I received an e-mail the other day advising me, with great sadness, that Posterous was closing down and that I should make efforts to transfer my data to another site. I was a little confused because I don’t remember signing up for a Posterous site or putting anything on it. In fact, I’m not entirely sure was Posterous is. Sorry, was.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who leaves fragments of himself around the social media landscape without realising it. I suppose I first got involved around the turn of the millennium, when I started prattling under various pseudonyms on Guardian Unlimited and then had a look at FriendsReunited. I started blogging in late 2005 and although my posts have been less frequent of late, I’m still in the same place. The following year I joined Twitter – about the only time I could have been accused of being an early adopter. I’m also on Facebook and LinkedIn; and Delicious, Flickr, Quora and Google+, although in some of those cases I can’t remember the last time I logged in. I started a blog on WordPress during an odd couple of days when Blogger refused to work, but I only did one post. I think that’s it. Oh yeah, and Posterous. Apparently.
It’s inevitable that some of these products will die off, neglected, forgotten; they were the future once. And those that remain lose something of their shine. Facebook is increasingly the domain of the middle-aged apparently, as ver kidz desert it because they don’t want their parents spying on them; Twitter is just out of control; and oh yeah, blogging’s dead. Again. Maybe instead of culling sites as they’ve done with Posterous, they should rest them for a while, then reissue them under new names after a couple of years, when we’ve all forgotten about them.
It’s not all gloom though. My younger friends (the ones who still worry more about zits than wrinkles) swear by Instagram, although as the world’s most inept photographer, I don’t think it’s really for me. MySpace? Yeah, right. I have been snooty in the past about Tumblr, because its picture-driven vibe feels like a surrender to a post-literate zeitgeist but to be honest, there are times when I don’t feel like writing that much either.
So I decided to set up a Tumblr, to see what it was all about. At which point, I discovered – with sickening inevitability – that I’d already set one up a year or so ago and promptly forgotten it, and I’d used it to post nothing but the following picture, which suddenly seems rather apt in the circumstances:
PS: Further corroboration of the Facebook age divide from Radio One. Apparently they prefer something called Keek, although I reckon that's a made-up site, like a drug in Brass Eye.
PPS: Or Pheed, or Incredibooth. More here.