Note: This post is lengthy. I also think it is worth reading. I’m the author, so take that with a grain of salt.
So this blog never really got back up off the ground. After a cursory glance, you might assume that Doug has just fallen off the face of the earth. Or that he has forgotten how to write. Or that he has become antisocial. Or… well, you can fill in the blank.
Truth be told, I’m writing as much as I ever have. No, that’s a lie. I used to be on a frantic pace back in the day. I haven’t, and I couldn’t match that pace again. And therein lies my problem. If I can’t bring CoffeeSwirls back to it’s former glory, what’s the point?
I am still writing, socializing, thinking… But I am doing it outside of this blog. When I first started blogging, there was no Facebook or MySpace, and Google was just one of several search engines. There was no iPhone and apps were what you gave to employers if you were looking for a job. My cell phone did have the game “Snake” however, and I was hooked on it.
If you wanted to be social online, you either got your own website or you got on the news feeds, or whatever those archaic things were called. And once you had a website, you needed some way to add content. Creating HTML files on a daily basis sucked, so like many others, I found blogging software and tried it out. I added an e-mail newsletter and I figured I had my bases pretty much covered.
I would post on my blog and comment on other people’s blogs. We had blogrolls and bloglines. We linked to each other. It was social media. It worked for us. When MySpace came out, I didn’t even bother because the blogosphere was good enough for me.
Facebook came out and people started moving to that. I would get an almost daily request from this or that person to join and I eventually did. The games on Facebook are better than “Snake” on my old Nokia phone, by the way. Then came Twitter, and I eventually gave that a try as well. I’m still not much of a fan, to be honest. But Twitter does have it’s uses.
If you look for me now on Facebook, you’ll see mostly stupid pictures and some content that is carried over from Google+. If you find me on Twitter, you’ll see some leftover spam from when I was last hacked. I’m not that motivated to reactivate the Twitter stream. It doesn’t add anything to my life. If you find me on Google+ though, there is quite a bit of content. Some of it silly. Some of it thought out. All of it me. And the more I get to know about my friends inside Google+, the more categories of Doug are opened to them. Because Google+ is built around shared interests with a wider variety of people rather than pre-existing relationships.
Google+ is built around shared interests rather than pre-existing relationships.
Google+ is only a ghost town to the people who refuse to engage with it. Kinda like how Facebook was a ghost town when you first joined and hadn’t accepted any friend requests yet. Any social medium is what you make of it. So people who say that Google+ is a waste of time and energy aren’t saying a thing about G+ but are saying a lot about their knowledge of the intent behind how G+ is built.
While I’m happy with the people in my Facebook existing friend list, I am also expanding my list of friends based around people with interests similar to my own, not just historical markers similar to my own.
Recently, Lifehacker.com took a poll from their readers where they asked What’s Your Social Network of Choice? At the time I’m writing this, Google+ has over 60% of the vote and Facebook has under 15%. And most of these votes were cast while Lifehacker was stacking the deck in favor of Facebook and Twitter, which has since been changed. But if you read through the comments you’ll see something very interesting.
Nobody defends Facebook by saying that they enjoy using Facebook. Not a one. They say that their family and their old high school friends are on Facebook so they have no choice but to be on there as well. People remain on Facebook out of some misguided sense of social necessity even though most of them do not enjoy Facebook.
Sure, Facebook has games to play. I used to play them too. I also used to play “Snake” on my phone. Have I mentioned that before?
So this blog is stage 1. Facebook was a sort of stage 2. Google+ is stage 3. And I’m not naive enough to think there won’t ever be a stage 4. But for now, I am ENJOYING the social content on Google+. What does this all mean?
- The content from this blog has already been reproduced at a free service for the purpose of storing it as my archives. I do have a lot of history here.
- In the near future, I intend to change the path of my URL (coffeeswirls.com) to my Google+ profile, making that the new generation of CoffeeSwirls. In my profile, I would also include a link to my archives.
- If you are my Facebook friend, you will continue to see some of my G+ posts carried over to FB as the bulk of my content. And I’ll likely continue to put up a silly picture from time to time on FB. But I don’t plan to check FB for comments or mentions more than on a daily basis.
- My current RSS address will be broken by this move. Unfortunately, G+ currently has RSS feeds for public posts, not for subcategories. My FB posts from G+ are what that feed would contain and I will give that address out to anyone who asks.
- In my subcategories, I talk about Christianity, The Walking Dead, the game of Ingress, fun things to do in Iowa, Healthy Eating (stop laughing), Bodyweight Exercises, the Android operating system, motorcycling, the Green Bay Packers (and the other 31 teams who wish they were the Packers), Politics, Food and Beer and a few other niche topics. Each one has it’s own circle. And I add people to circles as I discover the shared interest. I also create more circles as more interests develop. Like BBQ cooking, my most recent circle.
- This is a change from what I have been doing for several months only by my intent to change the URL to point to G+. That’s really it. But I enjoy interacting on G+ and have more friends there than on FB. And none of my friends on G+ are there because I have some obligation to be their friend.
- This does not mean that I am your friend just out of some misguided obligation.
- Unless you’re Facebook stalking me.
- In which case, I would be just a little creeped out.
- Or possibly flattered.
So all this to say that not a whole lot will change. But me getting rid of my webhost and just having the URL redirect to Google+ is a big step for me. It’s a big step for my branding. I’ve had the same host for a decade. Wow, a decade. But my social network has changed from the blogosphere to Facebook and Google+. And out of the remaining networks, I prefer Google+. And I think you will also.