Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

A meme

I’ve been tagged to list my five favourite “social media” sites. These are, apparently, “the online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video.” As such, and largely because of that New Media Awards thing I went to last night meaning I’ve been vaguely pondering the merits of the web and such, I’ll go for the following:

Ain’t it cool: not that I visit much (if ever) these days, but this was the first site – really a grandiose blog before the term was even invented – on which I actually bothered interacting with other interweb types, back in the heady days of 1997 when I first dipped my toes into the online waters. At the time one of the few sites where you could get decent info about upcoming films (even the indispensible IMDB was rather shaky back then), it made my task as a budding film journo a hell of a lot easier, and the film geeks in the talkbacks and chatroom were, back then at least, surprisingly entertaining, intelligent and civil. It was also the first website to have the joy of some of my writing published on it, if I recall correctly. I used a different pseuonym then and it all went downhill after about 1999, mind. (Update: Just remembered – they were also sweet enough to review my first book, largely positively, so I ought to be nice…)

b3ta: How can I not? That’s where the “Nosemonkey” pseudonym originted, it’s where I taught myself photoshop, and it’s what kept me sane during long hours of tedium before I took up blogging. I’d been lurking for about a year and a half before I joined – which was apparently 2 years, 10 months ago today. Haven’t been on in aaaages though – no photoshop any more, the talkboard took too much time, and you can see all the best images ripped off without credit in the Daily Mail these days.

Blogger: Simply because it was one of the first free blogging tools (and the only one I’d heard of when I first tried blogging back in around 2000, hence still using it now). It’s a bit crap, but it’s easy, and it got me quoted in the papers and some free booze and a small amount of money and stuff, so I suppose I ought to be grateful despite the lack of automatic topic archiving and daily frustration of dodgy HTML… It’s a love/hate thing.

Wikipedia: Again, simply can’t be ignored. Yes, a lot of its articles are still riddled with errors, but it’s still just about reliable enough to save a hell of a lot of time running to the library for some quick research. Supposedly it should simply keep on getting better through self-correction and constant expansion – though when it’s already got articles on this lot I begin to wonder if they haven’t already covered everything there is to know…

Erm… That’s it, I think. I’m meant to do five though, so I’ll say mininova – only recently discovered BitTorrent site which is very useful for… erm… sharing files and TV shows and suchlike entirely legally… Honest…

I’ll tag Justin, Chris, Chris, Jonn and Alex, because they’re all more geeky than me and may come up with some more obscure ones than those on offer in my defiantly mainstream (aka unimaginitive) selection…

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