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Blogger Book Club III: Holding Back the Flood

By Brian Sacawa

I have a website. I have a blog. I tweet. I have also been spotted on delicious, Flickr, and MySpace. So I think it’s pretty obvious which side of the “whuffie” argument I come down on, and I have a theory about non-adopters. I think the anti-whuffies fall into two categories: the ‘scaredy cats’ and the ‘resisters’.

‘Scaredy cats’ refuse to engage with this technology not because they’re frightened of technology–quite the contrary, many of them use technology to make their living/art–but because they’re frightened that the transparency this brings to the creative process will allow others to steal their ideas. And since those idea poachers will likely be plugged into the latest social networking gimmick, they will be able to put the stolen ideas out there first and pass them off as their own.

‘Resisters’ are those who are probably sorry they didn’t adopt social networking applications early, either because they thought it wouldn’t last or because they didn’t want to be seen as jumping on the bandwagon. And now that these things have become ubiquitous, they continue to resist because they don’t want to be seen to have gone along just because many others have. They feel the need to separate themselves from the pack by being ‘different’ and not embracing these applications, stubbornly so, probably to the detriment of their careers. (N.B. Though I’ve personally embraced quite a few social networking applications, I am a Facebook resister partly for the reasons stated above and partly because I feel like my cobbled-together virtual existence is Facebook-y enough even though I’m not plugged into their network.)

To the ‘scaredy cats’, I say: Get over it. You have control over what you put out there. You can still conceal and manage the flow of your own information. (If you need help with this, look to the government for some strategies.) Maybe somebody will appropriate some of your ideas, but wouldn’t that be flattering?

To the ‘resisters’, I say: Get over it. Your peers in the musical community, and indeed all of America, will not think you are a sell-out easily swayed by the latest fads just because you start tweeting.

Comments

  1. “Get over it,” is good advice. Nothing gained otherwise.

  2. You forgot those people who are waiting until it’s no longer cool so they can sign up ironically.

  3. And people like me who simply prefer longer forms.
    (I definitely see a use for Twitter in my future, but not just now.)

  4. How do you know that your cobbled-together social-networking life is Facebookish if you don’t actually try Facebook?? ;-)

  5. Hi gang,
    If my earlier comment on Matthew’s post is not enough to be convincing as to why we should tweet and MyFace our days away, I want you to read this very short post and be blown away.

  6. “They feel the need to separate themselves from the pack by being ‘different’ and not embracing these applications, stubbornly so, probably to the detriment of their careers.”
    Brian, that very well could be the definition of an artist :)

  7. These discussions have been very enlightening. I have a website, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts, as well as membership in one or two other networking sites for new music.
    All this branding stuff is a bit daunting. Alex can pull it off because the whole package works so smoothly in the same direction: the island, the cats, the wildlife, the music (always great stuff) and her travels and concerts.
    Some of us, however, are leading several different lives on line. I have “Day Job Paul”, Director of Sales and Marketing at a small engineering company and its all about volts, ohms, amps and selling the project. I have “High School Paul” where I can now catch up with classmates from long ago and far away. I have “Paul the Dad” where I keep in touch with my 4 grown children scattered over 4 states. I have “Church Paul” where I maintain our congregation’s website and lead Bible studies. And there is “Musician Paul” who plays in a university orchestra and writes strange music for our church services.
    So if I put something on Facebook, my kids, co-workers, high school buddies and pastors are going to read it and then try to figure out which Paul is posting, and to who.
    Its getting like that Seinfeld episode where the life of “Relationship George” was crossing into the life of “Independent George”.
    “The whole system is breaking down!” cried George at the end.
    And its true. Maybe that’s why some people resist social networking.
    So the Next Big Thing in Web 2.0 is gonna have to be a way to keep all the on-line lives separate and orderly.

  8. Brian, you should totally get on Facebook! It’s really useful. For example, let’s say you were governor of Alaska but you decided to quit in the middle of your term. You no longer have access to the official Governor of Alaska website, but guess what! You can actually use Facebook to have your official spokesperson respond to all media inquiries!
    But seriously… I agree with Paul that the social networking sites are getting hard to manage.
    New Amsterdam Records (I’m one of their artists) just created this ReverbNation.com profile for me, and I guess I’m supposed to log on and upload a bunch of mp3s or whatever and them email people and tell them to sign up to be a fan of me on ReverbNation.
    I suppose then I’ll have to go over and create a profile on Eventful.com and upload the same mp3s there and then email people again and ask them to log on to eventful and click on the button that says “Demand It!” and get local presenters to book my music.
    Someone is going to make a lot of money by creating software that will allow you to manage *one* profile which automatically updates all your other profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, ReverbNation, Eventful, MySpace, and DirtyManBoyLoveThreesomesWithHelgaTheGoatWoman.com.

  9. Ping.fm does something like that, doesn’t it?

  10. “DirtyManBoyLoveThreesomesWithHelgaTheGoatWoman.com”… That’s the Corey D. site I’ve bookmarked! ;-)

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