Outsmarting Myself

UPDATE, February 20, 2006: The “extremely well-written blog” referred to in this post is gone, like so may others, but I’ll never forget the girl.
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I don’t have the hang of being part of an “online community,”

which is odd because only a tiny fraction of today’s internet users have been doing it longer than me, and from the very beginning I saw it as a way to connect with other people. Before American Business got on board I had a vanity site and prowled the web for other such sites, because I guess I was touched by the beautiful need in people, myself included, to touch others, to reveal our secret selves, to reach out to the world. This, I thought, will change everything.

I mostly gave up on the concept as the web turned into television on your computer, and many of us became sort of desk potatoes. Sometime around 1998 it started to seem impossible for everyman (and me) to produce anything worth looking at on the web. I mean, how could I compete with all the chat rooms, news feeds, reverse phone directories, shopping services, celebrity gossip and gardening tips on Yahoo or MSN?

Then a funny thing happened. Just when the commercial web should have put out the lights once and for all on personal expression on the internet, Blogger and other services are reviving it! This blog, like 4.8 million others, is easy to create and update. I can post to it from anywhere in the world, and no matter how fuzzy my thinking or vacuous my writing it will always have a clean professional look, and anyone who feels like it can respond to anything I write. Not having to think much about design has turned the focus back toward communicating. With each other. In ways that were just not possible ten years ago. Maybe this will change everything!

I now prowl these blogs when I need a lift, and some stranger invariably steps up and gives me one. And I hope some day someone gets a lift from my thoughts here, even if I am not always upbeat.

So you’d think, given my history and all my theorizing that I’d be a natural here in the blogosphere. But, as I say, I don’t seem to have the hang of being part of things. Like I just can’t say or write “blogosphere” with a straight face. And yesterday I read a terrific post on an extremely well-written blog, clever, insightful and moving. I wrote a comment which was intended to be a compliment, but judging from the blogger’s answer I see that I have somehow managed to get my virtual foot into my digital mouth, a condition I am familiar with here in meatspace.

As my sainted Irish mother told me many times, “Tomorrow is another day.” I hope so, Mom.

5 Replies to “Outsmarting Myself”

  1. I read that series (comments) and I think the writer did in fact see the compliment and even appreciated it but she’d taken a bit of a risk and you were the first to respond…that was a real interaction, not padded with banner…and so it might have seemed a bit raw…stick with it, and all of them, and all of us…

  2. Larry,
    You didn’t stick your virtual foot in your digital mouth. I wasn’t offended at all by your comment. I was only clarifying to you that I was not a fake, and that what you perceived me to be, I was. I hope that my response wasn’t too harsh, but it seems as if it might have been. I apologize for that. I really do appreciate your comment and for calling everybody else out the way you did. Yay! No worries…

  3. Oh, and by the way, I feel like a total jerk for the miscommmunication. If you and I were talking in person when that exchange went down, you would have seen a smile on my face! Promise.

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