Heads up, this content is 16 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

Here’s what’s on my desk right now:

Dopp Juice – Maintaining this blog as a platform for self expression (supplemented nicely with Twitter).

Technificant – A tumblelog I started recently for collecting the random beautiful nuggets of “stuff” I find on the web. More fun than a barrel full of del.icio.us and ma.gnolia.com feeds.

Cerado – My favorite. client. ever. I’m handling project management, technical writing, and website development for the brainchildren of mad genius Christopher Carfi. He’s keeping me quite busy these days with brilliant undertakings, and is the reason I’m unavailable for your projects.

The Writ – Leading an initiative this year to migrate the site to a more stable system that better addresses the community’s needs.

Genderfork – A photo-a-day blog that explores the grey areas of gender, which up until recently was handled under a pseudonym.

Poetry Chapbook – I’m compiling some of my more challenging work (which has seen virtually no internet airtime) from the last two years and am going to make it available through Lulu.com soon.

My themes for 2008 are authenticity, identity, and community.

What are you up to? Post me a link to your roster.

Heads up, this content is 16 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

Last night the newly-freewheeling Susan Mernit and I attended the SD Forums meeting on Using the Social Graph / Social Platforms to Enhance Search at the Yahoo campus. The panel included representatives from Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and Chirp, and they grappled with questions about what the Internet is going to do with all of this information about who is connected with whom. Here are a few of my takeaway notes:

  • When we search, we find things we were looking for. When we participate in social networks, we find things we didn’t know we were looking for.
  • To subscribe to someone on Twitter is to use them as a media source.
  • Our public content and our public statements about our social graph are a kind of performance. (Dopp Juice is a kind of performance.) This stuff needs to be treated differently than private conversations (messages, emails, IMs), which are meant to be off-stage.
  • One-way connections (e.g., following someone on twitter) articulates what you’re interested in. Two-way connections (e.g., an email conversation) articulates who you’re interested in.
  • Direct search has been nicely monetizable (see Google’s Massive Empire) because it involves a direct interest, but social search is the new frontier for monetization.
  • Social networks SHOULD NOT ASK PEOPLE FOR THEIR GMAIL AND YAHOO MAIL LOGIN INFO. (i know, we’ve talked about this already, but it was nice to hear it on the panel from the Yahoo rep, too.) His reasons: our email address books include everyone we’ve ever emailed; not just the people we have valuable relationships with. The tactic is spam-producing and relationship-damaging.
  • Facebook’s style of social networking sometimes creates lightweight friendships that obfuscate the value of networks. Knowing who my 20 best friends are is often more valuable than knowing who my 500 best friends are.
  • There is an ongoing tension between privacy and portability. How do we keep our information safe, versus how do we carry our information with us?
  • True portability involves both the ability to extract your information in a way that can be used elsewhere and the ability to delete it from the system so that it’s no longer in the first network’s hands.
  • There can never ever be a privacy surprise. If the user sees you publicly displaying something that they thought was private, you just lost their trust in a very big way.
  • There’s user-generated content and then there’s information about the user’s social graph. These are separate things. To do cool things for fun and profit on this next frontier of social media, you’re gonna want access to both.
Heads up, this content is 16 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

hat1.jpgDear Friends,

There’s a lot that’s missing from this blog. I rarely reference my art, my social network, my adventures, or my grapplings with identity politics. And that’s unfortunate, because these are significant and interesting parts of my life, and I’d like you to know about them. I’ve been keeping them off the radar because it’s been easier to let people make assumptions about my personal life than it has been to try to explain it to them. The downside of this is having to face some really wrong assumptions, all the while knowing that I haven’t done anything to prevent or correct them.

For reasons that continually boggle my mind, a lot of this seems to hinge around my sexual orientation. So let me take a stab at creating some common ground by offering up the label that makes the most sense to me: I’m queer.

This word seems to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so here’s how it works in my life. First of all, I’m not straight (most people seem to figure this one out). Second, I’m not a lesbian (and I’m pretty damned sure about that, so please don’t challenge it). Third, I’m somewhat androgynous (which, incidentally, is not the same as being butch). I live in the middle ground. I have a high tolerance for ambiguity. I’m queer.

“Queer” is a word with positive connotations in my circles. Unless you’re saying it with a glare and a snarl, it is not an insult. You can use it to describe me.

Another word you can use is “bisexual.” I don’t mind this term (and it’s a lot more appropriate than “straight” or “gay”), but you should know that I rarely use it to describe myself. To me, the term “bisexual” suggests that there are only two genders in the world, and I disagree with that philosophy. We can get into that debate another time. For now, I’d just like you to understand that gender is rarely an important factor when I’m deciding who to date.

I find that many people tend to assume I’m a lesbian, so I don’t think of this post as “coming out of a closet” so much as “submitting a clarification.” If we can get onto the same page about my identity, I think we’ll find we have a lot more to talk about. I hope you’re game.