social, prosocial, anti-social

I wanted to call this post, “blogging trumps life” but since that’s not strictly true, allow me to explain.

I had dinner with Meredith Farkas and Brian Smith last night, and we had a bang-up time talking about social software, libraries, television, arborists, etc. I’m in the middle of finalizing my schedule for ALA and I’m also in the middle of a mostly mutual split with my longtime partner (more details may wind up on my personal site, they will likely not be here). The reason this is apropos and these things are linked, is that I started this relationship before the dawn of most social software and the ubiquitous presence of “network” in my life, and I’m ending it afterwards.

This means that I need to figure out not only who gets the change jar, but also whether I should call myself single on my MySpace account [Did you know there is no way to leave your relationship status blank on MySpace?] or whether it’s possible to write down things that are happening in my life without stepping on toes or turning into a heart-on-my-sleeve tell-all blogger while at the same time, making sure I let my friends know what’s up with me. Do I take my ex off my buddy list? Do I remove his blog from my RSS feed reader? Should I stop commenting on his Flickr pictures or block him from commenting on mine? How many passwords do I need to change? Do I deauthorize his computer from my iTunes store? Miss Manners has very little guidance on these matters and yet in my world many of these choices have implications as deep or deeper than if I was pillaging his CD collection or changing the locks while he’s away (metaphorically speaking that is, in Vermont I don’t have a key to the place I live).

In an age where many people in the online world voluntarily give up certain amounts of privacy in the name of connectedness, figuring out how and when to get that privacy back — if you even want it — really drives home the social part of social software. This post began as a draft a few weeks ago which was just a list of the different ways that me, the real human who writes this site, exists in the multifaceted online world since I figure some of you are there too and maybe we could hang out, so I’ll wrap-up with that. If anyone is interested in connecting either in the real world of ALA or Vermont or elsewhere, or the online world of all these other places, please say hello.

Jessamyn’s Social Spaces
[in rough order of frequency of use]
chat: jessamyn_west at MSN/Yahoo, iamthebestartist on AIM, jessamyn at gtalk/gmail, iamthebestartist on Skype
blogs: this one, abada abada, booklist. I use livejournal to keep up with my friends who blog there, and I spend a little time at Vox [want a Vox invite? Email me]
jobs: Metafilter, moderator and user jessamyn
social stuff: Flickr, del.icio.us/jessamyn, Wikipedia, Technorati, LibraryThing profile and catalog, Last.fm, LinkedIn, MySpace, CouchSurfing.com, Facebook

It’s a long list, but rest assured I still take long walks by the river and read books in my actual public library. I’ve found that the balance between the super-techie online world and my wonderfully offline local area is one that suits me. See you at ALA, or see you online.

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