I’ve always been one of the world’s great hoarders…one of those folks who hangs on to things because they may one day be useful, one who starts something and then has to sweat cobs to get it finished.
I guess it’s when I noticed I had 3 pages of accounts, user names and passwords that I thought I might have some issues of spreading msyelf a little thin around the online world! A few more minutes of checking some of the accounts out – and finding that I’d last used them constructively maybe 3 or 4 years ago – made me realise that dragging behind you a load of digital deadwood is similar to having an attic, cellar, garage or study full of physical junk. And the nature of the online world is that it’s really difficult to get back to where you left off – even if the site’s still up and running. 🙂
We’ve recently been spending a lot of time tidying up around the Towers here – sorting out books, clearing out old stuff, and it struck me over the weekend that maybe I need to get some online tidiness and focus as well. And the relevance of the blog item title? I’ll get there eventually….
So…what to keep, what to throw, or is it what parts of me to keep, what parts of me to throw away? Ironically, especially considering my previous posts on the subject, top of the keep list are Facebook and Twitter, followed by this August publication that you’re reading right now. My plan is to:
- Suspend my accounts on various discussion forums, and focus on stroking my ego through my Twitter and Facebook accounts and this blog. 🙂 Seriously – I think I am spread waaaay too thin out in cyberspace and really want to be in a position to publish some ‘words with weight’ when I want to.
- Close the shutters on a few hobby sites I’ve run for a few years. They’ve never attracted much traffic and I’d rather take them ‘off the grid’ rather than leave them looking forlorn. Good backups will ensure nothing is lost, and who knows, one day they may return – alternatively they may simply be allowed to disappear forever. My last shot at an Online Community – Coffeehouse Chat – is already mothballed. Shame on you who offered support and never came… 😉
- There should also be a commensurate loss of email accounts. I don’t know abouyt you but I find that whenever a new web site gets set up you almost always set a new email address up to go with it….
- Kill off the accounts on any number of sites that I’ve tried before buying and found wanting – The well, LastFM, Ecademy, etc. Probably even Linked In and other business networking sites. I don’t believe that my brand is, as yet, ‘hot’ enough to warrant being on these sites. I get buried under all the other software developers, wannabe entrepreneurs, etc.
I suppose my bottom line realisation in the last 12 months is that a lot of my current online (and offline) world is of greater relevance to the Joe Pritchard of 5 or 6 years ago than the Joe Pritchard I live with today. It can’t possibly be healthy to live in the past – there’s not going to be room or even inclination to move forward to fresh fields and pastures new if your world is already full. Various things have conspired to chop off quite important anchors to my past, and I’ve become increasingly aware that people have impressions of me that are no longer true, but are like looking at some image of me in some sort of Dorian Gray style painting of how I was some years back. Hopefully, by clearing out the crud I’ll give my self space to move on to new things, whilst still keeping in touch with the people who really matter to me in the here and now.
And the title of this piece? Rick Nelson bought it all home to me in these lyrics:
I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party they all knew my name
But no one recognized me I didn’t look the same
But it’s all right now
I learned my lesson well
You see you can’t please ev’ryone so
You got to please yourself
Smart bloke. Time to re-invent.