pile.org

Twitter vs. Bouquet vs. this web site (vs. Delicious while I'm thinking about it)

I’ve given a little thought to how I choose where I put things I write—here or on three other sites. At one point, I imagined that every single thing I wrote would be on this site, but that obviously didn’t happen, and that’s for the best: Each of these is a different tool that excels at a particular thing; trying to put them all here would have resulted in a muddled mess.

Twitter

Twitter is for ephemera—passing thoughts, jokes (or proto-jokes), and the like. I’m not planning to go back and find something later, nor do I expect anyone else to.

Twitter has no concept of time, other than the moment you post something, so it’s not well-suited for recapping earlier events. And I’ve found that I’d rather live in the moment, do something, rather than write about it, especially with a kid (soon to be two!) demanding (and deserving) my attention.

I find that if I only follow people I know, it serves as a (sub-par, but much better than nothing) substitute for hanging out with people, being in the same room while not necessarily interacting directly with them—like being in the dorm lounge and overhearing various people snark and kvetch and laugh and drop little nuggets of insight.

Follow me on Twitter if you want to know the trivial things that might be on my mind at any given moment.

Bouquet

This is like a mini-diary: Small posts each associated with a date. To make it easier (not to mention more fun) to read, each post also has a little icon for the type of event—a Lego for kid stuff, a Dutch oven for cooking, a red cross for being sick. (This suggests that in the future, it’ll be easy to search your history by event type, which would make it about 2000% more useful as a diary.) Finally, each event can have a link.

Depending on how busy I am, I update Bouquet anywhere from daily to every four or five days; that’s about the point where I start forgetting what it was I’ve been doing.

Subscribe to my Bouquet feed if you want to know what I’ve been doing.

pile.org

This site, obviously. It’s for things I want to share with the world, but particularly with friends and family. News, short-form essays, opinions, and the like go here. Meghan writes here, too, for similar reasons.

Subscribe to pile.org’s feed for what we’ve been thinking, and what we care enough about to motivate us to write something longer.

Delicious

I use Delicious to link to articles that I’ve found interesting, or that I suspect I’ll want to revisit in the future. It popularized the notion of a folksonomic tag, letting the world come to some kind of consensus as to how a given page might be categorized. It also serves as a rough indicator of what people are finding interesting, as it keeps track of the number of people linking to a page.

I like to put a bit of commentary along with every link, as that can help people searching Delicious quickly find out whether a given page is what they’re really looking for, as well as to let people following my Delicious posts know what I think about a given article.

Subscribe to my Delicious feed to see what I’ve been reading online.

Postscript: Flickr

At one point, I did a bunch of really awkward, difficult work to jury-rig some kind of photoblogging functionality into this site. Turns out that Flickr does it so much better that there is exactly zero reason not to use it.

Subscribe to my Flickr feed to literally see what we’ve been doing.

Post-postscript: Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, LiveJournal, Orkut, etc.

Too many social networking sites to keep track of, and to rebuild a web of connections over and over and over again. I maintain a vestigal account on most of these, as much to reserve the username “sben” as for anything else. (I do use my LiveJournal account, but only for commenting on online acquaintances’ posts; for some reason, that’s where most of mine have congregated.)