My Ubiquity In Your Online Life: A Poll

Because I am curious, if you would answer the following poll I would appreciate it:

Additionally, if you have thoughts on how you read/follow me online, please leave them in the comment thread.

There’s no immediate reason I’m doing this other than my own curiosity, incidentally. It was just something I was thinking about recently.

101 Comments on “My Ubiquity In Your Online Life: A Poll”

  1. Well there are people who check in here occasionally but other places more often, so I wanted to have that option available.

    To be clear, I’m not going to pretend this poll will have scientific validity; it’s more for my own anecdotal interest.

  2. Your Twitter feed goes through my RSS reader, same as Whatever, so I technically only follow you in one place, but from two sources. It gets very confusing.

  3. I imagine he has the poll up at other sites, Sam. What isn’t entirely clear is if the designation Whatever includes the blog and the discussion forums, or just the blog.

    I don’t Twitter and following people’s writings on social networks seems a haphazard affair. Whereas, I just have to click on the blog link to see what nonsense Scalzi has come up with now. It’s similar to flipping to a column page in a magazine.

  4. Hard to answer…I follow you on twitter, but I don’t *regularly* follow you on twitter in that for me, twitter is something I trawl when bored not something I try to read everything on.

    On the other hand, the way RSS works, I tend to read everything except from a few feeds that generate 20+ posts a day, for which I sometimes “mark all read” when too busy for the web.

  5. I’m with Steve. I read the blog thru Google Reader, whenever it’s updated, but I’ll only “read” you on Twitter or Facebook if I happen to be checking in and notice some Scalzi bon mots amidst the noise.

  6. I check in on Whatever in the evenings and maybe sometimes at lunch and see what’s up. I also just started following you on twitter.

  7. RSS tends to be it for me – I use my mail client as my reader so I have access to posts when off-line (which admittedly isn’t often). Like #6 (Steve) I sometimes have to resort to the dreaded “mark all read” option, but rarely for Whatever. Most posts I follow on RSS only, but for some I’ll click “Read more…” and go follow the comment thread.

  8. Whatever. Twitter. AMC.

    You have, as yet, not appeared in my dreams.

  9. I only regularly follow twitter and Whatever, but it seems like ever since I discovered Whatever, I see the Scalzi name EVERYWHERE on the web. It’s just always popping up randomly in other blogs, websites, forums. All over. Is this a sign of you taking over the world soon? Will loyal blog minions have a special place in the new world order?

  10. Like some of the others, I follow your (and the secondary Blog only) twitter feed, but only see it if I happen to have Twitter up and running. I do NOT try to go back and see what I missed when I was away from Twitter– That way leads to madness! My main thing is my RSS feed. However… for some reason I only get the truncated RSS feed, so I always have to click over here if I want to read the whole thing. I don’t count reading you at AMC or anywhere else because I usually use the link you provide here to go there.

  11. I do occasionally wander over to AMC to read your column but for reasons unknown the registration process there declines to enroll me in the ranks.

    That, in turn, means I can’t comment.

    A swift cross-reference to ‘Comments and Communities’ will probably explain why it’s occasional rather than regular…

  12. I regularly read Whatever and I actually do it by visiting the site. While here, I may scan the Whatwitters in the sidebar, but I don’t generally go to your Twitter site (though I might click through to see what prompted a given tweet). Now, I voted for the first option (Whatever only), but then @11 reminded me of your AMC column which I do also read regularly (clicking through from here), so I guess you should subtract one from the first option and add one to the second.

  13. I am your “friend” on FB, I read here, and I follow you on Twitter. (It seems creepy when it’s written out like that.)

  14. There’s a person who told me he was you that often comes around to my house to talk for a while. Since personal appearance was not an option in the poll I suspect letting him in isn’t such a good idea….

    For me primarily website and twitter.

  15. I generally read the AMC columns, too, but since I get there from here, I figured it didn’t count as a second source.

  16. I read this blog daily, and let selected twitterers I follow go to my cell phone, which caused my wife (before she learned better) to once cross the room when she heard the “new text message” sound only to inform me, rather confusedly: “It appears John Scalzi wants you to know he’s no longer wearing socks.”

  17. Like many others, I come here daily. I always read and enjoy your AMC column and while there I might read some of the other columns, but I only go there by following the link you provide.

  18. I read you on Whatever, on Facebook and twitter. I added you on LJ but I’m guessing you don’t post there much. I must admit I became a fan of Whatever first then you’re sci fi writing. Great meeting you briefly at Worldcon last year too.

  19. If you don’t count the local bookstore, this is the only place I read your stuff (via RSS)

  20. Here via the RSS (mostly), the Twitter & the Facebook.

    Unless/until you move to my neighborhood, that’s the extent of my followage of you.

  21. I mostly follow the RSS feed on my iGoogle page at work, during the week (they can block a lot of things but not Google!) and then I also get the RSS feed in my email at home. Makes it easy to keep up.

    The only regular web pages I check are my Facebook and Tumblr dashboards at home and iGoogle at work.

  22. I really only read you here (and your books of course). I follow you on Twitter but since I rarely log in there, it’s moot.

    I found Whatever during the Amazon/Mcmillan mess and became interested. I love your “Big Idea” posts.

  23. I am one of those crazies who go to the website and not RSS. Unless something is in my face bringing my attention to it, I’ll forget it is there (such as RSS feeds, web based email never gets checked.) However, I remember to check your website plus a couple other blogs regularly. You and 1 other, I come to more than once a day because I know there are multiple posts through out the day. 1 when he tweets he has a new blog and 1 check before going to bed to see if maybe he updated that day.

    I follow you on Twitter and it is rare I miss a tweet. I’m at my desk all day surfing the web as part of my job and I have tweetdeck chirping tweets onto my desktop all day.

  24. Perhaps I don’t follow you at all. Perhaps it’s just that you turn up at the same places I visit… Are you stalking me?

  25. The Whatever website, and Twitter to my phone. And like some others, I go to AMC when you point to the newest articles.

  26. John,

    My choice was only on Whatever.

    I do read your books too. I even buy them – that counts for something (at least to your banker!).



  27. Mostly follow you on Whatever via Bloglines, click-through when something is extra shiny (as opposed to regular shiny). So, option #1.

    I follow on Twitter / FB, but not such that I would consider it regular reading.

  28. I follow you here since my 30 year-old-son passed along to me your recent “Hate Mail Will Be Graded” compilation of blogs. I log on to your Whatever website only from my desktop. On occassion I will follow a link you provide. Now tell me, what is this RSS everyone talks about here? And where do all these people commenting here have time in their lives to follow twitter, read social newtworking sites, and still read your novels and other great literature while working, raising families, volunteering service to make the world better, etc.?

  29. Steve Buchheit @22: The Scalzi Compound is a regular stop on my “Homes of Ohio Writers” Greyhound Bus Tour. People get out and take pictures. Then it’s off to drive by the houses of other Ohio writers.

  30. Guy: Hey! You got your ubiquity in my life!

    Other Guy: Hey! You got your life all over my ubiquity!

    Guy: Hey! This is good!

    Other Guy: Hey! Why do we preface all of our meaningful sentences with the word “hey?”

  31. All,

    I’m sorry to post this here, but I have no idea where else to put it. Apologies for the hijack.

    Some of you may recognize Lauren Uroff as an occasional poster here–*I* know she was a regular reader, at any rate, and enjoyed reading and posting here. Lauren died Tuesday morning, of complications from cancer. We all miss her already. Anyone who wants to keep her husband and son in their thoughts–much appreciated.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

  32. What, no option for “I lurk in the bushes outside your house at night and stalk your every public appearance”? (Okay, I read Whatever — the site, not a feed because I’m amused by the constantly changing design — and on Facebook.)

  33. All of these options include “I regularly read / follows” ect.

    What if I read Whatever, but not regularly, just occasionally?

  34. Night Sky:

    I knew about Lauren (I was notified by e-mail) and was hoping there was someplace online I could link people to. If you know of something let me know and I’ll promote it to its own post. She was a good person and I was very sad to hear of her passing.

    Otherwise, I do think it’s best to keep this particular post on topic and save (public) thoughts on her passing for the eventual FPP. Private good thoughts, of course, I agree are welcomed.

  35. Definitely Whatever and Facebook. I have you linked on Twitter, but never seem to have time to go to Twitter — not having my hand permanently attached to a smart phone probably explains that. As with others, I link to AMC once a week via Whatever reminders and so don’t count that as a separate thing. Also didn’t think of the AMC columns until I started reading the comments.

    Then of course there’s the stalking In Real Life, since John seems to be stalking me and attending most of the cons that I go to. Or maybe that’s John Scalvi, that rat bastard.

    Dr. Phil

  36. FYI – first option is actually two options, one regular web page, and one RSS. I don’t do the RSS as the kids do these days. I dunno if that split is important to you or not.

  37. I only read the blog, but now I’m intrigued as to whether you post the same content on the other sites? Obviously it won’t be the case with twitter – Big Ideas would turn into very short ideas indeed.

  38. John C-A:

    I try not to duplicate material, actually. That would be kind of boring for me. I will occasionally use Twitter/Facebook to point here if I have something I want everyone’s attention for, but I also try to keep that to a minimum as well.

  39. Ah shoot, I forgot about FB…can I change my vote? (Whatever, FB and delicious). There might be others too, I guess…it’s part of Google Reader feeds.

  40. Like a lot of other people, I get your twitter feed and am Facebook friends with you, but with those two sources, if it doesn’t happen while I’m connected – and watching – I won’t see it. I check Whatever daily, or more.

  41. No one has proclaimed you the One True Prophet before whom no other source of information shall be allowed?

    Well, OK, probably thats a good thing. but you had your hopes too, didn’t ya.

  42. I have the RSS feed, and follow on Twitter. I also follow you on Google Buzz, but I did not even bother to count that one.

  43. Too Much Scalzi Man @ 11

    Rather frighteningly, he HAS appeared in my dreams. I think the moral is: Don’t read Whatever right before going to bed.


    *looks at the time*

    Oh damn…

  44. I frequently drop over here when I get updates through your RSS feed. I subscribed originally to get a heads-up whenever you would be releasing books through subterranean press but I’ve found the place much more interesting than that since.

  45. John: Does reading your comments on, for example, Metafilter count as “reading you” even though you’re Just Another Commenter there? ‘Cause that affects my answer to the poll.

  46. I didn’t really start using Twitter much until I got Tweetdeck, which is far better. It can run in the background wile you work on other stuff, you’re not tying up your browser, and new tweets just pop up in the corner.

  47. Not sure if it counts as following you on Twitter (as I don’t have a Twitter account), but during my daily reading of the Whatever I make sure to catch up on the Whatwitters in the sidebar.

    I also make a point to go through the Whateverettes.

  48. I get the rss into my blogger dashboard and jump from that to the latest post on the actual site. It’s the only blogging device I’ve ever used to follow people so I’m not sure how else it works.

  49. i am not following john scalzi.
    i am not following john scalzi.
    i am not following john scalzi.
    i am not following john scalzi.
    i am not following john scalzi.
    i am not following john scalzi.
    i am not following john scalzi.

    what? that link to whatever on my firefox fast dial page? that’s nothing, nothing at all.
    sorry? you said something about me subscribing to his feeds on twitter. i can’t hear you over the sound of ghlaghghee laughing maniacally about books falling over and squishing scalzi.
    what? of course i follow ghlaghghee’s twitter feed. you think me uncivilized?

  50. I’ve taken to visiting Whatever once or twice a day while at work. In my rounds of other places, usually involving lolcats. But, hey, here it is a Saturday and I’ve wandered by anyway.

    As another random data point, I also tend to get there by typing ‘Whatever’ into the google search bar on my browser. While at work.

    Just now, I got here from Opera Speed Dial.

  51. I just love engagement surveys. My former employer ran several while I was there. The surveys were actually conducted by a national polling company so the questions didn’t have any obvious bias, but it was fun watching engineers argue over the wording. Somehow we came up with three interpretations of “Agree or disagree: I have a best friend at work.”

    We all agreed that the question was poorly worded, and we all grumbed as we answered based on what we thought they wanted to know.

    Of course the company didn’t care if we had a best friend at work. But the pollsters had found that statistically there was a high level of correlation between departments answering “agree” to that question as worded and their overall productivity.

    One of our number suggested a new question after we learned that: “Agree or disagree: I resent being treated like a lab animal.”

  52. David Bilek:

    I tend to count the places where I’m featured rather than places where I am one member among many, but I suppose ultimately it’s up to you which to choose.

  53. #67:

    Ok, I’ll just go with 1. Because I realized if I counted places where you were one member among many, I would have to pick a result which would be misleading in context since I see your posts at a bunch of places but only look at WHATEVER in terms of looking for your words specifically.

  54. I visit Whatever every few days or so. I find twitter uninteresting usually, unless there’s some breaking news or something, and I think Facebook (the company) is evil, so I refuse to participate. Plus, having spent way too many years on the interwebs, I know I’m happier when I spend less time reading random stuff on the net.

  55. I read Whatever through Google Reader, follow the twitter feed, read the AMC columns, listen to various interviews and readings and such, and read the books. I do this because John is an interesting fellow and because I have found many new (to me anyway) writers and other interesting folks.

  56. Just curious, is this related to the recent mefi discussion of that ASAE article?

  57. I feel so oldschool for only following your blog via the web now…

    Don’t really feel the need to follow 3 more channels of information, which I guess makes me an old fart… at 28…

  58. I read Whatever via my Google feed and follow links that I find here, to your AMC column, for example.

  59. Shiitake mushrooms, I think I left out MySpace. I may follow you there, so change my two to three (even though I rarely log into MySpace. It is my work profile).

  60. I pretty much follow you here and on Twitter, but I’m an occasional twit because I don’t own a mobile phone or similar device (and have a policy of not surfing on the job, or I would have been fired long ago.)

    I didn’t ‘friend’ or ‘fan’ you on Facebook ’cause the most of the people I link to there are people I actually know in meatspace (or people I have, you know, personal net friendships with, as opposed to, you know, celebrity stalking.)

  61. I’m not much of a Twitterer. I like coming here for my Scalzi fix. I do follow you on Google Buzz, for whatever that’s worth (not much, it’s seeming).

  62. I get the Whatever RSS feed in Livejournal and click through if I want to follow comments or to comment (which is what I did here.)

  63. I’m about 1.5 bottles of wine into things this evening, so I’ll just say that I normally follow you via RSS. I don’t normally read the website directly or comment.

    Be dandy,

  64. I’m pretty much a stalker, it seems. I read you here, I read your AMC column, I follow you on twitter (where you have recommended me some rather amazing books), I follow you on buzz, friended you on facebook and on goodreads. I think that’s everything. I dunno, I find what you say generally interesting and/or amusing.

  65. So coy – ‘It was just something I was thinking about recently.’ Or commenting on somewhere, and unlike some commenters/moderators, you have the honesty to realize that your opinion is just that, so now you are collecting facts. Even after having talked about your experience validating your opinion, then realizing that actually, you didn’t really have any data. And were in a position to collect it, thus making the discussion broader. This is what marks a commenter/moderator contributing to a community, even if it also includes attracting the sort of anonymous abuse the Internet spawns.

    And even in the comments section of your own blog, a location with definite selection bias, 50% of the readers could be classified as using social media (if including feeds, regardless of source) – a number likely to grow, obviously.

    Your reply in regards to this exercise should be an interesting piece of writing.

  66. not_scottbot:

    Actually this has very little to do with any other discussion I’m having elsewhere on the Internets at the moment, and more to do with the fact it’s something I’ve been wondering about for rather some time and decided to ask about today because I wasn’t thinking of anything else to write about.

  67. Assuming you count your AMC column then I follow you here, on Twitter, and at AMC.

  68. I mostly follow on RSS (Google Reader) and only visit the site if I think there may be interesting comments.

    I also follow your twitter feed, but again mostly via RSS rather than or any dedicated client program. I’ve been told that this is a strange and unnatural way to use twitter!

  69. I only follow you here via Google Reader. I need a one-stop destination for the things I read, because it’s just too much work to keep track of multiple sites by myself.

  70. not_scottbot, why not just use the same alias here as you use over at metafilter? I mean, it’s not like nobody can tell you’re the same person…

  71. ‘not_scottbot, why not just use the same alias here as you use over at metafilter? I mean, it’s not like nobody can tell you’re the same person’

    Because I am not a user at Mefi. I make it a matter of principle to never sign up for anything on the Internet – one reason things like googlemail, facebook, various newspaper sites, etc. leave me utterly and completely indifferent. Hell, I don’t even surf with Javascript, Flash, images, or cookies on, and always have http-referrer off at any PC I own.

    It is always so interesting to see people claim to recognize me in others’ writing. This has happened at a couple of other forums, too – particularly one of which I no longer participate in after it implemented a log-in using an e-mail address, and where at least one person is certain I am trolling any time someone criticizes them. Which, to divert a bit, is where the misuse of the term ‘troll’ is what marks a good moderator from a poor one – trolls are certainly a reality on the Internet, but not everyone who disagrees with you is a troll. Unless you are a lazy moderator who uses the existence of trolls to justify your own arbitrary actions. And to brush any criticism of your actions as just more trolling, until you have managed to create an endless hall of mirrors, where all you see is either your image of perfection or hordes of troll wanting to shatter those endless reflections.

    At this point, not_scottbot is an artifact – used basically only at slacktivist (essentially unmoderated forum), marginalrevolution (essentially unmoderated forum), yglesias (essentially unmoderated forum) and here (lightly and quite well moderated forum). It is also an artifact of a time when some people seemed so concerned about my lack of concern with providing a consistent user experience that it just seemed easier to keep it around to avoid the difficulties so many people had at the time with the idea that words on a screen aren’t actually the same as a person. This has been an interesting experiment in its way. After all, at least you seemed convinced that the not_scottbot identity (one of the very few I have bothered to maintain for more than a posting or two at any forum, simply because so many people then seemed convinced this was necessary), has another facet at metafilter – which it doesn’t.

    What is even more amusing is I place no value on user identities on the web – but marketers do. As do those who feel a need to control information flows (a need which may be warranted at times, of course). I respond to the words, not the illusion of a person sitting in front of their own screen.

    And much like Scalzi, this dates me – a lot of younger people don’t use screens in the traditional sense at all much of the time – they just have their mobe, and that is how information flows from the net through their lives. Which also means they often aren’t alone in any traditional sense when interacting with the net, though the concept of isolated may be worth discussing.

    Scalzi is an at least an honest man, and his attempt to actually collect data after simply stating his opinion based on what may actually be a fairly thin amount of data while dismissing another’s possibly unsupported opinions in another forum is one of the things that sets him apart. And about the only reason I continue to read or post here – honesty is pretty hard to find, in any measure.

  72. John Scalzi:
    and to think I was actually going to mention in my first post that after a thread starts, my preference is to read it from the bottom to where I left off.

    And I have no doubt that the metrics of the user community which you foster is very important to you, for reasons you don’t attempt to conceal. And that you did say that you were letting a Mefi user have the last word on the subject in that thread (haven’t read the latest there, either – from the bottom, of course).

    But dismissing this as mere coincidence seems a bit of a stretch – after all, that final comment exchange hinged on who knew more about various metrics concerning web communities, and whose experience was more authoritative. And now, in a roughly sequential posting, an attempt to better quantify your web community. An honest reaction is how I have characterized it, but you would know better than I.

    I have certainly found the results as reflected in in the comments interesting – really, the under 40s (or under whatever – certainly you have much better metrics than I) just don’t seem to care much about blogs as anything but a stream of information that they pick pieces out of as they float by in an unstoppable current of information.

    Consider it this way – the early web replaced printed material, while today’s larger web has replaced TV – and TV was a dizzying mass of information over decades, with generally passive viewers simply clicking and clicking until something piqued their interest. Much like video stores were found in numbers to dwarf libraries a decade ago, the web of the foreseeable future will still have its communities, but they will have roughly the same function that a community library (or bookstore, for that matter) does now – a place with a role in that community, but one which is minor by the metrics which concern those interested in profit.

  73. The reason I only follow you here at Whatever is that you post so frequently I can’t imagine missing too much from your post elsewhere.

    With your frequent updates (sometimes up to 2-3 times a day) could i possibly be missing much in the world of Scalzi (or at least the parts you choose to make public)?

    Oh, now that I think about it, I do check out your AMC articles when you provide a link to them in Whatever.

    Thanks for being our entertainment monkey!

  74. As usual, I screwed up my choice. I picked “only on Whatever,” but I always read your AMC column, following the link to that from Whatever, if that makes any difference.

  75. I start here, link through to AMC but return here. That made it easy for me to pick the first one.

    I don’t do twitter or Facebook or deal with any other social media much. I gone to some of the sites but they mostly bore me. I’d rather go to the main blog of someone I like to hear about or from(you, Mary Robinette Kowall and Wil Wheaton mostly)and that’s enough.

  76. I missed the “infiltrated the synapses of my cat so as to keep a closer watch on things in my life, which is both creepier and kinda cool at the same time” option. Although I suspect that represents a rather insignificant percentage, even with 3 cats in the house…

  77. I follow Whatever through RSS, I click through for your AMC columns. Facebook and Twitter I have accounts for, but largely ignore. I am your friend on Goodreads, though, so I wish you’d actually use it for books you read and recommend, cause that makes it so easy to keep the list in one place.

  78. I get your feed on LJ and pop over here when the subject is interesting enough that I want to read all the comments as well.

  79. I only follow you on Whatever, but I also do not use Twitter and Facebook I only use for people I have actually met before – so it’s nothin’ personal.

  80. It might be interesting to see the progression of following you. I started with an RSS feed of Whatever, then Facebook, then later Twitter. Are others Facebook, Whatever, Twitter, or Twitter, Facebook, Whatever?

  81. I have no choice as Twitter, Facebook etc are all blocked by my place of employment.

  82. After I responded, I realized that I follow you on Twitter, too. But that’s for a different reason.

    I don’t Twitter all that often, and when I do, I want to “overhear” amusing asides and conversation snippets. I’m not wild about Twitters that want me to go somewhere else (a pox on tinyurl).

    When I come to Whatever, it’s because there’s already a crowd here that’s pretty interesting and I’m looking for a deeper dive into something more interesting than the daily grind.

    So thanks for the virtual living room.