Back in 2008, during the heady days of FriendFeed, I was online everywhere. Every new service – I signed up, eager to try it out. Back then we had a simple philosophy: the mere act of putting information online was a good act. It would be indexed by search engines and if just one person discovered it, and it was useful to them, well then you had done a good thing. We also imagined that via federation, it would be easy to pull data from disparate sources via APIs and build fun new things.

In 2022 you could not pay me to join a new online service. Like many people, I’ve become disillusioned by an online world with one business model: ownership of our information, marketing based on that information and scant regard for ethics or user privacy. When I retire, it will be to an unconnected cabin in the bush.

For better or worse, you can still find me at these places.

  1. Here at, though I don’t write much any more.
  2. Twitter which I still find somewhat useful for connecting with interesting people.
  3. LinkedIn which I find slightly useful when job searching and otherwise, not at all.
  4. I used to maintain a Flickr archive, until their price increases far outstripped their service improvements. I currently maintain a smaller archive of family history images at Smugmug, which I may expand to include my own work one day.
  5. I keep my fun coding projects at Github. I’d like to do more there, but lack the time.
  6. I answer questions, mainly R-related, at StackOverflow. This is one of the last sites to embody the spirit of the mid-2000s in my opinion, the other being Wikipedia.

I have a few old friends and family members who are, unfortunately, only online at Facebook. Were it not for this, I’d delete that account tomorrow.

One thought on “Online

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