Things Biz Stone Told Me (Part One)
I didn’t actually sit down and have a conversation with Biz Stone, but I read his book Things a Little Bird Told Me. I’ve been chewing over a bunch of ideas I read in the book, and I want to share three of them with all of you so you can chew on this wad, too. My G-d. That sounded really gross.
So, the first thought that grabbed me came on page 118:
We all have many different options for contacting people electronically: email, text, IMs, Tweets. There is a time and a place for each. When a plane lands in the Hudson in front of you, that’s a Tweet. That’s the ultimate Tweet. You don’t email a friend that. You tweet it.
He’s referring to a Tweet sent by a man who was on the ferry the day the plane crashed in the Hudson River. He was up close, and took a photo of the people standing on the wing of the downed plane.
So I read those lines in Stone’s book and then thought, “I wouldn’t have emailed it or tweeted it.”
It’s not just which medium you choose to share information or images: do you blog it or email it or Tweet it? It’s what you curate to appear online and what you leave behind in your brain. Because there are millions of things that don’t end up… anywhere. Not in a blog post or a Tweet or a Facebook update. I don’t email it or text it.
Sometimes I don’t put it down anywhere because I know it’s mundane. I don’t think anyone else cares that I’m doing a load of laundry. I don’t think any of you care to know about even the more exciting loads of laundry; like the ones where I mistakenly put in something that bleeds dye all over the rest of the clothes. I may be wrong. You may have been waiting for a laundry tweet for years. But I’m willing to risk that.
Sometimes I don’t put it down… even though I could? Because it’s interesting enough? Interesting stuff happens here. We have dinner with authors you probably know or we go to cool places. And those sorts of things make interesting stories and interesting images. And yet… I don’t know. I just don’t do anything with them. I don’t blog it. I don’t Tweet it. I just… don’t use it. And I don’t really think about it. It just doesn’t occur to me to put the story or image out there.
I sense from the book that I may be a bit of a letdown for Biz Stone.
Back when I wrote my college essays, I curated out the most interesting things that had happened to me before the age of seventeen. And I wrote passionate essays about my life up until that point. But curation now takes place in real time. As I’ve said before, blogging is writing your memoir in real time. I’m trying not to bore you AND I’m trying not to put anything online that I could regret in the future. I’m not even talking about regret in the embarrassing sense of the word. I’m talking about having regrets over giving too much of myself away and not retaining enough of myself just for myself.
Is there any sense to what you share or don’t share? And is your instinct usually to aim wide with Twitter or to hold moments close, sharing them via text or an email?