Somebody urged me to join Classical Lounge, so I did, and lots of people there wanted to add me to their friends list, and I always pushed the “accept” button. And I started getting notices that people wanted to befriend me on Plaxo Pulse, so I’d go over there and thread my way through the web site, and then the similar LinkedIn requests started pouring in. And I got invited to join NetNewMusic, as did apparently my entire circle of acquaintances, because most of my e-mail time over the next couple of weeks was spent acceding to requests to link to people there. Many of the requests come from slight acquaintances I admire and certainly don’t want to insult by refusing, others come from complete strangers. But in either case, I haven’t figured out what the point is.
If someone wants to get in touch with me, I already felt like the easiest-to-reach person in the blogosphere, with multiple web addresses and message sites. (Sensitive people think they get blocked by my spam filter, but it’s never true.) Given that I’m an introvert with a high need for privacy and prone to the occasional peevish mood, I’m still fairly sociable, and I certainly don’t want to give anyone the impression that I’m too high and mighty to join their little internet club. But I can’t imagine a situation in which someone wanted to get information to me who wouldn’t find it easiest to just add my e-mail address to a list. Maybe if I were young and on the lookout for career opportunities, some would come my way through this route, but my plate, insofar as casual acquaintances would seem to be able to fill it, is pretty full. I’ve found that I don’t like getting caught up in web forums, because my ideas are pretty unorthodox, and classical musicians often get offended by my views (like, I don’t know, my perception that most classical musicians are kind of stupid). And it takes about all my spare time to deal with mail to my own blog, where at least people already know what they’re getting into. If I want to talk to microtonalists I go to their Yahoo list, and I check in on New Music Box, and I look at people’s web sites when too tired to do anything else. I might also mention that I keep pretty busy.
I don’t take to new technologies very well, and maybe there’s something going on here that I just haven’t figured out – or maybe the people who run these sites are themselves just testing the waters. Is there something to these music e-friend groups that I should be paying attention to?