Scaling Back

Many people are scaling back these days… what about all those website IDs and passwords? Do you really need them?

While discussing a PC crisis and the hassle of reinstalling all my software onto a new machine, my friend Mike said, “Sounds like you need fewer programs.”

A naive comment at best, when directed towards me, a person who lives within the web of technology. It’s my life-blood, my creative outlet, and a huge part of my life. Yet, those words echoed with me for months, and I only recently experienced enough other events to see that Mike is probably right.

A quick inventory shows that I have well over 230 IDs, passwords, reg codes, etc for various programs and websites (all legal of course). Some are for music sites and things that involve my life as a musician. Others are for educational purposes, social networking or pure fun. I’m not even counting the dozen or more IDs and passwords I need to do my job at Geisinger.

A few are for websites that I rarely visit anymore, but there are a good number that are required as part of my digital lifestyle. As I look at this, I wonder: Where is this all heading?

I’m now going through my list, gradually, to close as many of these sites and accounts down as possible. My first target will be the dozens of music-related sites that I’ve either tried or been talked into using by overzealous marketeers praying off the independent artist. The good news is, I have not bought into the promises so many of these sites offer, and have kept my membership very selective. The sad part is, there are even more of these sites now than there ever were during the blossoming of the web, so many other artists have yet to learn just how much of a waste of time many sites are.

There’s a tendency for the marketers of many sites to make you believe you are not “legit” unless your plugged in to their particular flavor of web promotion. The problem is, these sites miss the entire point of the web – it is virtual. Set up shop in one good place, and you are everywhere. I do not believe – as many seem to – that being everywhere constitutes some form of sign of success or means that you will be noticed more. Particularly as a one-man shop, I do not have time to maintain dozens of web portals. Why should I, particularly when I own several domains? That energy is better spent writing and recording quality music.

Granted, I am more technical than your average musician, though many musicians are technical to some degree. In fact, it is not unreasonable to think that many of the advances that others enjoy on the web are *because* of musicians interacting with the technology. All the more reason I am frustrated with the attempt by many sites to turn musicians into another cash cow while the musicians chase the carrot of fame.


By jjdeprisco

Sonic explorer, sound artist, guitarist in Fricknadorable, software designer.

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