I have been meaning to write a follow up to my best music post of a few weeks ago. Basically, I just wanted to mention and link to a few places that have been useful this year.
First, Facebook totally exploded this year. I have had an account for a few years, but this year it seems like EVERYBODY signed up. I've actually really enjoyed "facebooking" as it has helped me get in touch with old friends, reconnect on a more regular basis with other friends, and keep up to date with my facebooking colleagues. As a social networking tool, facebook deserves mega-props for its ability to handle photographs, video, and even (as of about 8 months ago) chat. I think that this year's explosion has secured for Facebook the status of more than just a passing fad.
Twitter is like a super boiled down version of Facebook--but I use it too (and actually integrate it with my Facebook. Twitter lets me update my facebook status via text message--I can't afford web connectivity on my cell phone yet). More and more people are "twittering"--it provides a fun way to read and broadcast short pieces of information. I get feeds from CNN, our local newspaper, a few bands, Amazon's daily mp3 deal--even George Lucas twitters. Only two of my friends "tweet" regularly--thanks for keeping it real Mat and Aaron.
"I wish the internet could..." is a common phrase knocking around in my head. Ususally, I don't have to wait too long before my wish is its command. For example, I was really wanting to do some photoblogging directly from my camera phone. In other words, I wanted to be able to take a photo with my phone, text it to myself and have it automatically update to a blog. I found such a service in Twitpic. I started doing it here on our trip, but moved it permanently to this address. If you use a rss reader, you can subscribe to the feed by clicking the orange button in the right-hand corner of the page.