just a dude abiding

on shameless self-promotion in a time of social networks

I can’t go a single day without hearing (or overhearing) a conversation from a friend or acquaintance discussing one social network or another. I usually roll my eyes, or ignore these conversations. As an internet luddite, I try to avoid these time sucking privacy invasive services. But today I did something, something so contrary to my years of preaching that I felt it necessary to explain my motives.

Today I joined twitter, the poster-child for time wasting, self-indulgent, Web 2.0 buzzword compliance. What could possibly make such an adamant hater of social networking pull such a 180 overnight? It’s really simple, shameless self-promotion.

I spent several days last week at a conference, Tulsa Tech Fest, meeting many very interesting people. I found quickly that social networks, particularly twitter, were the dominant means of communication and organization amongst the conference attendees that I was most interested in keeping up with. I heard many tales of meetups, and user groups, all of which are held in places that aren’t here.

If I want an opportunity to get out of here, and do the sort of work I’d like to do, for the sort of company I’d like to be doing it for, I’ve got to be something more than another obscure, unknown developer. Given that I’m not currently able to live in a more developer friendly area, the best option for moving forward in my goals, is shameless self-promotion. Now, back to how this all relates to twitter.

I’m excepting my self-imposed ban on social networking, for purely self-serving reasons. I need a way to better communicate with others who are working towards the same ends that I am. Several years ago, the most prevalent tool for this sort of communication was IRC. But my brief and informal survey seems to show that a lot of conversation has moved to the vast unorganized land of twitter.

So here I am, forsaking my self imposed title as an internet luddite in exchange for the chance for some shameless self-promotion. Sometimes, I guess, we all make sacrifices in exchange for making progress towards our goals. With that in mind, I humbly apologize for my hypocrisy, and by all means follow me on twitter. (sigh)