When Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau decided to call their information system the Web, they really nailed it. There are an uncountable number of threads, criss-crossing in near-infinite ways. Some of the visual representations of the whole of the internet are mind bogglingly beautiful, and I can’t quite get my head around the actual vastness of this big, untouchable universe.
Which a long-winded, semi-poetic way of saying that it’s big. And these days everyone is quick to claim their own piece of it. Between blogs and social networks, and millions of comment threads on news threads, everyone has a presence – and even if they don’t, there is enough information about a person that fairly accurate person-shaped hole can be created for them (seriously, how many information do gushing new parents post about their offspring – full names, dates, birth weights, everything up online for anyone else to -see- harvest).
So for someone who can get quite cheerfully obsessed with order and organisation, the web presents a worrying problem: how do you keep track of where everything is, and how do you link it together cohesively?
Flickr for photos, which comes with groups and communities… WordPress for journals, which comes with groups and comments… Facebook for interaction with family and groups…
Only, for every recognisable big name, there are a host of alternatives. Sure, WordPress is open source and one of the best-known sites, but Blogger has the might of Google behind it, and extra integration with Google+. Facebook has every member of your family signed up, but G+ has much better controls for who sees what (even if I don’t utilise it nearly as effectively as I should).
So I’m a little stuck. Is there any one site that can be all things for all people? Google seems to be close, but since they’re good at closing down much-loved services there’s a hesitation to go loading an entire online presence onto them.
Besides which, is it a good idea to have everything in one place? Do I want my family to know what kind of fanfic I can get into if I’m in the right frame of mind? Worse – do I want _anyone_ who knows me in real life to see what kind of original fic I could inflict on the world?
Maybe a fragmented online presence is safer for everyone.
The only web I could lay claim to – and even it was built by someone far more talented than I am!