I previously railed against the trend of digital sharecropping in my post Giving Up On Web Ownership. The task of taking ownership of your digital identity can be very difficult when you try to replicate the functionality of all the different sites you might use.
Trying to create owned versions of Twitter, Facebook, Quora, Delicious, Flickr and all of the other places where you have a presence could easily be a full-time job. Who has the time?
This is where the concept of Data Minimalism comes into play. First, try to figure out which of these sites actually add value to your life. If you really think about it, most of them are just noise. Now you have a shorter list. How can you replicate this yourself? I bet you can migrate most of these use cases into one or two sites that you manage.
If you already have a blog, how about you set up special categories for Twitter and Facebook? I'm sure there is a way to automatically tweet everything in a category. WordPress can do pretty nice photo galleries too, that should be able to replace Flickr. Maybe there is even a way to publish your WordPress galleries to Flickr?
I'm going to take a look and see what I can do to make this easier. I have a couple ideas in the pipeline. If you want to find out when I get these things published just sign up for my free newsletter in the sidebar and I'll shoot you an email as things progress.
Published March 17, 2011