only connect

Anyone going to the DC BlogHer event next weekend?  I’m interested in meeting people, but am not sure that I want to spend the $100 they’re charging for the actually conference.  Cecily is organizing a dinner for the night before so I may just go to that.

Phantom Scribbler posted today
, asking where the cool kids are hanging out these days.  I told her I didn’t know, but I agreed that I’m finding less sense of community in the blogosphere these days.  I’m still writing, and still reading, but commenting less, and getting involved in fewer long conversations.  I’m still on a bunch of listservs too, but I’m wondering how much this is a matter of habit, rather than something that’s still important to me.

Phantom did convince me to sign up for Facebook, which I had been resisting.  I guess I’m an old fogie or something.* I know, I’ve been hearing for years about how popular it is, but I was still shocked when it told me that there were 588 people in my gmail address book who had Facebook accounts.  I only attempted to friend about 50 of them, but that’s still a lot.  Obviously, not everyone who has a facebook account actually uses it, but 28 people use it enough to respond to my request to friend them within 9 hours.

* This summer, I decided that a good description of my precise state of being almost but not quite up-to-date is that I watched Dr Horrible, but I heard about it first on NPR.  Similarly, I’ve been blogging for four years, but this is the first social networking site I’ve joined.

12 Responses to “only connect”

  1. Phantom Scribbler Says:

    Laughing! You know, that was the line I used on Jody whilst fruitlessly trying to twist her arm about Facebook — I said, “You would have heard about Dr. Horrible earlier.”
    What I realized is that I’ve developed enormous inertia about commenting on blogs, even when it’s a friend with whom I’m comfortable, even when it’s a conversation that interests me. I don’t know how much of it is feeling like my long hiatus gives me less right to be in the conversation than I used to, how much of it is having lost the habit of responding to what I read, and how much of it is sheer laziness and scattered thinking.

  2. K Says:

    I’m on Facebook….but I still managed to first hear about Dr. Horrible’s Sing A-Long Blog on NPR too. I like Facebook for keeping in touch with faraway friends who don’t know about the blog…

  3. Jody Says:

    Ha! Phantom is right — but I heard about Dr. Horrible from the mother of a child’s friend — which mother is back in school now, and also ten years younger than me.
    Gemma’s teacher is a new graduate of Basketball-Crazy State University in our town, and I set Phantom on her Facebook account page to see what I could learn. What I/Phantom learned is that she had something like 558 friends!
    I don’t see Facebook in my future, if only because I can’t see how to do it while keeping my blog and real-world friends separate. And it would be pretty useless to me without both groups being there. (I’ve already run into this problem with Ravelry and Flickr — can’t show any of my real-world friends my knitting via those sites because it takes you so quickly to the blog. But that gets into the thicket of anonymity etc. and maybe I need to revisit that question….)

  4. Laura Says:

    Well, I’m out of it. Had no idea about Dr. Horrible. Sigh. I’m reading as much as ever, commenting less for sure, not blogging as much. There is a lot of stuff going on in my life right now that isn’t completely bloggable. I’ve also turned to Twitter to keep up with a lot people. It’s nice to shout out a few comments here and there.
    I wish I could go to the DC thing, but I’ll be up in Vermont that weekend.

  5. David Oskardmay Says:

    Hi Half Changed readers and Elizabeth,
    Hank Hooper is a musician and multimedia artist who creates great original music and art for kids. Collaborating with Hank, I have released the multimedia album download edition of his latest work, “Playground Fortune Teller”, 17 awesome songs and a narrated eBook by Hank, all presented in an interactive, easy-to-use, downloadable format.
    Please give the free single a listen!
    “That’s My Chicken”
    Feel free to repost that link, as well as the following publicity page:
    Would you be interested in doing a review of the full album? If so, I will forward you the URL for the complete album, available at
    Elizabeth, you don’t seem to have an easy way to contact you on your About page, so .. I’ll just spam up your comments! Anyone who likes the single and wants to do a review can, of course, drop me a line.
    Thanks in advance!
    Best Regards,
    David Oskardmay
    davido at bitworksmusic dot com

  6. landismom Says:

    I haven’t found it that hard to keep my Facebook life and my blog life separate. I do have some blogger friends as Facebook friends too–so far (as far as I know), no one from my meatspace life knows about my blog.
    I feel like I went through a long dry spell on my blog earlier this year, and am finally back to writing on a semi-regular basis. But the commenting has definitely dried up.

  7. amy Says:

    Go away, go away, David Oskardmay. There, you can set it to music.
    Elizabeth, I joined facebook only after several of my old-enough-to-know-better friends asked me to, and then a client asked me to. I more or less ignore it now. They all know my email address. I’m too old to get excited about writing on dormroom-door whiteboards. My friends’ reluctance to email, and mine to use facebook, has had a delightful effect: We call each other more.

  8. Cecily Says:

    If you really want to come to the dark side, join Twitter. That shit is ADDICTIVE. :)
    I’m so pysched about dinner! :)

  9. merseydotes Says:

    Six months ago, if you would have told me that I’d have nearly 200 Facebook friends, I’d say you were crazy. And yet, here I am.
    I took my blog link down within a few days of joining so that the worlds wouldn’t collide. And then, well, the bloom fell off the blogging rose for me, so I suppose it became a nonissue.

  10. Genevieve Says:

    Yeah, not wanting my worlds to collide is one main reason I haven’t signed up for Facebook (another is that blinky things on most Facebook sites are migraine triggers for me – I avoid blinky pages in my blog-reading). And I don’t even blog, but I have my commenting identity and my real-life identity, and they’ve only met a few times.

  11. jim Says:

    I don’t know what to think about BlogHer. The rhetoric is about empowering women; the business model is selling advertising. And a quick glance at the conference program suggests its major thrust is how to make more money from advertising on your blog. The two things aren’t necessarily in conflict. Any income for a woman otherwise dependent on the good will of a man is empowering. And some women have built on a reputation originally from blogging to make themselves a genuine career.
    Still, $100 for the conference seems a lot.

  12. Mary Says:

    Mostly a lurker here, but wanted to tell ya that if you go to dinner on Sunday I will get to meet you in person!!! SO GO!

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