Digital Haircut

Earlier this week, I started to feel overwhelmed, for the first time, by all the different services and notifications I’d been using. For me, GMail is great and I have it under control. So, I went through every site — Facebook, Quora, Twitter, Posterous, WordPress, Google Profile,, LinkedIn, Instagram,, Path, etc. — and tried to figure out what’s essential and what’s not for me. I love all the sites and services but felt the need to exercise some control. I also believe in the “Rule of 3” in industrial analysis, where in any industry there ends up being three players standing after rounds of competition. I’m not sure how this applies exactly to the consumer web, but now was the time to start to put down some markers. I’ll share briefly what I did:

  • Writing: I had accounts on Tumblr, WordPress, Posterous, Blogger and Quora. I dabbled with the idea of putting the blog on Quora because I believe that site will be around for a really long time, but was convinced by others that WordPress would be best for my own writing.
  • Notifications: I currently do not receive email notifications from any service other than for FB messages and Twitter DMs, which I simply reply back to via email, not through the sites. I had to remove all my Twitter DMs by hand, took forever. I like the idea of Twitter DM but it came up short for me. GMail is much easier to manage and I have folks on Twitter who want to contact me just email me through my page, which limits the email to 200 words or so. Very manageable. Having zero messages in FB and Twitter feels great. For the rest, well, I have to visit the site to get the notification, and I’m fine with that.
  • Pictures: Too many different pictures of my mug online. Spent 30 minutes to replace them all with the same one. For those who are going to miss my favorite Banksy “Charlie Brown,” sorry, it was time for him to go. As for picture taking and sharing, Instagram is on my iPhone home screen.

In the end, my primary channels will be WordPress, Twitter, and Quora. I’ll still use many of the others above, but not all of them. It’s time to streamline a bit. Thanks for all the great feedback today and suggestions — keep ’em coming.