No, not that one: Facebook.
My pal and colleague, Kim Middleton, blogged on the topic and I thought well, I ought to try it. It is (or was) an academic networking site, so perhaps it would be useful in that way.
HA HA HA!
Blogging seems to some folks a kind of time suck, but it's not a patch on Facebook. The latter seems all about the constant connection, because the default is not only to record everything you do, but everything your friends do, too. Yes, of course you can ignore them, which I do for the most part (sorry to everyone who invited me to become a slayer, partake of movie trivia, or share what I'm reading).
At least it's not as unremittingly ugly as MySpace.
It's simple enough that anyone can figure it out; in fact it's probably easier for someone who knows very little about how the web works. The content doesn't have to be self-generated like a blog. Blogging is great for people like me who never run out of things to write; it's less useful for people who prefer interacting with others more.
However, that's also one of the things that gives me pause: that interaction. Do I want my professional and personal lives overlapping that much? I have a professional website and a personal one. I originally envisioned Facebook as a part of my professional life, but as friends link up and interact that boundary gets more and more porous. Not sure how I feel about that. I have chosen to make my profile available but to hide certain parts from casual viewers (i.e. non-friends in the Facebook universe). Do I really want all my students to know me 'personally'? Not really. But is it avoidable in the interconnected world of the intarwub? Probably not.
Not that this connectivity is a bad thing; I treasure the multitude of friends that I have gained from the web, some of whom are very close to me now and all of whom add so much to my life. Besides, I like being able to have a conversation about canned laughter with Graham Linehan or watching an old video I have longed to see for years. That wouldn't be possible without the 'net.
But I am still wrestling with the issues involved and probably will for a while. We all will be, I suspect. The weight of information is the best protection -- you have to go out and find information for the most part and this will only increase as we approach full steam.
My experience has been that the web is wonderful on the whole: without it I wouldn't be heading to WAMC Monday morning to tape a piece on yuletide celebrations in Anglo-Saxon England.