Overwhelmed

When I started this website seven years ago, it was a novel idea. As I’ve mentioned before, it started as a way to communicate with high school and college friends as I traveled; it was an alternative to email. In fact, the very first post was originally an email I had sent while in New Zealand for work. At the time, I was working as an Information Architect, and since my team had some downtime, my manager suggested I had them teach me how to build a website. From scratch. By hand. And so I did. This was before Movable Type and Blogger and WordPress; posting was not only a chore in terms of finding time to write it, but also to hand-code and put the older post into an archive and make sure everything worked correctly. No "one click posting" existed back then.

Today’s frustration isn’t the same – I’ve been a loyal Typepad/Movable Type user for years, and posting only requires some of my time. Which – as you’ve probably been able to tell lately – I have very little of. And so I try and post some pics and videos while I tell myself (and you!) that I’ll write a longer entry tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. DEFINITELY before the weekend. And yet…yeah. You know how it goes. Life gets in the way, and the content on this website is going downhill, FAST.

And yet I find it amazing that I’m getting daily unsolicited emails – mostly from the various people that follow me on Twitter. I’m used to the occasional comments on this site but daily emails – not only the frequency, but also the often-bizarre topics or requests – continue to surprise me. I thought I’d seen it all, but apparently it’s one of those rare occasions when I’m wrong.

I think the whole nature of communication and digital media are fast changing; I try to post at least a song on DailyTuneage.com every day and find myself using Twitter without abandon. This website is the most formal of all of my endeavors, and I find that it often gets left behind as I’m trying to stay up-to-date with the other mediums. And ‘keeping up’ is only happening if you hold a loose definition of this word. Basically, I’m trying here…

Sites like Facebook & Friendfeed are trying to solve this problem of over-sharing, but frankly, I feel like neither is serving the exact purpose that I want. The problem is that I’m not 100% sure what that is; basically, I need to evaluate just what I’m using this website for, where I want to see it go, and try to merge the two without providing too much information overload. Which of course brings the question: how much IS too much? Aubsessed.com is another "pull" mechanism like Friendfeed which takes & posts my online activity elsewhere into one singular place, but again…seems like too much.

And so I wonder: How are *YOU* balancing all of the communication mechanisms out there? Where do you draw the line? And how are you simplifying it all while still maintaining a presence online? Leave a comment and weigh in…

9 thoughts on “Overwhelmed

  1. These are all just tools for getting tasks. You can have the greatest word processor and that still will not make you Steven King. Use thetiols that get the job done and don’t worry about the rest.

  2. I manage by letting go. I can’t read or respond to everything. In fact, I’m resisting the urge to post a more substantive response right now. πŸ™‚

  3. I wish I could answer this question or at least throw something your way that could in any way help or inspire you… alas while reading this I felt like you were writing this from inside my head… I’ve been toiling over this same or similar issue for a while now as well…
    Best of luck and if you figure something out I hope you’ll post it here so that I can share in the wonder

  4. I’m going to have to say that I agree with you. There is something missing and doesn’t feel complete to me. Maybe it’s the information overload or something else. I have taken down my facebook account and made my myspace page only display a few things, removing where people can view your comments. Doing just those simple things have brought down my “need” to connect to those sites. I’m very much connected through twitter and my blog. If I need more than that, I need to look at my social intranets life and turn off the laptop for a bit.
    Oh, and btw….thanks for the idea on the header. I sort of ripped your idea for mine. I figure nobody I know knows you so I’m in the clear. πŸ™‚

  5. My first time here. I’m finding the whole social media revolution a bit of overkill right now. I’m not sure why I need to share every idea that pops into my head with the world, or what song I’m listening to. Blogging is beginning to sound more like old-fashion literature in comparison. What I fear is happening — or already has — is that places like Twitter has sucked much of the social life force from blogging itself, leaving it more about the writing than the comraderie. Perhaps this is a good thing. I know just lately, I interact with many of my former readers on Twitter and Facebook rather than on their blogs.

  6. Great article. You are definitely not alone in feeling a sense of digital overload. With so many exciting things going on in the community, I find myself feeling frustrated, and stressed at the thought of all the things that I’m missing out on because I am bogged down with “making a living”.
    Lately I’ve been finding that if I just ease up on it, and catch what I can, when I can, I’m enjoying my online travels more. This article is a great example of something I found online, after following some of your amusing twitter posts, during a pause at my stage shoot. Thanks for that.
    Not sure if I addressed your question, but that’s my 2cents.

  7. As someone who is “behind the curve” a bit in the blogging/personal-website/massive-connectivity arena, I find it even more overwhelming as I am struggling to adopt the technology, create an online persona to match my offline one, and convince my non-techie friends to use this stuff.
    I like the post above about just letting go, which is where I am at this week. But then you see advice from the likes of vaynerchuk about “managing your brand” and what-not which adds even more confusion.
    for what its worth, I think you are doing a good job with it.

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