Sunday 10 May 2009

Internet Mousetrap

Do you remember the game 'Mousetrap'? It involved fitting pieces onto a board, so that when a mouse was in the right place, a sequence of weird and wonderful events meant it got trapped - if every piece was set up properly.

So here I am with my board set up, and here's what I think the sequence will be.
Now, there's every chance one of these steps won't work. And, excitingly, there may be a loop somewhere that will gradually fill the Internet until it bursts.

I'm not suggesting this is a sane, or even a useful, sequence. But it's interesting!

When I say 'my blog' I really mean the blog at that is really a (Google's) Blogger free app. I can post to this by logging in or by emailing, and it gives me fine control. I'm not sure how (or whether) Posterous lets me access controls such as tags, that group entries. The blog is my space (and indeed, I migrated it from Myspace when that place began to irritate me too much). Even though it isn't really.

I use facebook as a semi private space. I use it to host photos (with some control over who sees what) and for private conversations. I rarely go there spontaneously - it wants to be my home space but it's just too bloated, filling up with more junk every day. But I respond to email notifications - I've had a message, someone's commented on a photo or status update.

It took me a while to get the measure of twitter. It's a very public social space, with text-like (SMS-like) tweets. The core is minimal - in fact, not terribly good as a user experience. But it's wide, wide open. Unlike facebook (or second life) it doesn't declare itself to be the whole universe, and invite developers to work inside. It offers its capabilities raw to anyone, so that all kinds of interactions can have twitter as a component. I don't feel I'm missing out if I don't keep up to date with what's going on there. (Want to peep? I suggest twistori as an interesting window into the more blog-like part of twitter; but to see the conversational aspect maybe Stephen Fry is as good a starting place as any, if not quite normative. Or to see who's seen as interesting, try this.)

I've watched posterous mainly prompted by, who switched there from another site that could be used to feed photos to twitter. And now I'm dipping a toe in the water... My first impression is that it has aspirations to sweep up a lot of the value of all the above, without becoming bloatware like facebook . And it does have an impressive range of connection capabilities: it looks a much better starting point than twitter if you are mini-blogging to feed other services, though it's not as satisfying an environment as Blogger , Wordpress or a host of other full-on blog/website services. What it is, is delightfully easy. Starting from that home page, it's one click for most people to start the blog, for instance if you use gmail/googlemail that click is this, or for hotmail it's this. Or maybe you use a mail program, in which case this is the way to get started.

Go on. You know you want to. And if you are still on the edge of the world of social media, you know you should.

But, of course, all this falls down if my mousetrap is missing a piece.

Here goes... If you find this, perhaps it even worked!

Posted via email from JDAP posterous