Reconsidering disposable social media

A few years back, when I had a fun idea or a piece of media to share, I would post it to my personal blog. Nowadays, like so many other halfassed bloggers, this type of thing gets relegated to 140 characters or is posted to facebook as an update. I’m grateful that my readers and I have years of content accessible in the archives, but am remorseful about the amount of content that hasn’t been posted to my personal space since the blowup of social media.

Some of my favorite Twitter feeds are those of my favorite comedians. There is obviously no shortage of funniness in the world, but I often get thinking about how disposable and… I dare say wasted their brilliant humor is on Twitter. Is there really no better way to harness these genius ideas than flicking them into the tweether? Sometimes I think of these mini-bursts of comedic genius as funny bricks which could potential build a funny palace but are instead scattered about in this wasteland of funny bricks (and all kinds of other bricks). All hope is not lost, and I have great hope and confidence that there will be a Twennaissance to breath new life into underappreciated and overlooked genius. To put my money where my mouth is, I just bought

This past weekend, tech guru Leo Laporte posted to his blog (remember Leoville?) for the first time in a month. In what would turn out to be a thoughtful tirade against social media, Leo announced that his Google Buzz had been broken—sending out nothing and failing to feed his Twitter stream—since August 6th… and no one noticed or brought it to his attention! This is unbelievable when you consider Leo’s rabid following. He’s garnered 17,000 followers since Buzz’s launch and is followed by well over 200,000 people/robots on Twitter.

This unnoticed absence is perplexing, but speaks volumes about social media. It suggests to me that Google chose a fitting name for their service– Buzz has been added to the other vuvuzelas of the social sphere to create a cacophony of content that makes it challenging for anyone to give a shit about 98% of the noise that comes their way. Certainly, social media has its place. And that place might just be permanent. But it’s incidences like Leo’s that put things into perspective. Let’s all take a step back and figure out the best way to deliver our content and document our best thoughts and work. Let us not allow our best ideas fall on temporarily deafened ears when we could be putting them somewhere for posterity.

Regretfully, not long after Google rushed to fix the issue causing his problem, Leo’s tirade was paved over like an embarrassing blackout. The Saturday blog post that ended “Screw you Google Buzz. You broke my heart.” was followed up earlier today with an apology to his followers on Buzz and to the folks at Google for his tantrum. Weeeeaaaaaak. But at least he made a great argument and gave us something to chew on last Saturday. And unlike a tweet or Buzz or whatever, people might actually refer back to to the blog post after a few hours.

  John Basile · Idea Scale blog contributor

Based in Oakland, California, John Basile is a regular contributor to the IdeaScale blog. He is also the founder and CEO of Scraster Professional Screencasting.

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