East Coast Roadshow: Bandwidth a’ burning (Social Media Ritual Bonfire)

By | July 29, 2009

Back in the day, Alex Social Butterfly Rampy posted a social media ritual.  As part of the East Coast Roadshow tour, I’ve stayed connected to the internet through my (flaky) 3 Prepaid Modem 12 gig package, which I’m cheerfully burning through at great pace.  So I thought I’d map what I do with my bandwidth

The Morning Pre-flight

  1. Load Firefox and hit the “Routine” tab that springs open my five most commonly used sites
    1. Gmail: I’ve routed four e-mail accounts to the gmail mailbox, so I can manage most of my personal e-mail in the cloud
    2. Google Reader:  260 subscribed feeds means there’s virtual always something in the inbox, and usually there’s 150 messages of a morning. I let the account slide for a few days in Brisbane and it resulted in a 400mb burn to get it down from 1000+ to zero.  I do like to have a Google Reader Zero policy.
    3. Twitter: Given I have Twhirl running, this is more to get a quick glance at the current messages on the way past as I’m scanning items from Google Reader
    4. Facebook: Message check to see if anyone’s left mail for me. It’s a lot like my pigeon hole at work on the internet.  Plus a quick check to see if people have replied to status messages etc.  Later in the day, I might stray into a Bejewelled game or twenty.
    5. Livejournal: LJ is my watercooler/tea room moment of checking in with my friends to see they’re alive, doing stuff or if they’ve found anything interesting to report back to the rest of us.
    6. Blog admin page: I’ve decided to put more effort into frequently updating SDDC this time around, possibly at the expense of other things, but as part of the reminder to actually blog daily, it’s sitting at the back of the queue.
  2. Work mail.
    1. On tour, the work mail is wrangled through Microsoft Outlook connecting back to the parent mail server through IMAP.  There are pro/con moments for this approach, with the largest con being the tendency of the IMAP server not to respond when I want to read a message, or the discovery that most of the messages I wanted to address weren’t available offline – whilst my broadband was down.
    2. Sending mail through the IMAP requires a local mailhost, and there’s problems with trying to jump onto a local free/paid wireless and get an outbound SMTP server to authenticate and deliver the mail.  Spammers have made life harder for the legitimate multiple network users.
  3. Bsckground tabs in Firefox
    1. For the most part, I’ll read the content of Google Reader within the reader itself, and just pop the odd article up to a new tab (and by odd, I mean that I had to change the permitted pop up count from 20 to 500 to avoid running out of open-in-new-tabs during a session)
    2. With LJ, I’ll often skim the list, and pop open posts into new tabs if they have images, cut tags or are posts I want to spent time reading.  I’ve been commenting less and less recently because I feel a bit like I’m railroading the conversation away from the poster to me, and I’d rather not post if i think I’m derailing.
  4. Twitter scan
    1. Starts with the @messages to see if there’s anything to reply. I really rarely get direct messages
    2. Scan the list to open links, twitpic photos and short urls.
  5. Close down the tabs, close the browser, and, depending on the day, recheck the basic routine to see if there’s been anything come through (reply e-mails, new content, new messages) that need response before I head off to do something else.

This process manages to chew up a minimum of 250 to 400mb a day minimum, and help me end up with a quota draining gig-a-week habit.  Since I’m on tour, I’m not even opening Steam to see what new games are up, or what needs patching, updating etc.  Even the Youtube and  iTunes use is significantly down to preserve the allocation.