Wednesday, July 27, 2005


AOL Instant Messenger's profile feature is pretty cool. It was my blog before I had a blog. It's something that could be even greater than it is now (and I'm not talking about those sites that let you generate a link with target=_self to load new content into the frame), and it's something that I miss when I use any messaging client that doesn't have it. AIM's profile feature has two things that I like better than blogs: (1) once it's updated, the old content is gone forever, and (2) it's private. I've never really understood the appeal of having everything archived. Sure, on the content consumption end of things, it's nice; you can go back and see what things looked like in the past, or you can find content from sites that no longer exist. But, from the content provider side, it's really unpleasant, at least for me. Internet caches take away a lot of the control that providers used to have. Phone conversations, passed notes, and in-person verbal exchanges aren't generally archived; something you say in them can only come back to haunt you if the other person remembers. But now everything's saved forever. Instead of people basing their opinions of Green Eclipse's software on our website and current versions, they can base their opinions on the whole history of our website and ancient, archaic versions of products. That I find quite unpleasant. In the same way, as open as I occasionally am on this blog, I do constrain myself much more than I normally would in an IM conversation or in person. Everyone can read my blog, and it's going to be cached forever somewhere. I dislike that.

Your AIM profile is a place to put more personal things that only your acquaintances will see; things that will go away as soon as you decide that they should. That's wonderful.


Derrick Stolee said...

my parents read my blog. that limits me quite a bit.

Henry Schimke said...

My parents read mine... I don't really find it limiting, my parents are oddly aware of my personality.

Travis said...

Yes; your parents don't count, Henry, especially after the things you've told me.