Dang! I’ve caved! I joined Facebook. And all because of Nine Inch Nails. You see, I saw on the band’s feed that they had a Facebook profile and when I clicked over, I saw that a discography was included, the very thing I was longing for on the band’s website. I’d still like to see it on the NIN website with notes by Trent Reznor, but I’ll take what I can where I can get it.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about the web in general and about NIN in particular. There are now a ton of easy-to-use applications that allow someone to have a web presence very easily. Obviously, my blogs have given me a web presence and now that I’m on Facebook, I’ve expanded my reach. You can have a Flickr account to post photos and a Cafe Press account to have a store. I can’t even begin to touch the number of web apps out there that a person can take advantage of and most of them are free for at least the basic service.
This spring at work, my co-worker and I took an online Web 2.0 course called 23 Things on a Stick, which was run through our regional library system. Through 23 Things, we were introduced to a smidgen of the wide variety of these online apps. It was both cool and overwhelming. The cool part is that a small nonprofit organization no longer has any excuse not to have a web presence. A nonprofit can be online in the time it takes to start a blog or build a Squidoo page. The overwhelming part was feeling like we should be taking part in everything, but we quickly shook that feeling because it was unproductive. What we determined was that we had to choose among these apps carefully, that we didn’t have time to manage and maintain a whole bunch of services. We want to select things that we can work into our existing structure without too much pain. We are already blogging and we love it. There are other things we want to do, but I’m the IT department at work (along with being a writer, exhibit builder, receptionist, tour guide, the bookkeeper, manager, publications designer etc., etc.), so when we want to add a web-based service, I have to devote a chunk of time to learning how to use it. (There was no small amount of frustration involved with teaching myself html and css, believe me.)
NIN seems to be blanketing the web by using a bunch of these services. The band has a channel on YouTube, a Flickr page, a MySpace page, and, obviously, a Facebook profile, which is how I started in on this topic. Next thing you know, the band will be geocaching. The point is that if you want to be effective in using a whole bunch of online apps, you’ve got to have the time to do it properly, and I’m just guessing here, but I bet NIN has a staff member who does nothing but this.