Talking, Listening, Learning and Getting on the WWW

Something I never thought I would one day be saying: “I am a plurker.” It sits right along side “I google, twitter, facebook, wish on amazon, read on bloglines, sell on zazzle, listen on T61, and I am a redbubble veteran!”

No doubt there is going to be a lot of people saying “What the…?”, whilst I know a few thousand others are saying “Who doesn’t?”

So let me explain the chat-network sites of the sites above a little more. To do that, we need to go back a few years…

First Arrivals

Ten years ago, the IRC scene was totally underground and not advertised as anything we did in our spare time. Those that were in the IRC scene were seen as crackers, hackers, script-writers and night-owls. I don’t deny that I met one or two of that criteria, but only because I could, not because I had catastrophic intentions. Writing a kick-script was fun, colourful and just a simple way to keep the scum, trolls and bots off the chat-server.

But that life has long gone. About six years ago MSN-chat came out of the closet, whereas the original IRC users took a step backward to avoid the limelight. Blogspot arrived in Australia when Shai Coggins [T] got mentioned in the The Advertiser (paper version), and within months there must surely have been a twentyfold growth in people writing their daily motions onto the internet. Every meal, body movement and shop visited were mentioned in long monologues. Now these are forever archived somewhere on the internet, more than likely never to be read again, if ever.

Like everyone else, I cut my teeth on blogspot. I’d already started learning both HTML and CSS back in the late 1990’s, thus realised the biggest advantage of blogspot: Both HTML and CSS are editable, from the colour to the images, including embedding graphics, SWF’s, JavaScript and sprite-navigation. Writing articles was the least of my concerns, I was enjoying manipulating the appearance!

Suddenly, without much warning, blogs starting dissipating. Although the internet was (and still is) filling at a phenomenal rate with tracts of text of nil value, many people moved to writing 140 characters or less. In what seemed minutes, Twitter, Plurk, and a dozen other (of the best) quick-text sites appeared on the internet to tell us that we had to keep our statements short and sweet.

Here you can now find a million tweets that read similar to: “Slept for 9 hours last night. Am I supposed to feel better because of this?”. These people have decided that it is simply easier to tell little snippets of their day every few minutes rather than waiting till the end of the day to say it all.

Twitter

From a marketing stance, there is nothing better than a product that is put forward with a quick message – rather than a 3-page long list of large red bold quotes, how you too can change your life with this one great product, plus ‘but wait there is more’ declarations – because nobody really wants all the hogwash.
Guy Kawasaki has been using this technique on Twitter for months. He has managed to acquire amazing traffic flow to Alltop.com by putting simple statements on Twitter that entice people to want to read more.

EXAMPLE: The 4 stages of entrepreneurship: http://om.ly/FhEV You’re really not nuts!

I have used Twitter to listen and learn from people that I have revered for their knowledge, experience and ability. I am a listener, not a talker, but occasionally I will input a few details or opinion, but mostly I am listening to you.

You Can't Have Too Many Lens

Plurk

Plurk is where you’ll find me talking most. Because of some subjects my timeline is private. If you think you’d like to hear more from me, go right ahead, join up.

But be warned: Plurk is a horizontal timeline which enables you to jump from one conversation to another whilst still seeing the initial statement that started it. I find this to be the most amazing component. A person can talk with the same people in umpteen conversations, all simultaneously!!

This is where I put my thoughts, QOTD‘s, ideas, humour and questions. I like to present my thoughts on issues of interest, I daily put up a few quotes that are born from my work and life, I give away ideas that people are welcome to steal and/or build upon, I try to be funny … but most of all, I ask HEAPS of questions!

From the style of your denim jeans, the amount you save each week, the coffee you prefer, the TV you like, the size of your hard-drive, there are probably a thousand questions I have asked … and all have been answered. I encourage humour, but most people appear to be honest, presumably looking for familiarity and similarity.

It is through these questions (and answers) that I have met many, many interesting people – all over the world! Where possible, I have met these people. It helps that I generally associate with people from Australia, particularly from here in Adelaide. But there are a few that I’d now welcome into my home. In fact, one is staying here for a week in November!

DeadReds Organiser & Friend

Facebook

Admittedly, I was reluctant for a LONG time, so chose to stay away from Facebook. The stories I had heard were not good, and I saw the site as a fad that would surely go away. But earlier this year my brother invited me to join up. He assured me it was the safest and easiest way for us to chat. Amusingly, we don’t.

Since that first start, Facebook has allowed me to link with many more interesting people. Many of whom I have met both online and offline, some I would never have met anywhere else, nor even said Hello in the street! Now I consider myself a close friend of a handful of interesting, diverse and great people!

Facebook has a grouping-system much like that of MeetUp, yet free! Via this system, I have attended entrepreneurial, photographic and general seminars, all of which have helped expand my network, knowledge and entrepreneurial skills.

Some nights I refer to it as Facebawk, Facebork, Gamebook and Farcebook and I fail to understand why they need to fill it with game-applications (Super-poke? Why??). Yet I have learnt, discovered and noticed that Facebook really is a great platform from which an artist of any calibre can present and market themselves.

Even I have had a Personal/Business profile on Facebook, though I truly didn’t understand how it would help and promptly deleted it. Now that I have been able to watch and view how other photography/artists have utilised this component of Facebook, I now appreciate how it can help promote any business!

Now that you know where I am at, you can join and converse with myself and the people I have befriended.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, these are not the only places on the internet to get a daily dose of Social-Networking. But right now they represent the biggest places to meet and greet with a million people who you might feel like associating!

Over the next few articles I will be including the QOTD‘s, thoughts, ideas, humour and questions from my plurk time line. They make for interesting reading, particularly the responses.

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