Site draws line between ego and self-respect
Since the dawn of the Digital Age, the Internet has served as an all-inclusive playground for egomaniacs or, in Web 2.0 lingo, "content creators."
From MySpace's countless pouty-lipped Britney look-alikes to YouTube's "history of dance" video to skateboarding bulldogs, the Internet offers mammals of all shapes and sizes, with all levels of motor control and cognitive abilities, a place to proudly strut their stuff.
Those who want to send content to just a few people need not apply. Well, they can apply, but it will take a lot longer in the preferences menus.
That's because social networking sites are completely obsessed with the "social" part of "networking." They have default registration settings that presume your sole desire is to have billions of viewers flip through your projects, perversions and karaoke attempts within an hour of your uploading them.
Still, you should have a healthy respect for the "make public" button. You won't mind when your frat brothers see you passed out on a couch with the phrase "free to a good home" scrawled on your forehead -- but do you really want a corporate headhunter to Google that same image two semesters or two decades from now?
Thankfully, a new site offers the Web-wary a more modest option. It's called drop.io, and the longer you linger on its Spartan home page, the more impressed you'll be.
First, the sign-up process requires some explanation, especially if you've tried other file-sharing sites, so here goes:
There is no sign-up process.
To share anything up to 100 megabytes, simply hit the "add files" button and upload it from your computer. Then create a name for the site where your files will be stored. Then, "drop it" and tell others the name of the site.
You can further protect your privacy by creating a password, and you can set up a "Mission: Impossible" self-destruct timer.
You can also upload content via e-mail, and your friends can get e-mail alerts when you add something to your site.
If you need more space, you can buy a gigabyte of storage for $10 a year.
And did I mention faxes yet? You can send and receive up to 20 pages at a time FOR FREE. Other online services charge more than $15 a month for this privilege alone.
Finally, a toll-free bridge from your computer's desktop to the nation's engine of commerce (that for some reason remains technologically stuck in 1989). Simply click on the "send as fax" link next to the uploaded file, enter your recipient's fax number, and what was on your computer a minute ago is now coming out of some clunky machine somewhere in curly paper format.
Thanks to drop.io, you can transmit your boss-from-hell rant, your DUI mug shot or your tearful romantic plea composed as an mp3 parody of Devo's "Freedom From Choice" to those few people who can truly appreciate them.
And if you're running short of such confidants, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your list.
Don't worry. You can trust me.