More Social Networking For Me, Thanks to OSCON

Looking through my blog’s archive, I never did blog about my getting started with Facebook, but I’m blaming, er, crediting the 2008 O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON). They had put up a note that Facebook was to be the social network of choice for that year. Previously, I had been avoiding Facebook, but with that final nudge, I relented and created the account. And Facebook has been great for reconnecting with people, and glimpsing little bits of peoples’ lives you wouldn’t necessarily see.

There’s a new social networking concept that I’ve dabbled with, but never really got into, called “microblogging”. This is where you make short posts, usually only a sentence or two, or a link. The site that’s been around the longest and is the most successful is Twitter, and no, I do not have an account there. Yet.

I just finished reading an interesting entry on the TED Blog called “How To Talk While People are Twittering“, and it discusses an article on how, as a speaker, being aware of the backchannel communication of your audience can benefit both the audience and you. The point for me is that I’ve been going to OSCON for several years now, and it was only a few years ago that I discovered the traditional OSCON backchannel: IRC.  From that, many of the points this article enumerates, I know first-hand to be true.
So, going to the 2009 OSCON site, seeing that the very first icon in the list of social networks and media to be used this year is Twitter, I have very little doubt that in addition to IRC, Twitter is going to be heavily used and will be another great source of commentary and information (we *are* talking about a group of notorious early adopters).

I know I can easily follow the twittering without an account: there are lots of aggregators out there, but I’m guessing that I’ll create an account for 2 reasons: the first is to be able to participate in the discussion, and the second is that I’ve been saying for the last few years that I’ll blog the conference, and while last year I did ok, I don’t have the greatest track record. Twitter might not be great, in-depth prose, but it will be (micro) blogging, and it will provide a trail that will serve as a memory aid should I then go back and write real blog posts.

Look for me on Twitter. Coming Soon. Summer of ’09. Maybe before. 🙂

The Problem with My Blogging Philosophy

Even with the name change to reflect the nature of the blog (sporadic posting), there’s definitely something wrong with the way I do things here.  Read any article on blogging, and they’ll tell you about posting often to build an audience and a brand, and I’m just plain ignoring that.  This isn’t really a blog about any one thing (which is a problem any of the previously-mentioned articles will tell you), and that’s coupled with two problems:

The first is that I am, by nature, a fairly private person.  I know that probably seems weird to say, given my online presence, but if you examine everything about me that’s out there, it doesn’t really go that deep.  Regardless, there is a definite amount of resistance I need to overcome just to write something here (or anywhere public, for that matter).

The second problem, more directly related to blogging, is overcoming the mostly-subconscious, self-imposed expectation of having to posting something really great (which I imagine people whose blogs have an audience have), which grows worse the longer the silence gets.  There have been things I could have written about and didn’t because I didn’t think I had the time to do it justice, or just forgot about it.  Then there’s looking at the date of the last entry and thinking “wow, it’s really been a while – I need something to write about”, and then rejecting most of the ideas as “not good enough”.

I have the head-knowledge bit of overcoming this (just write something!), but is there a practical thing I can do to overcome this other than just “getting over it”?