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Bah humbug – why I don’t lifecast


I read a decent amount of tech blogs, and the topic of lifecasting comes up from time to time. Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, and Jeremiah Owyang are all fans of Twitter. Bijan Sabet is a Tumblr user (and investor), and my friend Brian Solis likes, well… everything. There are a few other services out there too, some as simple as the Facebook status update, and others like Pownce enable file sharing as well (although not everybody seems to like them).

I don’t like any of them. At all.  I’m actually antilifecasting.

Reason #1: life is mundane. Yours, mine, his, everybody’s. We live mundane lives with occasional fleeting moments of interestingness. I for one am simply uninterested in following people around to discover what kind of sandwich they prefer.

Reason #2: I don’t feel a need to be “followed”. If I feel like sharing something with the world, I have a blog, and it’s easy as pie. I tried using delicious to do some link-sharing, but I got bored with that too. Bottom line is I believe so much in #1 above that if I have my exciting moment du jour, I have this blog, this other blog, Facebook, and so many other ways to share it with those who care. Which are few.

Reason #3: privacy matters. Sooner or later people are going to find they’ve exposed TMI a few too many times. Whether this will cost them personally or professionally, it’s simply fraught for errors. For example.

Reason #4:  sooner or later, evil will happen. And I don’t want it to happen to one of my friends or colleagues (or anyone for that matter, but our President is apparently working hard on that one). When Scoble or Bijan or others talk about being on the road, at a Starbucks, or in another country, they are basically telling the world that they aren’t at home.  And there are plenty of smart criminals out there.  The last thing I want to see, though I most certainly won’t be surprised when (not if) I do, is a tweet entitled “My house just got burglarized.”

So to my legions of fans and devotees, I’m sorry, but this blog is about as close as I’m going to get to talking about my personal affairs in a public, permanently recorded environment.  Okay, I’ll make one exception with the next 160 characters:

Writing this after eating a bite of havarti melted on whole grain bread. No HFCS or unbleached enriched flour. Baby sleeping now which means its RockBand time.

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2 Comments on “Bah humbug – why I don’t lifecast”

  1. Do you have any children or people you really love? If you can tap into their stream of consciousnesses 24 hours a day 7 days a week, wouldn’t you?

    People on the A-list use lifecasting in order to build a brand around themselves, so do a lot of other bloggers. Sign up for Twitter or Jaiku (my favorite) and tell your friends to use it. Use it with only them and you’ll find that the strength of your relationship increases exponentially.

    So while you don’t give a shit what Scoble is eatting for lunch or Winer thinks of Apple now, wait until you follow the handful of people who actually mean something to you.

    Trust me, nothing pisses me off more than seeing people use these new social services incorrectly. Then it dawned on me, who am I to say Robert is using FaceBook or Twitter wrong? People use the tools in the way that they prefer and that is exactly how the internet is meant to function.

    Comment by Stefan Constantinescu on December 27, 2007 at 2:15 am
  2. Stefan, thanks for the comment, and good points!

    Yes, I have a child, but he’s still in drooling mode, so there ain’t much to tap into yet. Regarding my friends and family? We talk and email a lot. I don’t WANT their mass email updates, I want the one on one. Fine there are the occasional moments (birth of a child, pictures from a trip, etc) that a group email makes sense, but I don’t really see why any of these technologies makes their/my world a better place.

    IMHO it’s a case of technology for technology’s sake.

    Comment by jeremy on December 27, 2007 at 10:12 am

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