some amazing years sharing my personal life and thoughts with a selected and lovely group of people I really consider my friends, despite not having met 98% of them in person. Some of them (you know who you are) have helped me through difficult times by commenting in my journal, writing me privately, and chatting online. I met my wife through LiveJournal, for Heaven’s sake! Thus, I will never delete this account (unless the company behind LiveJournal, whichever it may be at the moment, will decide to shut the site off and dump everything in the bin), but I have to acknowledge the fact that my presence and my updates have been dramatically decreasing in the past year, and that I’ve lost that continual ‘being in touch’ with most of those aforementioned lovely people. I’ve given much thought to it and the solution appears quite simple: I will keep doing what I did with the previous post in this blog: synchronise the two blogs from now on. This ‘best of both worlds’ approach seems to me the most efficient: those in the LiveJournal community will be able to easily follow my future updates, plus they’ll be able to take a look here and enjoy whatever additional content I’ll post. And that will help me keep the bond with LiveJournal in return. I will try to read others’ livejournals more frequently.
- My LinkedIn account: I still think the idea of LinkedIn is a good one, and I’m keeping my account ‘just in case’; yet, I’ve kept it for two years and nothing happened work-wise.
Keeping alive and well and living:
- This place: I like it and it’s a good starting hub pointing readers to other site I keep up-to-date.
- My vintage-Mac-oriented System Folder blog.
- My Italian Mac-oriented Autoritratto con Mele blog.
- My Flickr account. If you like my photos, keep looking, I’m not going away.
- My Twitter account, although I still don’t use it daily or on a regular basis. It’s enough to have a faint idea of what’s happening in my life, though.
- My member page at Veer — I still have to refine it and decide what kind of content to publish on a regular basis.
It still seems a lot to maintain, but only a couple of places are that intense and time-consuming. On the whole, I think it’s much more manageable than before. I don’t think I’ll join social networking sites for the foreseeable future, so don’t bother looking for me there — especially on Facebook.
That said, Happy New Year to all of you.
Update, January 2012
Of course, many things have happened since this post. Check my Projects page for an updated list of active/inactive projects.