Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Unsuspecting Adoption and Subsequent Care of Websites

Don't feed it - you'll never get rid of it.

Sadly I didn't realise until too late that the old axiom about stray cats also applied to websites. Squidoo, DeviantART, Facebook, RedBubble, Zazzle - even little Twitter, perched on the shoulder of your browser. They all require care and feeding, constant attention and minions, bound into servitude.

Take Squidoo, for example.

For the first few months, I innocently tossed a few tidbits - fed it some content about art, got to know it and told it about myself. And then the affection started creeping in, as it responded to my attentions by arching its traffic levels higher and prodding me with comments and little responses. And then you teach it that first simple trick, and it obeys, producing your very own affiliate sale!

Squidoo is like a team of trained horses, all racing along.. until they trip over their own tentacles, flop over, and start squirming in all directions. A lot of learning is involved in corralling unruly lenses - but Squidoo has by far the greatest potential, when it comes to getting it to perform tricks for an audience.

DeviantART Is The Neediest

DeviantART is the sulky stray that ignores you, while you spend months holding out treats, throwing it scraps and begging it to come visit. you constantly count each glance it sends your way, agonising over the views on your page. And then, almost without realising, it decides to accept you through sheer inertia, and you find yourself overwhelmed with affection and neediness.

A complicated and unpredictable creature, you can never predict what it will prefer - the painting you laboured over for hours will be disdained, while the amusing sketch will be devoured with much purring.

Twitter is the Canary...although it grows into a vulture!

Ah Twitter. So welcoming, so easy to look after. The pet every new internet inhabitant picks up on a whim, to keep their other sites company. 140 characters is hardly a big commitment - a tiny little meal! But the more you feed it, the bigger it grows. And soon, you discover that it's lonely and failing to thrive - be warned. Twitter accounts naturally exist in flocks. A Twitter alone is a sad and miserable creature.

So you adopt another to complement it, and hook it up with some friends - and soon you have an entire flock of Twitters on your hands, to keep fed on fresh updates, entertained, and orderly. You have to watch out for the scavengers, the spam accounts, who exist to prey on the more innocent, and brainless, Twitters.

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