Well, it seems I am to use Google+ and Facebook as promotional terms. I have no objection to this, because entering either involves the disappearance of vast chunks of time down the sucking vortex of Internet Detritus, so huzzah! It’s work, technically!
It has to do with SEO; if I post links and such with Strib URLs it will be entered into the vast and silent Googleplex, thereafter appearing in search results should anyone want to know what I said, inaccurately, about quasars in the waning days of the first cold month of the year of our Lord 2013. Which, I am sure, they will not.
But it gives me a chance to customize pages, and there’s nothing I love more than tweaking the bland templates to make them slightly less bland.
So: I'm working on the links, but if you're on Google+, just look for jameslileks or lileks or something like that. My Facebook page is here. I will be adding links in the morning to the Bleat, and links to the Strib Blog when it goes up.
It is the illusion of productivity I like.
On the subject of Connectivity and Social Media: I should share this on Pinterest!
Right? Except I grew bored with pinterest almost immediately, partly because it seemed like one more damned thing to curate - hell, it was - and also because the tedium of following and checking did not fit into my normal internet flow. Everyone has a flow. Mine is as strange as everyone else’s. For most of the day it’s a process of reading short blog posts about 500 words or fewer. While eating or exercising I use my iPad, which has different apps for aggregating content, with feeds outside of my usual bookmarked perambulations. When I see an interesting article I want to write about, I shoot it to Pocket, for later reading or use as blog-fodder.
Every day I encounter some site I like, but rarely promote to the daily bookmark. I find this interesting. Why wouldn’t I? Because it’s a peripheral interest, and I really don’t need to check up on someone’s vintage kitchen remodel for a month. If ever. So the list of secondary bookmarks grows and grows, until weeded out six months later after a cursory revisit. Each of these pages usually has a Facebook page. Never go there. Why would I?
What I don’t like about all of this: the fragmentation of presence. If you just have Facebook, lucky you. If that’s what you want. But if you have a blog, you should tweet, and if you tweet, isn’t there a Facebook account and a Google+ account you might want to link to that? Ought not the Tumblr be chained as well, so all updates everywhere are sprayed across all possible platforms?
As you’ve noticed, perhaps - and I do wonder if there’s anyone here who goes way back, waaay back to the 90s - I prefer to do things my way. The site is the platform. The two-year dalliance with WordPress was an attempt to automate many things and make my life easier, but it defeated the one thing I liked to do: change it to reflect my mood and the temperament of the exterior world. Any change rippled back in time and changed every page that had gone before.
But you can’t stay in a walled garden. So while this page will remain the same, there will be external pointers and hints and samples posted every morning at the Facebook and Google+ sites.
About that picture: it’s part of the Orgy of Scanning I’m doing this month, building up a massive trove. The frontispiece of a promotional booklet for Rockefeller Center, the roof of which was the vantage point for the shot. It’s poignant, if you think about it. When you see the Trylon and Perisphere you think of 1939, of course - less so of 1940, the second year of the Fair, the one without the Pavilions of nations out of favor or no longer a going concern. But 1939, ah, that was the hopeful year - a tremulous hope above a bass note of unease. Rockefeller Center itself was a product of the Depression, a statement of will, one of the most severe and severely beautiful structures of the era, and perhaps the only successful start-from-scratch urban project that worked, no doubt because of the density and vitality of the surrounding blocks. Those people stand in a space that was created for them by the power of human imagination and the strength of money and politics; they were born up by whizzing cars whose safety they took for granted; they were admitted without care for their economic station. They looked across the expanse to the symbols of the future . . . and they would never get there.
I’m sorry, what? I mean “they would probably never get there today because that’s the sort of event you want to hit early, rather than pack it in on a sightseeing day in Manhattan,” but I needed to poignify the thing a bit more. They would get there, but it wouldn’t be so pointy.
Another scanning find:
A big huge book of "Modern" typography, explaining to novice designers how to design things in the current style and do it right. I scanned most of the book, and it'll be up some time this year.
Exotic Luxury Talc! Once there was such a thing. You puffed some in your pits before you went to the World's Fair. The papers said it would be hot.
There were so many papers.
I was going to add something from the Mpls site overhaul, but I think I'll husband those. I'm really ripping through the overhaul quickly, having settled on a style I'll probably hate as much in year as I hate the one that's up there now. The entire site is being trimmed and edited and made spiffy. See you around in the usual places.
There are so many places.