My Subjot Obsession

Giff Constable social media, startups

I’m a talker online. In the old days, it was via manually-updated websites and forums. These days, I’ve got multiple long-form blogs, and dabble with all the short-form tools. I like to talk about many different topics, but that’s where I get frustrated.

With Twitter, I end up restricting my content because most of my followers are there to hear about entrepreneurship or product design. At one point, I created an entirely different account just to interact with food blogger friends. On Facebook, I barely share anything at all because I don’t appreciate the noise in my feed, and don’t feel like contributing to the problem for others.

Early this year, when my friends Chris and Becky Carella said that they had prototyped a topic-based micro-blogging platform called Subjot, I’ll admit that my first reaction was “why do I need another sharing network?”

Then I used it.

As a talker/writer, it was pure, delightful liberation.

I don’t have to censor myself anymore. On Subjot, if someone is interested in my voice, they self-select what subjects they want to listen to. I write about whatever the hell I want to write about, and the audience chooses. I do have to mark a post (called a “jot”) as “tech” or “design” or “cooking“, but I find it to be an effortless part of the process (and I have the freedom to label things whatever I want).

As a listener and converser, it is also a huge improvement — much, much less noise. It takes interest into account, not just social connection. I no longer have to listen to Chris talk about the Giants, college football, or hip hop. Thank god! And I have control, not some algorithm, while remaining painless to decide what to follow.

All this is done without me having to manage lists or groups, which is simply too much work for me.

Here’s a snippet of my feed (and you can see my own stream here):

With inline comments, it’s also more natural to get into real conversations. I’ve been forming new relationships with interesting people on Subjot in a way that I’ve done in the blogosphere or forums, but never on Twitter or Facebook.

One thing that helps, especially while the community is so small, is the ability to browse activity across the community based on your interests in the Explore section (and you can “Favorite” specific subjects to track as well, not unlike Tumblr):

Subjot co-exists nicely with Twitter for me. I am increasingly using it to push things out to twitter when it’s a subject that my followers there might be interested in.

I got so obsessed with Subjot that I started volunteering my time, and have been doing the design and CSS for the front end. It has also given me an opportunity to dig into Javascript, which I’ve been wanting to do for ages but needed a concrete project to work on. Subjot is still pretty small, and there is lots to improve, but if you are interested in checking it out, come hop in the pool!