The web, as we all know by now, is a constantly changing place. A entity that adapts to it's users and tosses the unwanted like that bag of 80's clothes that you just hauled down to Goodwill. I have worked behind the scenes of many web companies, directly and indirectly, over the past decade. In doing so I have felt the way that working behind the curtain for the Wizard of Oz must have felt. You see the Wizard and you run the machines and because of that you see through the glamor and the whole thing becomes boring.
Until a very short time ago I was bored with the web and what it had to offer. I used it in a very utilitarian way and did not equate it with fun or socializing. I had become the old man, sitting on his porch, across the street from the web. Shaking my fist at every MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, BeJeweled, and Woot that went by. And then I took a taste.
I don't know what finally got me to do it but I joined Twitter* ( before the big slow down ) and started following people I knew from podcasts and vidcasts. At the same time I added Lijit to this site on a whim because my friend knows someone there. I found a bug with Lijit and since I was playing around with Twitter I complained about it on there. BANG! I've got someone from Lijit who saw my tweet and was immediately interested in what was up and helping me fix it. (Thanks @tarable) Then it clicked, so many of these new sites that I had turned away from are very social and this really required me to break out my normal hermit like behavior. Not to hide and keep secrets but to share. Once I accepted this my web experience completely changed and I found myself being amazed again.
Twitter and Lijit led to Brightkite and Dipity all of those lead to Boulder Startup Drinks, an open invite to people to come and hang out every couple weeks and talk startups. There I met Andrew Hyde, Stepan Mazurov, and Samantha who are very nice and open people. After following them and others on twitter things really exploded and I really was exposed to the huge startup community that has grown up in Boulder.
What has all this done for me? Well I can honestly say that I feel like the web is fun again. In addition to that it has really emboldened me to work on an idea that I have been floating around in my head since this has all started. On top of all of that the social aspect of these websites has spilled over into my real life and I am tossing my hermit lifestyle like that bag of 80's clothes you just hauled down to Goodwill.
* WARNING: Side effects may include:
A desire to refer to people with an @ in front of their name (Love you @dad!).
Leaving a tab of your browser open and setting it to refresh every 5 minutes.
Wondering why you too can't be micah-chic.
Cussing out giant whales being held up by small birds.