Tumblr for the Lipitor generation

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Here’s how I feel about the different social media sites and their uses:

  • Facebook, for the young, is for connecting and gossiping and embarrassing one another.
  • Facebook, for those of us who are no longer young, is for keeping in touch and swapping recipes and Simplicity patterns and posting pictures from thirty years ago and embarrassing one another.
  • Twitter is about branding and advertisement and being stupid in fifteen words or less. If you are not consistently very witty, you shouldn’t really bother posting, unless you’re Katy Perry or Justin Bieber, in which case it doesn’t matter.
  • Pinterest is for those who like to post and share pictures of fashion and decorating and jewelry and cute boys. Much though I like all these things, I decided after a few months that Pinterest was not for me.
  • WordPress is a nice stable blog website, full of people with all kinds of interests. I have made some very nice Internet friendships on WordPress.
  • Blogger / Blogspot ditto.
  • Tumblr is a friggin’ zoo.

Let me expand upon this last statement.
Tumblr is something for everyone and no mistake: lots of beautiful photography and art, lots of underdone cheesy humor, lots of selfies. Also lots of bizarre political thought and amateur porn. It’s a more freewheeling version of Facebook in which you don’t need to friend anyone, and in which most people use handles and aliases. Nothing comes to you automatically on Tumblr: you have to shop around for it. Once you find something with which you feel comfortable, those people will be reblogging from other similarly-oriented Tumblr blogs, and you can follow those in turn, and – within a month or two of careful tending – you will have a beautiful Tumblr garden / dashboard full of lovely and amusing images and texts to enjoy!

Let me give you a head start. Let’s say you’re a mature person, a little literary, a little artsy, with a taste for kitch and a goofy sense of humor. You might like to look at the following Tumblr blogs, just for entertainment’s sake. (And if you’re reading this on Tumblr, look these folks up; you won’t be sorry.)

  • Diane Duane. Diane (who blogs under her real name) is a successful author, mostly sci-fi and young adult. She lives in Ireland and posts wonderful pictures and texts, and she is very responsive to her fans and readers. She is very likeable, and I recommend her highly.
  • Devilduck. This is the ultra-kitschy Tumblr blog of one of the guys associated with the well-known Archie McPhee joke shop in Seattle. If you like pictures of people wearing horse masks and Christmas trees decorated with Cthulhu tentacles, this is the site for you.
  • Bad Postcards. What it says. Mostly 1950s and 1960s; mostly cute, some poignantly nostalgic, and almost all in brilliant Kodacolor.
  • 1950s Unlimited. Like Devilduck, but a little more on the sentimental side. If you get misty-eyed over black and white photos of people using cigarette machines, you’ll feel very at home here.
  • Well, That’s Just Great. The drily amusing / often hilarious daily chronicle of a man named Anthony Giffen who lives in central Florida with a dog named Ducky and a partner named Gizmo. Highly recommended.

There: I have sanitized Tumblr for you. I guarantee no porn, no dangerous radicals, no homicidal lunatics.

Now get in there and explore Tumblr and stomp around a bit.

You might just have fun.


Goodbye to Posterous

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I wrote something in late 2012 about leaving Posterous. It was getting treacherous, and the website was often difficult, and I decided I’d leave it.

But – here’s the thing – when it works, it’s wonderful! It autoposts to everything! It’s so convenient!

So I decided to think about it for a while.

Well, there’s no more thinking to be done. Posterous is done, as of March 31: finished completely. Twitter is absorbing its staff and its servers.

What does this mean?

Well, it means that I’m posting this blog in five places rather than six. My method currently is this: I post these blogs on Posterous and WordPress, and they automatically post to all of the other Internet properties (Blogger, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter).

Now what?

I began with Posterous because some of my favorite celebrity bloggers, like Mark Bittman, used Posterous. It seemed reliable and steady, and the create-post screens were pretty straightforward. Also: it autoposted everywhere.

Except that, once in a while, it got uppity and refused to do anything at all.

Irritating!

Well, no need to worry about that now. For those of you (not many) who read me or who subscribe to me on Posterous: please move over to futureworldblog.wordpress.com.

Rest in peace, Posterous.

Social media (and especially Pinterest)

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Social media allow us to craft our own image and present it to the world, in ways that only a few artists and writers were able to do in the centuries before us. More than that: we can do it over and over again, in various ways. We don’t have to present ourselves on Facebook in the same way that we do on LinkedIn, or Tumblr, or Twitter.

 

 

Take me, for example. My Facebook persona is pretty vanilla. I repost this blog to my Facebook feed, but I suspect very few of my sixty-odd “friends” read it. And, after all, why would they? Facebook Loren is mostly 1970s Pacific Northwest Loren. A large percentage of my Facebook friends are my school acquaintances from Battle Ground, and various Pacific Northwest relatives. As you can imagine, their politics vary considerably from mine, in most (though not all) cases. So: we stick to safe topics, and harmless photos, and nostalgia.

 

 

LinkedIn Loren is very dull: he’s just a brief resume.  He has a reasonable number of connections, but (since he’s not actively looking for a job) he’s not out there roaming the LinkedIn network very much. Mostly I use LinkedIn to find out what my various work acquaintances are doing nowadays. Now and then I’m amused to find that some of them are exaggerating their titles, and their experience, and their education, and their accomplishments. (But I won’t rat them out. Not here, anyway. Give me a call, and I’ll tell you all about it.)

 

 

Twitter Loren is a nonentity. This blog reposts there too, but I seldom look at Twitter; it’s too busy, too full of chatter.

 

 

Blog Loren is the same person on Posterous, Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress, as this goes out to all four. Three of them – Posterous, Blogger, and WordPress – are full of windy pontificators like me, so I’m just a face in the crowd there. I’m not really at home on Tumblr, which is really more about images and memes and being cutting-edge. I like Tumblr, though, more as a subscriber (and occasional reposter) than as a contributor. Few people on Tumblr read me, but I read and look at lots of people on Tumblr, and enjoy them very much.

 

 

Then there is (or was) Pinterest Loren.

 

 

I heard about Pinterest, and decided to try it. I was sort of charmed by it; I liked the mosaic layout of the pages, and the variety, and the ease with which you can browse, and the way you can click through a pinned image to an original website. In no time at all, Pinterest Loren had lots of stuff pinned: funny pictures, and cute puppies and kitties, and cute G-rated men, and pretty landscapes, and . . .

 

 

OMG.

 

 

Pinterest Loren was a sixteen-year-old girl.

 

 

I deactivated Pinterest Loren not long ago. I don’t think he/she will be back anytime soon.

 

 

I think I did the world a favor.


 

 

Small talk

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My late friend Jan said, only a month or two before her death: “I hate small talk.”

 

I know what she meant.

 

You know those Facebook and Tumblr posts in which people show you what they just had for lunch? (Tumblr seems especially to thrive on these.) People actually comment on them. Someone will post a picture of a cheese sandwich, and someone else will comment: I WANT THIS!

 

I mean: really, who cares? I just polished off a bag of pretzel sticks. Does this matter to you? I thought not.

 

It reminds me of a George Booth cartoon that appeared in the New Yorker thirty years ago. A middle-aged man is cooking dinner for himself, and talking to his little dog. “A lone grape rolled past my foot on the bus today,” he says. “It was green, and looked to be the seedless variety.”

 

Primates engage in “social grooming.” They pet one another and smooth one another’s fur and look for bugs and lice.

 

We human beings are primates. Sometimes we touch each other’s hair. Sometimes we pick bugs off one another.

 

But most of the time we just make small talk.

 

Groom groom groom.

 

It’s necessary for our mental well-being, I suppose. It’s perfectly normal.

 

But it’s so tedious.

 

Now: would you like to see a photo of my dinner?  Rotini primavera.  It was awesome.

 


 

 

Multiblogging


I started this blog on Posterous.com, because two bloggers I read and respect (Mark Bittman and Seif Nechi) use the site. It turned out to be a good choice. It’s versatile, and allows me to do a lot of interesting things, and it’s relatively easy to use (I caught on to most of its subtleties within a week or two).

 

 

It also allows me, charmingly and altruistically, to post my blog to other websites. Bandwidth hog that I am, I chose five: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress.

 

 

They are all very different places.

 

 

Facebook gives my friends and family an opportunity to see my blog. Eek! Do I want that? Sure. Why not? So what if my aunt Loretta sees my opinion of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”?

 

 

Twitter – well, again, why not? I liked Twitter for a while, but I tired of it. It has become a relentless branding exercise for grade-B celebrities. I barely glance at it anymore; when I do, I find that my Twitter feed is clogged with Snooki and astronauts and comedians from Chelsea Lately, and most of them have very little to offer (well, the comedians sometimes).

 

 

Blogger and WordPress are like Antarctica: frigid, windblown places. I don’t think I get more than five or ten hits a day from both combined. I’m not sure what gets you noticed there, but whatever it is, I’m not doing it.


 

Tumblr is sort of a rebellious Facebook community of people who’ve formed their own pirate republic, full of animated GIFs and kitties and sunsets and swearwords. It’s not all wasted space, to be sure. There are some real people there, and some real commentary, and some nice art. But you see the flashes of anger when someone unfollows someone, and you think – yikes! These people need to get out more!


 

But such is the Internet, my ducklings. A peculiar place, full of nooks and crannies, like a Thomas’s English Muffin. A place for everyone.


 

Ouch! Someone just unfollowed me! How dare they! What the f***!

 

 

 


 

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