Reclaiming My Digital Identity

After deleting my Yahoo accounts and thinking about the stuff that’s gathered all around the web – I think it’s time to reclaim my stuff. So I made  a list of all the places I consume/create things on the web:

  • Faceboook – how I connect to family and friends, manage a band page
  • Flickr – still have some photos there
  • Tumblr – Hamilton Punk and Hardcore visual archive
  • Picasa/Google Photos – have quite a few photos from my phone
  • Instagram – yeah, photos here too
  • Twitter – my edtech tweets
  • Google+ – not really but some stuff there
  • various message boards – music, music and more music
  • LinkedIn – work related
  • PebblePad – ePortfolio
  • Trello – abandoned workflow/project management
  • Vimeo – portfolio related videos
  • YouTube – portfolio, music (two separate accounts), general watching (yes, a third account for stuff I’ve watched)
  • Discogs – record collection
  • Google Drive/Docs – three different accounts for three reasons (work, personal/travel, music)
  • Dropbox – filesharing
  • Diigo – bookmarks 
  • The Old Reader – RSS
  • Netvibes – RSS

Some of those make sense to reclaim (photos for sure), some don’t because the purpose is to leverage their platforms to communicate. The ones in italics make some sense to reclaim to me. The one benefit is that the storage for stuff out there, is paid for by someone else. However I’m thinking about how a website reflects one’s identity and maybe it’s time for a more holistic version of what I am, who I am.

I Hate Bookmark Sharing

I’ll say it. I hate sharing bookmarks.

Don’t get me wrong, I like sharing ideas, but sites like Delicious, Diigo, Digg and the like aren’t doing it for me. I have a variety of interests. I like punk rock records. I’m fascinated by the idea of 21st century literacies. I really like a lot of things that are Japanese. I like the concept of zen. I may not want to share everything with everybody. Yes, I know that I can selectively choose which items go to the public, which go to a select group, which go to family… it shouldn’t be that hard though.

I manage different facets of my online identity, and in the past I’ve chosen a certain identity (dietsociety) to represent my online life, and other ones (jonk, jon_k) to represent my professional life. Somewhere around 2001, I decided to consolidate under one banner (dietsociety). I liked the connotations of a small world, or a shrinking world, and the fact that it was a double entendre – my first publishing attempt was in the late 80’s (as in 1989) as a punk fanzine, “Diet Society”, which was part social commentary, part music.

So why the hate-on for social bookmarking? I hate that the current services don’t tell me why someone bookmarked it, or in Diigo’s case, underplay the annotation feature – or you can annotate a site, but it interferes with the “flow” of the site – changing the experience of using the web. I hate that I have to manually retag things that in the context of my bookmarks menu, makes sense. I hate that bookmark sharing sites don’t tell me the last time I used the bookmark (which might provide interesting ranking data). I hate that I use a total of 11 browsers (across three computers and one device) and I have to manually sync each one. Never mind the fact that I don’t want work data to be the same as home data. Shouldn’t it be easy to do that? It apparently has escaped me how to do this. I don’t mind sharing, in fact, I love sharing. I just don’t see the popularity contest working. I mean, we don’t go to AltaVista anymore because we recognize that popularity is not the best ranking of information, so why are we paying attention to it on Delicious?