I’ve finally set up a tumblr blog having been seduced by hydrgnc. This means I can quickly and easily post small gobbets of all sorts of (even more) inane stuff for which would be irritating to make an entire blog post.
How is this different from twittering, you might ask. Well, you can’t update it via text message from a mobile phone (quick and cheap) nor does it have the socially interactive, community and chatty aspects which I enjoy more than any other social site I’m a member of (an experience much enhanced by the wide range of notification applications available as well as optional SMS updates).
However you can swiftly and simply post all manner of digital content – video, audio, photo – quickly and easily as well as, of course, text. It’s also possible to upload pictures taken on a mobile phone using a designated e-mail address, but only if your handset and service support it.
My problem is that in terms of the web I’m a convergence junkie. Always have been. This means I want one small device (a bit of hardware) to do everything imaginable (run lots of different applications quickly and easily and in an integrated manner as well as take pictures, videos and record audio) (yes, my iPhone lust is now even stronger than before… imagine what could be done… sigh). Similarly I don’t want little bits of content scattered all over the web in separate, albeit all frizzy, strands – pictures, videos, knitting, screen-grabs, audio delight etc etc etc.
This is where it’s at, as far as I’m concerned, the blog. And, short of starting all over again and setting up some sort of personal portal, this is where it’s going to stay. But how to get everything all in one place?
One sort of solution is the Show Yourself widget (over to the right in the sidebar down near the bottom). The problem is that it’s static. It’s a list of links, albeit easily generated and reasonably well presented ones, but it doesn’t change unless I choose to add or subtract to it which is a rather time-consuming business.
A dynamic solution is to harvest rss feeds which can be displayed in the sidebar. I’ve had lots of those for various separate things over the years using the versatile Feed Digest – see for instance the latest Global Voices headlines and the latest tracks I’ve listened to on iTunes which are displayed in the sidebar under “Global Voicing” and “Listening”.
Now I’m also funneling feeds from my flickr and tumblr accounts into my twitter stream using the excellent twitterfeed. When I post something new to either it automatically generates a twitter entry (a tweet) which includes a clickable link back to the original item. I’m toying with the idea of adding feeds of newly posted videos on YouTube (should I ever actually post any) and newly-started knitting projects as listed on Ravelry.
An aside: despite the fact that this site is still in beta and can’t be accessed by non-members it’s currently ranked fifth out of the top ten web applications as listed by Web App Charts. And how do I know this? because pixeldiva twittered it (although you probably won’t be able to see the twitter itself unless you’re already an approved follower).
All these tweets, which now include notifications of exciting content generated by yours truly as well as my 140-characters-constrained text ramblings, now appear as a clickable list of links in my sidebar under the heading “Curly strands of content”, changed from “Twittering” to reflect the rather larger ambit. And, in a move indicative of how exciting I find the whole thing, it’s been shunted to the premium page real estate position at the top of the screen. W000t!
Now you might, if you have managed to read this far and actually followed my labyrinthine explanations, be asking yourself why I’m channeling everything through twitter rather than syphoning all the constituent feeds into a single output using the aforementioned Feed Digest. And if you are, the answer is that using this method not only does everything obediently appear in the blog sidebar it also gets distributed to my (tiny but very select and gorgeous) twitter community and appears automagically as my “status update” on Facebook.
Er, right. That’s it. From the length of this post it might appear that I’ve spent all day setting these things up. I haven’t. It’s actually really quick and easy. Most of the day has been spent researching possible yarn for a hat for Neha and yarn and a pattern for fingerless mittens for a friend, allergic to wool, who has a birthday soon.
(Oh, and be glad I didn’t diverge into del.icio.us territory, and yes I do know that a link to my blog posts appears on my blog. Or at least it should do if I didn’t delete the associated twitterfeed by mistake. So this post also acts as a test of that. Right, I’m really going now.)