This has become the week of the quitters. Several people have taken their feed and gone home in a very public manner at Friendfeed. A couple of prolific twitterers on my friends list have written their goodbyes to twitter this week and I heard at least one other friend of a friend did the same. These all came soon after the Internet Librarian conference and I suspect some “leader” there declared twitter was dead or no longer “cool” and some followed along. Today comes the news that Joaquin Phoenix has announced he is done with acting. My question this week is why is it suddenly cool to not only quit, but quit in such a public manner? If you don’t want to participate in Friendfeed or Twitter anymore, just quit without the drama or the big public announcements. I assume one day I will tire of both services, but I will just fade away by not posting anymore. I might say goodbye to a few close friends, but most won’t notice I even left the room. This is the way I would exit a regular social setting. I wouldn’t do it any different in an online one.
I have had several discussion with coworkers recently regarding the fact that I am on both Twitter and FriendFeed. Usually, these discussion involve them making fun of me for being on Twitter and FriendFeed. Arguing with them brings up the question: Why am I here?
I am not someone who will ever inspire hundreds of followers on Twitter or friends on FriendFeed. I assume most of what I post will be read buy a few and commented on by even fewer. So, given this, why do I bother?
I have spent 13 years as a jail librarian. Over half of that time, I was in a single person library 4 days a week. These days I am in a single person library 2 days a week and in a public library 3 days a week. I have always felt disconnected from my library system and the field as a whole. Twitter and FriendFeed have allowed me to connect with library staff across the country(and at least one in Canada) in a way that used to be almost impossible. I am no longer alone on Wednesday’s and Friday’s. I have the whole world at my fingertips if I want it.
That’s why I am here.