Friday, June 5, 2009

Writer's Block: A case of online euthanasia

It's time to let 360 die. After a about two years of having 360 on life support, we're pulling the plug.

If you haven't heard already, 360 is going to be killed in July and will be replaced by a new product - something like a simple version of Facebook with a blog platform -- or at least that's what it looked like the last time I viewed it.

As a late bloomer when it comes to this online social networking stuff, I sometimes need to force myself to catch up with the trends. Frankly, I've always been just an email and search user from the time I got my hands on the Internet. The most I ever really did as a user was to look for an e-card, when I was not doing something related to work.

Today, I am a different mammal. I'm so hooked to the Internet, you could say I'm over-logged. Only less than three years ago, I couldn't care less about anything that went on outside my inbox. Now I always use messenger, blogs, and most recently -- social networking tool, Facebook.

I refused to get on any social networking tool for years, but finally succumbed to peer pressure and found myself on Facebook. Thankfully it's not a totally useless tool. I managed to get in touch with some old friends, colleagues and former editors on that tool. It makes it easier to keep track with what's going on with my friends' lives even when we're not even in the same continent.

But apart from that, I still have the odd feeling of wanting to blog more than network. And as a sentimental schmuck, 360 holds a special place in my heart being my first blog tool. Yet as the song says, some good things never last', and it's time to just let the poor thing die.

After years of neglect, being what seems to be the child unloved, the time has come to just say goodbye and welcome something new. I wish I could say the same thing about my Facebook account, but I have to keep in touch with my old friends and colleagues somehow.

As a socially retarded person, I find social networking to be an odd tool, but it is a necessary evil in these modern times. Now apparently, I need to get on Twitter, though the concept somewhat escapes me. But I did hear its a pretty good tool to keep abreast with news even before it breaks. So I'm probably gonna give that a shot and see where it takes me.

Blogging was initially odd to me, but after leaving journalism and most of my friends/family behind, it has become my only outlet of self expression.

Writer's Block, which used to be the title of my weekly column from back in my newspaper days, has turned into an online diary of sorts.

These days, I only write for self expression, nothing more. I may not be able to call myself a journalist anymore, but I am a writer. Printer's ink runs in my veins, even when I'm just writing about my mundane days.

I will always miss the times I used to write about things that made more sense -- things that matter. My life as it is does not really matter in the bigger scale of things. I'm not suicidal. I am just realistic.

I have no disillusions about becoming famous. I've had more than my fair share of by-lines, there's really no need to prove anything. A writer is a writer, and becomes a journalist by profession if he doesn't become a novelist.

I often wish I could write about something more substantial. A day in a life of a former journalist is boring, and it really doesn't matter. Maybe someday soon, I will get to write about something worth printing again. Until then, I blog.

Unfortunately it looks like Blogspot will have to contain my ramblings for a while. Hopefully the new product can offer something that Blogspot can't, as a hybrid of a social networking tool and a blog platform.

In the meantime, it's time to say farewell to 360 as it takes its last few breaths. RIP and go to that cyberheaven in the sky...or wherever 404'd websites go.