Saturday, April 01, 2006

late adopter

I'm known to be a late adopter.

I couldn't be bothered to switch from vinyl records to CDs. It had nothing to do with the oft-touted richness of the vinyl sound nor the splendid artwork on the cardboard sleeves. It didn't even have to do with the remembered utilitarian value of double albums like Eat A Peach that could be used to clean one of those fat 5-finger lids of bad pot (an admittedly nostalgic kind of utilitarianism).

No, it had everything to do with inertia and the fact that switching technologies requires all kinds of taxing decisions: What's the most cost-effective sampling rate? Do I need skip protection in earthquake-prone California? Do I have to spring for Sony, or can I get away with Daewoo? Do I care about a warrantee or is this one of those components you just throw off a cliff when it stops working?

See what I mean? It's just too much to think about.

Now I look like an audiophile with shelves of heavy, obsolete vinyl records. Not only that, but by skipping several technology generations I won't have to rip a thousand CDs when I finally do switch to all-digital MP3s.

So it makes sense that I'd be a late adopter here in the blogosphere too. The last one on earth, it seems, to share my innermost thoughts and to set down in bits what surely will turn out to be trenchant commentary. To link arms and network addresses with the other riders of the long tail.

And just when it seemed like I'd made the big decision ("I will have a blog. I will!") -- softened by a start date of 1 April ("and if no-one reads it, I'll say it was an April Fool's prank") -- a new world of choices opened up. Where will I put it? Lots of people I respect go with TypePad. But I discovered TypePad space costs money. And I can't bear to spend money on yet another service that I'll end up abandoning.

I've spent the last 7 months hanging on to the same 3 Netflix DVDs (the first season of Six Feet Under if you must know). Didn't watch them. Didn't watch them. Didn't watch them. They lived in a neat stack next to our ancient TV. That's 7 months x $18.99/month. And then there's that cell phone. Frustrating connectivity here in San Francisco, so I rarely use the thing to actually talk to anyone. Instead I pay $51.99/month for the pleasure of recharging the phone's flaky battery so it won't beep in the middle of the night ("Wake up! Wake up! Your phone battery is dangerously low! WAKE UP!"). I don't even want to discuss the gym membership; let it suffice to say, I did go regularly for 6 years or so (and I still go regularly -- bimonthly -- if we're simply talking periodicity here).

TypePad, then, was right out of the running.

What about MySpace? MySpace. That just oozes hip, here, happening, now. Indie bands. Wild and free twenty-somethings looking for action. The bold and the beautiful. But it's owned by Rupert Murdoch for god's sake. Eeewwwww.

LiveJournal? Isn't that the one with the lifestyle template? So I can tell you what music I'm listening to now? LiveJournal. I'd have to make something up to have any hope of fitting in with the college crowd. Nah. No-one wants to know that I'm listening to the Monkees at a slowed RPM and that my mood is lobotomized.

MSN Spaces? Yahoo 360? When it comes right down to it, everyone seems to want to host my blog. Such faith they have in me.

But I remember when blogging was a younger sport and Pyra was where all eyes focused. There was even a sweet story in the New Yorker about two Pyra bloggers meeting and falling in love. As I spiraled into terminal indecision, I noticed that Pyra was part of a blogging service called blogspot.

Call me a traditionalist, but this late adopter will be cleaning her proverbial 5 finger lids on a laptop open to Blogger. (I don't know if you've noticed, but the form factor of a laptop is just like Eat A Peach.)

After all, it's April Fool's Day and I reserve the right to say, "Just kidding!"


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