There are a dizzying number of cool new services, applications, and gadgets available to citizens of the world today. New stuff is coming out all the time and it can be hard for us Internet experts to keep up, let alone average human beings. For example, my dad — no Internet slouch — had no idea what Hulu was. How is he expected to care about the difference between Twitter or identi.ca?
I take a generally pessimistic view of new sites, assuming that I’ll either not like them, or they won’t stick around long enough for me to appreciate them. I have a few friends who are compulsive signer-uppers, gladly agreeing to the Terms of Service for any new site that comes along. One of these guys does it specifically so he can claim his preferred username, lest some other Internet a-hole tarnish his good handle. Another friend signs up for stuff with the expectation that he’ll actually use the service being offered. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t.
How many of us fall into one of these same patterns? I’m rather saddened to notify you that I probably have an account on well over 100 social networks/tools. Yeah… I’m on/was on Plurk, Jaiku (RIP), Twitter, Identi.ca and Pownce (RIP). I loved them all yet I only update Twitter now.