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    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Digital Selves

    There are a number of services online that make an "e-penis" list of the things I've listened to, read, played, or watched. I religiously update both my Shelfari and MyAnimeList accounts, and takes care of itself as does Steam. I'm trying to find a comparable site to keep my movie reviews and ratings, and I was using Flixster on Facebook until I logged into the application with my actual Flixster account and it deleted the year and a half of ratings and reviews I had made while not technically "logged in." Great feature. IMDb is likely the place to go, and Mashable put out a list of 10 top social networking sites for movie lovers.

    I'm both curious and squeamish about exploring what makes these kinds of sites so addictive. Squeamish because I'm afraid all I can point to is they help me feel like I've done something "productive" with activities that might not otherwise be considered "productive". Sure, I just logged two hours in Team Fortress 2 and grabbed a handful of achievements, or I finished three more episodes of Nodame Cantabile, but I could have been spending that time studying Japanese. I can't help but come to this conclusion because I also tend not to be very social on these sites. Sure I've got real life friends on Shelfari and Steam, and I keep an eye on their updates, but I'm mostly content to see myself chip away at the massive list of films I haven't seen or books I haven't read.

    Is there inherent value in having these lists? Beyond justifying how I spend my time and sometimes not being able to remember all the media I've consumed.


    Anonymous said...

    I'm on the side of "any content you create, no matter how pointless, is good."

    Seriously. Not enough people on the internet generate content (less than 20%!!), and if these list aggregators and social networks are lowering the barrier to entry, then I'm all for it.

    Besides, you and I both know that digital identity management is a legitimate job skill nowadays.

    Fred said...

    Those are both good points. Thanks for the insight man.