On Our Online Lives

For as long as I can remember I’ve resisted the urge to put my life on the internet.  I signed up with Facebook just about six years ago, when I was a freshman in college.  Back then I delayed signing up while nearly every other college student was signing up.  Then when the Twitter craze hit I resisted even more adamantly, deciding that I already spent too much time hunched over a computer or phone.

I subscribe to TechCrunch, a very busy tech blog whose posts I read about 5% of the time, and a recent post inspired me to reconsider my aversion to the online life that so many of my friends have embraced.  The post talks about quitting social media, and in the process of reading I realized how much value there is in social media.  Today I’m announcing that I will start blogging again, will start using Twitter, and have connected all of these social services together (along with Yelp, TripIt, and others).  I know, you can’t believe that this blog–idle for just about two years now–will come back.  To be honest I’ve missed writing and am genuinely excited to return to it.  Hopefully you feel the same way.  And maybe you’re wondering what’s behind this sudden urge to catch up with the times …

It all started at the Hadoop Summit this June, where 1000 Hadoop community members got together to chat and listen to relevant talks.  Cloudera’s product manager, Charles Zedlewski, was giving a keynote announcing the cool new products Cloudera had been working on.  All of my coworkers were constantly checking their Twitter searches to see what people were saying on #hadoopsummit, whilst freaking out about the live demo’s progress.  I was completely intrigued with the real-time aspect of tweeting in this context.  I was amazed to see, immediately, how the community reacted to our product announcement.

From that point on I decided that I like to share two types of information: information interesting to one person; and information interesting to an unknown group of people.  In the case of the former I’ll send a SMS, email, or Facebook wall post to the person or group that would be interested in said information.  However, previously I had no good way to communicate the latter case.  Twitter and Facebook let us share information with others in such a way that lets the audience decide what to read, watch, or listen to.  And I think that’s pretty neat.

So wish me luck with my new internet life.  May it be valuable to you, the audience, and a learning experience for me.

In other news I’ve moved my site to alexlod.com (proper redirects are in place), and added a brand new theme.  Oh and I’ll never do 4square.  At least not yet ;).