Good reading at Adactio by Jeremy Keith on the popularity (and eventual disappearance) of micro-blogs like Tumblr. As with each successful company, it has always been the community of writers and contributors who are propelling the ‘popularity’ of social networks. And as we’ve seen in the past with the re-design of Digg, that happened way back in 2010, everyone who disliked the new design hopped over to Reddit and throve. “People—individuals—not companies with financial interests, are the true stewards of the open web.” (Aral Balkan) @Aral on Twitter
I am not different from the rest humanity, but my personal experience with social media and micro-blogging net culture is a little different from other people that I have met outside of the field (academics, including teaching and career-wise) of technology: I’ve been switching back and forth between different domain names and servers since 2002, and everything on the internet, including our relationships with storage, copyright and data has changed drastically since then.
I’m still a twenty-something. I do not share the same understanding as those who spent time on the Usenet boards at Duke, setting up a network of computers and dial-up internet connections for the first time at their universities, and, essentially, coining a new vocabularly and predictions of the future etiquette of global culture and the internet. But I’m willing to learn and more importantly, listening wide-eyed to the stories of the Internet pioneers, those “who contributed to (the Internets) early development… includ(ing) early theoretical foundations, specifying original protocols, and expansion beyond a research tool to wide deployment.”
On the topic of mico-blogging, I have also ‘nested’ for a temporary time at Vox, Geocities, and Posterous before (eventually) being asked to vacate when the company was acquired by a larger corporation. Jeremy Adactio shared a mashup tumblr in his blog that “documents those vile and disgusting announcements that start-ups make when they get acquired by a larger company, right before they flush their user’s content (and trust) down the toilet.” However, there is also a curiosity towards other micro-blogging social networks that continue to exist (and in some instances, a tentative limbo existence) on the interwebs.
Of course, I am referring to Livejournal (1999), Angelfire (1996), Tripod (1995) and WordPress (2004). There is an apparent large community behind the first and last services, but I remain in doubt as to why the mid-section continue their zombie-like existence on the interwebs. If you’re interested in reading further on this topic, this is an article from Wikipedia that compares the features of the free web hosting services. And, as always, setup a domain name, redirecting rss service at feedburner, and server space to retain your little home on the net.
If all else fails, head straight to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and don’t you dare come back until you’ve fucking learned something new.