Random Thoughts: November 18, 2010

The Attack of the Infernal Social Networking
by Jasmine Sailing

Perhaps I regained my brain from the gelatin-filled darkest abyss that I assumed was Cthulhachu's digestive tract, but I never did find it in me to confront the mountain-sized amoeba that ate my speed many many decades ago.

I have, of late, found myself confronted (over and over again) with social networking. It's one of those things that becomes a quandary for someone who, say, thinks "Well, I'm a promoter... but I'm anti-social...".

Used to be that I could simply promote some shows, and sell some magazines, and get drunk at the occasional show or bar, and tell customers to go stick their money up their asses if they got on my nerves. It's not like I didn't have a life on-line. I've been on-line pretty much forever. And I also learned quickly enough that I was best off in my own corners (like the 8 million incarnations of the CP mailing list). Perhaps I didn't learn that quite well enough, so I ducked back out during the Yahoo Groups era. That went well... my email address was permanently banned, and every group associated with me was deleted.

So I was back in my own little corners again. Until this year, when I'm tentatively proving that I still haven't learned my lesson well enough. Or maybe I'm simply tired of talking to myself in my own little corner. Or worried that no one will notice that I really am crawling back to life. Or maybe it was mostly a bunch of random little acts that weren't intended for social networking and accidentally turned into exactly that.

Wondering? It was the latter.

I guess the first one was YouTube. I got an account because I was keeping an eye on things my daughter was uploading there at the time. Yet somehow that obligatory little trickle of people managed to find me and subscribe to my channel, even though I wasn't doing anything or even planning to do anything. That put a lot of pressure on me to, well, let there be some reason to be subscribed to my channel. So pressure takes a long while to build in my brain and I finally created and am editing a video documentary that is being uploaded in 4 parts. Parts 1-2 were uploaded last night! Here's my no longer completely inactive YouTube channel: madamecp on YouTube

Next came last.fm, which probably only marginally counts as social networking. It kept cropping up at the top of my music searches. Over time I became more and more curious. Then I finally got an account, hastily racked up a couple thousand plays, prodded my friend Gordon to join me on there, and thought "cool...". In fact, I'm listening to my library right now (which is well over 5,000 plays at this point, though much of it is from scrobbling my own CDs). It's simply a nice little haven for obsessive music junkies. When the friend requests from people I didn't know first came in I got a little nervous. Would I need to TALK TO THEM?! Would they be easy to blow off?! I only wanted to listen to music, and to get friends to upload their music, and to hopefully eventually upload some of the music I collaborated on in the ancient past.

Well, I survived. I never tried to befriend anyone myself (excepting actual friends from the real world), but I accepted friend invites. I even got spoken to and spoke back a few times. And I forgot to respond at least once. *sweat* The world spins on.

You can dig through my profile, and listen to my library if you care to: madamecp on lastfm

My social networking world next spun on to Linked In. I was working a temporary job and an aspect of it caused me to sign up for Linked In simply to see if I could cull contact info by doing so. Nope. Ah well. I shrugged and forgot about it. Or so I would have, but Brian Clark (previously of Permeable Press) quickly noticed me and connected. Ok, ok, if people were going to start connecting to me maybe I would keep the account. I did, but basically forgot about it again (very basic info was filled in). Until the next person noticed me, and then I noticed a couple of people through him. Now I find myself caught in the trap of needing to fill in my profile and do a little more connecting to people.

It's slowly in progress. I'm being a little vague there because it's a more professionally oriented site. People who need to worry about appearances might be silly enough to connect to me and I wouldn't want to hurt their job prospects. Especially when you consider this is the one where I connect with people that I actually have legitimate connections to. I do know people who have been resume conscious enough to not connect with me. Even my husband isn't connected to me. His profile is so... white collar... ;) Should he connect to She Who Was Banned By Yahoo? Hmm.

My consternation ever grows. Here's my rather incomplete Linked-In profile (feel free to connect if you actually know me): Jasmine Sailing on Linked In

Was that the end? No, no, of course not. It needed to get much worse first. Naturally it feels like everyone on the planet is telling me to get on FaceBook (ok, consider how difficult it can be to encourage me to speak with more than a small handful of people on the planet) and for a very long time I've been saying I'm waiting for the ACLU to finish warring with them. Perhaps I want the ACLU to war with them forever. Who knows.

I don't have a FaceBook account, or a Twitter account. There are pages about me, Death Equinox, and CyberPsychos AOD on FaceBook. It's my understanding that they were copied from Wikipedia. Some people have been kind enough to "like" the pages. I wonder if the page about Jasmine Sailing will make it difficult for me to eventually get an account there. One could hope, right? Apparently my son couldn't use his real name because the site didn't think it was a real name. And I've already gotten in my own way. Seems typical of me, really.

So what was the next stage, and why am I rambling about FaceBook if I don't have an account there? Well! I was at a Legendary Pink Dots show (I never miss them, and Munly & the Lupercalians opened so it was yet a nicer evening). Upon realizing I was going to be social with people, including some people I hadn't spoken with in years, I fear I may have indulged in perhaps one or two too many spicy rum and cokes (that would be after the ones I drank simply because I was stuck in a crowd for hours). And so...

Having gotten drunk, the next morning I woke up with a MySpace account. Once again at the show people had been telling me I really need to be on FaceBook. I hazily remember my drunken 3am logic of "If I'm going to be forced to get a FaceBook account, I guess I can try to warm up for it with a MySpace account". My 8am reaction was somewhat more hazy, and interjected with a little profanity and a lot of confusion.

I'm enjoying MySpace, though. At least now that I've gotten past the headaches of figuring out the basics. Putting together playlists is fun, I've always loved making compilations for people. And joining in on music promotion comes naturally to me. I get the impression from my son's profile that I might not get myself banned automatically. I also added magazine covers and random pictures. My profile photo is not a glossy Photoshop job, it's me in the morning at a high altitude sickness hotel (supposedly the highest hotel in the country)... having my coffee and banana with an antique giant teddy bear. I'm just a plain girl from the mountains, right? (Yes, I grew up in the mountains and I own several flannels.)

Here's my MySpace profile: Jasmine Sailing on MySpace

It was actually while I was working hard on getting my MySpace profile set up that the second connection reminded me about Linked In. I also added a photo there... one that is intentionally dark and grainy. I've come a long way from people only seeing my back! ;) (There are actually some visible pictures of me on MySpace, you simply need to bother with the photo albums to see them.) Now I have 2 profiles to beat into reasonable shape. Yay. Ugh. And I'm finally editing and uploading YouTube videos at the same time. Repeat that yay and ugh.

Too bad MySpace is dying because FaceBook took over the world, though it does seem to me to still have a reasonably thriving music life. I plan to upload more pictures and make more playlists. I also hope to use it as a back-up for video on YouTube, and as a back-up for music on last.fm (whenever I manage to upload music, that could easily be a very long wait).

Hopefully this will all stop where it is for a while (may I please not get drunk and wake up with a FaceBook account before I get settled in with all of my other accounts!), and hopefully I won't find a way to get myself banned from any of these places any time soon. Hopefully. I can't deny feeling a bit paranoid, and I'm sure that'll cause undue amounts of unnatural restraint on my part. Or it already has, considering some of the pictures I really wanted to upload to MySpace (and didn't). And the very mild editing in my YouTube videos. Let's not hear it for those kinds of bad trends!

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