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April 14th, 2009

Digitally Yours

(I should start out by saying there is no real point to this blog post. I started out with something that ended up going nowhere until it was really just a lot of nothing; so - with that warning in mind - just enjoy it for what it is!)

I suppose it goes without saying that I am a voracious - if not manic - Internet user.  I have a blog; ok, I have several blogs.  I have a number - alright, a lot - of websites.  Eventually, I also gave in and joined the MySpace brigade and, after awhile, upgraded to Facebook.  That was about it for my online socializing other than my Yahoo! Messenger account; which has been in use since (I kid you not) 1997.

For some time I refused to join Twitter; on principle.  It was the same argument I gave for avoiding MySpace and refusing to jump on the Facebook bandwagon.  It was popular; too popular. It was the "it" and "in" thing to do; where the "hip" crowd was.

Let me set the record straight right here and now.  I am not - never have been - an "in" or "it" person; I do not do the "hip" crowd.  I have stopped liking things I once loved the moment they became overly popular.  It isn't that I try to be obscure, but I do try to not be a clone-like conformist.  If "everyone is doing it", I'm not likely inclined to join.  While I did eventually cave, I took heart in knowing I, at least, came to it late and looked safely lame rather than ultra-hip.

The bug, however,  caught me after Twitter and I found myself gleefully using sites like Ping.fm (and its sister Pingle app for my iPod Touch) and FriendFeed to help keep up with my digital musings. I discovered Tumblr (it has an iPod app, too) and sort of liked the idea of micro-blogging in quick bursts.  I tried out, but lost interest in, YouAre (what seems to just be a Twitter-spinoff) and considered a few others but decided to put a hold on my digitally social ladder climbing.

I haven't always been opposed to being an obsessive onliner, though.  I, infrequently, write articles for HubPages and Helium, and one lonely, little piece for Squidoo.  I had long had an account with Digg, but started actually using it (and quickly became addicted; I'm a daily Digger now).    One of these days, too, I'll get back to making a vlog (video blog) on blogTV; I actually had a few devoted viewers for a little bit there.  My Flickr account I have used extensively for a few years now; it's a great way to share photos with friends and family.

It would not be stretching it to say that a sizable portion of my life is lived online.  It doesn't mean I don't have an active, social real life (I wish, sometimes!), but that when I am online, I am simply very active and, as my dear friend Rosie once said, have a "large Internet presence".  It isn't so much that I believe people know who I am, just that I do a lot online - as either Shanna Riley or skatoolaki (or, virtually, as Isadora "Izzy" Graves) - and am quite visible to anyone that may be looking.  I've been online - and actively so - since 1997; my website, birthed on Geocities under the user name "vamp_lynx", made its appearance in 2000 until I moved to my own domain - skatoolaki.com - in 2004.  This blog, itself, was started in 2003.  So, yes, you could say I've been around the block a few times, and being seen and heard online isn't anything new for me.

Sometimes you have to wonder, though,  if anyone truly cares about all of that socializing, posting, and tidbit-updating stuff but you.  Yet I don't do this for anyone but myself (and my two ever-faithful readers - hi, Mom! - hi, Amb!) because I enjoy it, and I love going back and reading what my life was like three or four years ago.  I may be the only person who ever reads any of this; which is, actually, just fine.

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