I set up a place for “my favorite things”. Let’s share

I’m trying something which I’ve seen one other blogger do, though I’m adding a new twist to it. Hopefully it’ll go well. As this blog has evolved I’ve tried to give it a defining purpose. There have been some things I’ve wanted to share with my readers, but they’re of the, “Hey, look at this,” variety. I kind of tried that here a few years ago, but settled more on reserving this blog for my own “deep thoughts” on computing, and societal issues.

I’ve been sharing articles and videos with “friends” and such on Facebook for about a year-and-a-half now. It’s had its moments, but it hasn’t been that satisfying. The main reason I did it is I wanted to have thoughtful engagement with others, but that didn’t happen much. There are times when I like a little light-hearted fluff, too, and that’s more compatible with the Facebook ethos. I’m making an effort to broaden the sharing to more than just “friends” in a “walled garden” network. Just trying something different.

(Update 5-12-2013: Posterous shut down on April 30. I moved my “favorites” blog to WordPress. I talked about an “e-mail” feature below on Posterous. I vaguely remember hearing about an “e-mail to post” feature on WordPress, which I can enable, but I haven’t tried it. Since all I got on Posterous through that was spam, I’d just assume not use it.)

I’ve decided to set up another blog for this purpose that is just about stuff I’ve found on the internet which interests me, mainly articles written by others, and videos. It probably won’t have a lot of commentary (I do that here). It’s hosted on Posterous, which makes it easy to post different forms of internet media. The web address is http://markfavorites.posterous.com I’ve created a WordPress blog, at http://marksfavorites.wordpress.com (I’ve also included it on my “Links” sidebar as “My favorites”). It has comments enabled so people can respond to what’s shared. It has a feature, which I’ve enabled, where anyone can contribute posts to my “favorites” blog, which I will moderate. This enables you to share something with me. All you have to do is send the posting as an e-mail to post@markfavorites.posterous.com. I think I got this all set up correctly, but if you have any problems with it, let me know. My personal e-mail address is on the “About” page of this blog. We’ll see how this goes. This “favorites” blog I’ve set up is public, so potentially anyone “off the street” can post to it. But hey, if it’s interesting, I’ll let it on through.

As I said, Posterous makes it easy to post internet media. Typically you just put the URL a video or audio file in the post, and it figures out how to embed it, or link to it, properly in the post. For articles it’s better if you put the URL in an anchor tag. This applies to all e-mail postings as well. Most e-mailers have a “link” feature you can use to create anchors.

Will be seeing you…

One thought on “I set up a place for “my favorite things”. Let’s share

  1. In my experience, Facebook requires a critical mass of people on your friends list to achieve meaningful conversations. The problem is that few people stare at it all day long, and there’s enough activity to drown most of the good stuff. When I had a Motorola Devour with MotoBlur, it was easy to never miss anything going by on FB; without that particular phone, it’s hard to keep up with it. The typical user just sees the most recent 25 – 50 posts once or twice a day. As a result, unless you have 10 – 15 really interesting people who use Facebook on a regular basis on your friends list, you’ll only get one or two comments on anything. For example, with my Facebook posts, you see that the actual, interesting conversations almost always involve the same crowd of people:

    * William Richards (BJ)
    * Yourself
    * Daniel Hucks
    * George Ou
    * Charles Burns
    * Lauren Crosby
    * Ed Warnicke
    * Kate Mattison
    * Roger Yarosh

    That’s basically the list of my friends who combine having a wide variety of interests with a willingness to discuss potentially “combustible” topics in an open forum, with the ability to discuss them in a consistently polite and respectful manner. Recently, BJ got a job so he dropped of Facebook for the most part, and his absence is noticed in a lot of the conversations. I think that if I was able to get 3 or so more folks with the same qualities, Facebook would be a really great place for me to have these conversations on a regular basis. Right now, it is hit or miss… some of the stuff catches on, some doesn’t.

    If you look at my friends list, it has nearly 300 people on it. I will say that the many more of the people on my friends list are truly interesting people, who can carry an excellent conversation in the real world. I’m not singling anyone out, but out of those great conversationalists, the above list are those who can and do carry on a good Facebook conversation and regularly participate. Unfortunately, I’ve avoided a couple of topics which I know would otherwise generate a lot of talk. It’s simply not worth starting a fight because a few people on my list are not able to be courteous to others, and at the same time, I am not going to alienate people who I am truly friends with over “Facebook drama”. In a nutshell, de-friending spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends of real life friends is just not something that helps your friendship. It’s unfortunate, but I also feel that these same people essentially bullied others into not participating through their behaviors. I know that my wife has become more reluctant to post certain things on Facebook because of some of the same people.

    And that’s really the challenge with “social media”. I am faced with a no-win choice if I want to cultivate discussions. I need to have a critical mass of people who participate, but the process of developing that mass carries risks. I do not know enough people at a personal level so well that I can get a list of, say, 80 awesome conversationalists and no bad ones. So you end up with 200 people, 3 or 4 of whom just happen to be people you really wish you hadn’t added, but can’t really get rid of, either. The “groups” functionality may be the solution. I have to explore it, because I get the impression that by using it, I can restrict things to certain circles. If this is the case, I think that I can get going on these topics again, and just keep the “bad apples” out of the picture.


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