the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

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The Community of WordPress (Zero to Hero Day 4)

I didn’t really give a full post for the Zero to Hero Day 4 challenge, so I am coming back to it.

Now the assignment reads:  follow five new topics in the Reader, and begin finding blogs (and bloggers) you love.

I wanted to write a bit first about how I came to WordPress, and started following bloggers, and how that’s evolved since I’ve been here.

The largest LJ community to date is Oh No They Didn’t, which focuses on celebrity gossip and pop culture. Some things never change, apparently.

My time at LiveJournal was mostly tied to pretty specific communities.  There was the LARP group (the Camarilla) that introduced me, and then there was the online BBS community I had come from (Grex/

LiveJournal did have gathering spots called “communities”.  I guess they were precursors to what WordPress accomplishes with collaborative blogging features, but they were a little more like forums.  It was a mixed bag– as I posted earlier, one devoted to the Homestar Runner website brought me a stalker.

It was simple, it was short-lived, and sometimes, it was cliquish

VOX had a similar concept called “Groups”.  What is now jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar was a VOX group Cimmorene started.

VOX didn’t have collaborative tools, but I did get introduced to the concept there.   The first blog I was invited to collaborate on was We Heart Music, and Vu had some HTML wizardry to distinguish all the writers.  My understanding is he’s still doing that at their new home on TypePad.  (TypePad does not have collaboration tools.)

TechsWrite was another blog I was invited to collaborate at during my time at VOX, until Michelle lost interest in it (and got very busy with work again) and turned it over to me.  Actually, the blog was one of hers that she turned into a collaborative project after a discussion we had.

When VOX closed on September 30th, 2010, many of us scrambled to find a place to keep our blog archives.  TypePad (another platform from the parent company) and WordPress were among our options.  I decided to export to both platforms, but decided WordPress was the better option in the long run.

Some looked to Google Reader, which didn’t last too long after that

This closing DID split a lot of our community, and some of us that flocked to WordPress looked to feed readers to keep touch with friends that had gone elsewhere.  This is one reason why I don’t like WordPress’s native Reader feature: it’s specific to WordPress.  There are other reasons, which I’ll save for another time.

Also, the Reader never has been a big source of new blogs for me.  I guess it’s maybe been a starting point, but it’s never quite been something I remember.

The Freshly Pressed spotlight has brought my attention to some blogs, but, it’s difficult for me to really connect in the scores of comments that can bring.  I’ve never been Freshly Pressed (and those scores of comments would probably freak me out– honest, I don’t like THAT much attention).  I’ve gotten a [this is good] spotlight at VOX– again, another story for another time.

You remember this one, right?  I heard it's coming back for Valentine's Day

You remember this one, right? I heard it’s coming back for Valentine’s Day

What has really brought me into the community more is stuff like Come for Company (previously known as Company for Christmas), and haiku challenges at Rob’s Surf Report.  I reblogged To Madame Weebles. Love Garry Weinrib today as it introduced me to even more bloggers even now (I got to know Madame Weebles herself at C4C).  These resources just keep bringing more blogs to look at.

In a way, things have come full circle.  Some of these things have been like LiveJournal’s communities, and VOX’s Groups, and some things have been memes, sort of like the lemmings I knew at LiveJournal, and the memes I knew at VOX– but WordPress bloggers have done more with them.  They wrote more stories behind the answers, and engaged their readers just a little bit more.  5 Truths, 1 Lie prompted me to dig down into the archive and share some things with new readers.

Maybe I cheated a bit on this challenge– but honest, I’ve been exploring blogs a lot, pretty independently of it!

I'm a Zero to Hero Blogger!


Roll call

If you’ve followed me since VOX, dear readers, you might remember my “Roll Call” posts.  I can’t remember if they were all titled “Roll Call”, but… that is what I will call them now.

I’m overdue for one of them.  No, it’s not where I ask “Hey, if you’re lurking, comment!”  Instead, since I’m doing a lot of commenting lately, and not so much posting of my own here.  I’ve been overwhelmed with life, and it’s been harder to get my creative juices going for Monomyth subjects.  Yet I realized I could share what blogs I’ve been following and the discussions I’ve been engaged in at those blogs.

It’s not a comprehensive list, so I hope you won’t be offended if I don’t list your blog!

Aussa Lorens is HACKER. NINJA. HOOKER. SPY.  I admit that this blog is a guilty pleasure of sorts, as it’s about equal parts dishy, dark humor, and comic disaster.  What drew me in was her thoughts on working in the psych ward, and I have first-hand experience as a patient.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to tell it like it is!  Also, she seems like a lot of red-haired women I know: memorable, personable, and NEVER dull.

Hessiafae’s blog: Aspienation is the musings of a woman concerning her dealings with Asperger’s syndrome, both in herself, and her husband, and also about other aspects of her life.  Asperger’s is now referenced by autism spectrum disorder.  I have a son with autism, so I appreciate her feedback, as well as thoughts on being an imporvished, but well-educated parent.

Rarasaur is a WordPress superstar, having been featured Freshly Pressed a number of times.  I am not sure how to sum up her awesomeness, but her contributions to geek culture is a nice start.

Consider the ways of SingingTuna: R is an old friend from the VOX blogging platform.

My kids are not yet teenagers, but C.C., a.k.a. Bizigal, has given me a lot of insight and wisdom concerning their special needs, especially in regards to their schooling.

I met Steph Rogers by way of a guest post at Rara’s blog, concerning Australian lingo.  She writes about parenthood, gay identity, and Catholic upbringing at her blog She Said What?  We have talked a lot about acceptance and people just being people: in regards to my own orientation (and my wife’s), we have experienced some of these issues, too.

Kenneth Justice is The Culture Monk.  He writes about Christianity from a perspective of social equality, compared to the perspective of harsh moral authority he has encountered.  He often notes that his musings are enhanced by a cup of coffee.  I have felt much freer to discuss religious issues at his blog– I have been reluctant previously as I have met so many that have been bitten by aforementioned attitudes of moral authority.

Christie Tate is Outlaw Mama and writes about her adventures in law school and in parenting.  I am sure there is a little bit of talk about her job now, but hey, I’m sure you all understand that moms like to talk about their kids.  As a dedicated disabled SAHD myself, that’s fine by me.  We’ve shared plenty a chuckle.

Wow.  I’m tired now, and I’m not done yet.  I will put up a Part 2 Roll Call soon!



It’s a beautiful day in the Neighborhood…

…or neighbourhood, if such is your customary and preferred spelling.

Yes, it's time for me, once again, to spotlight the lovely folks in my Neighborhood.  I usually do it as a way to give thanks, but I have an additional motivation this time, and that's simply to introduce them.  At least one of my readers is family who simply reads, but does not post, and I thought that'd be nice to show how much I enjoy reading their thoughts.  My life just isn't THAT exciting to write only of myself…

[esto es genial] isn't a person, but is rather Vox's version of [this is good] in Spanish.  It's been pretty dead lately, and I need to ask Daisy what happened.  (EDIT: Just sent off a message.)  Not everyone in that spotlight blogged exclusively in Spanish, but quite a few do, and it was good practice.  More of my thoughts are here.

Daisy isn't in my Neighborhood (she seems to write mostly about liquor, which isn't my thing… well, anymore), but she is more or less the most accessible member of Team Vox.  She's personable, friendly, and helpful– so if you are having trouble, I'm fairly sure the person that will respond will most definitely be her.  Now, if we could find at least one other Six Apart employee so inclined…

Bill isn't very active right at the moment, which, to be fair, could be said of others in my Neighborhood.  The 'Net is a big place, and sometimes, other avenues of expression are more compelling.  But he is one of a good handful of people I've had engaging discussions with.  He is in the New York City area, if I remember right.

canarygirl is a U.S. expatriate now living with her husband and children in the Canary Islands (hence the name).  Nikki writes mostly about cooking, a pasttime dear to my domestic heart.  She used to share a few recipes here but can be found at her main blog.

Carole Brookshire… oh dear, I must confess I'm not sure how our paths crossed.  She seems pleasant enough, however, so I'm taking some time to get familiar.

Doug is a left-leaning sort of guy politically, apparently much to the chargrin of his more conservative family members.  But Doug isn't pushy– he more often than not just shares a link or makes a post and leaves it up to the rest of us to interpret what it might mean.  He's another neighbor I've had fascinating discussions with.

ErinGoBragh is a certified massage therapist longing to escape Fresno for a more pleasant part of California.  She had some wonderful professional advice when I was trying to stave off surgery for as long as I could.

I-Luv-Eeyore is a dedicated wife and mom doing her best to keep a Positive Mental Attitude.  Some days go better than others, apparently.  She introduced me to the Things On Tuesday group, a space where VOX users share the Terrific and the Terrible of their Tuesday in any given week.

iliask hails from Greece and has added a personal note to news and politics (especially as Greece was in the news not too long ago).  He is another individual that has a refreshing take on such things– non-confrontational and peaceful.  I can't remember what is keeping him away right at the moment– maybe it was military service (Greece apparently requires a short committment of all citizens), or maybe it was something else.

Jack Yan is blogging as Lucire right now, the title of one of his properties (magazine, is it?)  Currently he's running for mayor of Wellington.  I don't know many Kiwis, but I hope to know more like him.  We often compare notes about culture and such between the U.S. and New Zealand, and well as the broader context of the perception within and without the U.S., that is, how we regard and are regarded by our other English-speaking national neighbors.  Sometimes, though, it's simply discussing pop culture and everyday life; I think Jack is probably closer to my age than any of my other neighbors, which helps such.

How I miss Jaime, because we used to start inter-blog discussions about schooling and education that stretched beyond the Teacher's Lounge group and into my Neighborhood.  Great ideas and much food for thought, so to speak.  I believe she is of Chinese descent as Jack is, but she is located closer, north of me in Vancouver, B.C.
Kimura hails from Japan.  His tagline jokes about brushing up on his "Engrish", but if he speaks as well as he writes, I'm sure I could understand him easily enough in person.  We connected through a number of [this is good] spotlights; I came to meet Jack that way, too.  Some people just get featured quite a bit, y'know?  Our discussions vary, which suits an eclectic person such as myself just fine.

LBeeeze, a.k.a. LOLBeeeze, is famous for her captions for pictures of cute animals, and is therefore a part of VOX groups overdosing on fuzzy furry cuteness.  Some are from sites such as I Can Haz Cheeseburger (connected to the lolcats Internet meme) but I personally think she hits her stride when she takes the pictures herself.  I think she's a gifted photographer in her own right, although she insists she doesn't quite measure up to the pros.  But what I really appreciate is many a thoughtful comment she has left me here.

Lily Alice has been known by other aliases here, but I think she'd appreciate it if I turned attention away from that, as it's not really the point.  I'm not as willing to reinvent myself as such just yet, but I'm sure it lends one a fresh perspective.  She had a post a while back that spoke of politics as something that should begin with yourself, your own backyard, and your own community.  A fine example that explains my sympathies to libertarian views; although personally I don't see the masses as informed and enlightened enough to see them work beyond those that take the responsibility to hold such.  Anyways, she has a love for the swinging 1960's culture; I hope she'll pardon my smiling and nodding about her crushes on the crooners of that era as she speaks of them from time to time but it's not something I understand too well for myself.  Along with Jack and some others here, I think that I could meet her and our friendship would remain as good in person as it is online.  She's over on the other side of the nation in New Jersey, however.

Purplesque's profession is "the examined life", as her tagline says, and I'm just going to leave it at that for the sake of confidentiality.  But I will say she is in a position to understand my madness a little more personally as such is the nature of her profession.  (She also agrees with some of my assessments of the profession, as I've been in the system for 25 years.  Ha!  Yay!)  Aside from a few vents about the winding, confusing and sometimes upsetting world that entails, she writes joyfully about family life and (East) Indian cuisine.  (I promise, m'dear, I eventually *will* try out some of your recipes!)  It is nice to know a vegetarian who does not worry about such a dietary practice as an identity… and I'll leave it at that.

I must mention Robbbiedobbbie, although she is gone away (and deleted her main account) to take more time to be at RedBubble.  I cannot comment there without registering, and I, sadly, do not wish to do so as I'm not too active in the world of art and I don't want another site registration for somewhere I'll just lurk.  But anyways, when she was active here, she always had quirky, smart-alecky answers for the QotD with humorous illustrations.  Quiet and intensely private, she nevertheless has always been very sweet.  She says she'll drop by through her other accounts from time to time.

Skoolie shares my contempt for LiveJournal, well, at least when mine was a little bit more like a love-hate relationship.  Rather, she agrees that it's bred a pretty vitrolic community.  (Maybe she'll get fed up and leave, too, but she stays for some people.)  Other than that, we've had interesting notes to compare about the introverted life.  She lives in the Orlando area and usually has a lot to say about things from the inside as a resident, compared to that of the Joe/Jane Average Tourist.

SweetMisery is getting old.  I just can't sugarcoat it; she had to leave to tend to her own health after seeing to her mother's for so long.  It's a topic I've discussed with others I've mentioned here, but in respect for their privacy, I won't say who.  I hope she won't mind that I joke a little about her– I wish my grandparents (well, my grandfather, to be precise) took a cue from her.  Rather than finding something on the 'Net and mail bombing everyone in the e-mail address book, she just shared things she found here.  So she fits the "older Internet user" stereotype somewhat, but really, what's important is that she was sweet and has so bravely has faced some of the more difficult aspects of life and aging.  I hope her way remains paved with grace and dignity.

The K Spot apparently is busy, but hey, she's an attorney.  Sweet and sassy, she's another lady that exhibits that feminine mystique I'm still coming to understand.  Interestingly enough, she's the only one here who I have spoken on the 'phone with; I was attempting to help her clean up her computer.  There was an awful virus that made the rounds here and hit some VOX users pretty hard.

Valerae is a geek rocker.  If she's not discussing bacon, heavy metal, or Star Trek, it's the fascinating escapades of her family life– such as her sister and her niece, or Mr. Val, or something like that.  She is a slightly different stripe of geek than I (I'm not much of a rocker, but more of a hip-hopper and synthfiend) but we usually find some common ground to laugh about.  At the very least, it usually involves me pointing out what a S.F. she is.  (If you don't know what S.F. stands for… *cough* don't ask.)

W♥M, or We Heart Music, is the flagship project of vu, a music lover in the Minneapolis, MN area.  The VOX blog is just a small part of the project– it includes a podcast, connections at The Hype Machine, and probably a bunch of sites I'm forgetting or just choosing to skip over for right now.  Before my surgery, I was a regular music reviewer, mostly writing about some obscure electronica recording or something that tickled my fancy.  It's definitely a haven for independent music; we're probably covering much of the same stuff that the college radio stations and college newspaper journalists touch on.

Vu is quite the graphic artist IMHO although he is more inclined to underrate his abilities.  I think his drawings lend a nice personal touch to the site and usually capture his first impressions of an artist a lot better (particularly of that fat bozo dancing on the stage in nothing but bikini briefs… what was his name again?)

Anyways, my music collecting had ground to a standstill until I started working for Vu; sometimes I got real gems and sometimes I got stinkers; but it was all free, and if it was good, I'd usually pony up a few bucks or so to procure a CD.  Sometimes I made a purchase just to complete a review, but usually I'd just grab something used at Amazon.  Shhhhhh…

Xantus is currently the only techie in my Neighborhood; Jack is tech-savvy as I am, but I mean techie as in a tech professional.  He might not even be aware that I'm still reading his blog, and he's not terribly active that I am aware of, currently.  I spoke of my diffidence with coding before; what does one say to someone who's quite prolific and knowledgeable by contrast?  But we do have common interests– it just might be a while before there's such to discuss again.

I've skipped over a few people.  Some are family members… I SAID that this post was for you, in part!  (*cough*It'sprobablysister-in-lawthat'llbeunhappythatIdidn'tpimpherblogbutsorryIsaidthatwasn'tmyfocus*cough*)  If you want me to go back and mention you, I will, but then I'd have to include myself, the missus, and all the family members I didn't mention.  And then, some others I skipped, I just haven't gotten to know really well yet, or whose blogs aren't very active at all.

Anyways, that's my Neighborhood.  Apologies if I didn't describe you accurately.  Again, maybe I'll have a separate post for those that are family members that weren't mentioned here.

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And The Beat Goes On

So Jaime was talking about random things about her– a meme list of 25, and #25 was:

Ever danced like no one was watching?

Gee, I guess that's about a good excuse as any to get a boogie on down, and this tune suddenly popped into my head:

The Whispers- And The Beat Goes On

Sorry, I don't have a camcorder, so I can't show you my dance moves, hehe.

Crossposted to LJ, itemid = 1041, security = public, mask = 0.

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Please, Neighborhood Lady, I’m having a hard enough time with my own problems.

This weekend was interesting.

Saturday I was watching a little TV with the kids when a loud rap came at the door.  Well, it was probably rude of me not to stand up, but I hurt and so I just reached for the doorknob and opened it.  I believe she asked for Cimmorene and thankfully my dear wife did go to see her at the door.

Okay, so I know not all of you reading are traditional religious types, so I say that what she said next … well, I will tell you what I thought, and I suppose you can tell me later how you figure.  It was something to the effect of "the Lord lead us to you…"

Okay, my relationship with the Divine is pretty personal, but I can say that I'm pretty confident the Lord didn't intend to irritate me this way.  Maybe, maybe, a lesson might be found in helping someone with their troubles, and forgetting my own for a while, but, I already had a discussion with a number of folks including Cimmy and our bishop about explaining to them that they need to ask for help from a … wider network.  And although I've been down and out before, well, hmmm… I just wish they weren't so … needy.

Oh yes, I said they.  I realized that Henpecked Boyish Husband was there, too.  Mercifully, Cimmy went outside to talk to them and shut the door.

From what I understood before that, their troubled daughter (whom I'm sure I've mentioned before) OD'd and somehow they couldn't get her to go inpatient– something about she had to consent first.  Now that I type that, yep, you have to sign the paperwork (reading, hun?) and if she refused, whelp, she ain't going.  Then again, when I went, I did figure it was a good idea.  Both times.

There was a knock again Sunday.  Ok, this is in poor taste to reveal a name, but if I don't inject some humor here, I'm probably going to scream or cry.  When a redhead named Wendy knocks on my door, I want to be offered burgers and such that are Way Better Than Fast Food, not… Cup O' Madness.  Believe me, I've already had mine with The Mad Hatter at some pathetic American excuse for teatime at random times throughout the day.  There's already enough on my plate, and actually, it's a saucer, where the herbal tea is poured out to cool it, old-school, old-fashioned.  Thing is, the saucers are edible, so I have to keep getting new ones.

Oh, right, my point.  She was gushing on about how her daughter was home and… I interrupted, saying I was in a lot of pain and Cimmy was asleep.  She asked me to have her call her… and so I told Cimmy– late that night.

Good… Lord.  (No pun intended, I swear.)

Crossposted to LJ, itemid = 962, security = usemask, mask = 1.

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By request: So what do I think of VOX so far?

"So what do I think of Facebook so far?" was just a post I made to explain away why I would spend time on Facebook instead of here.  It was written from Facebook.

But LBeeeze wants to know what I think of VOX.  Fair enough.

I migrated over here from LiveJournal.  It was in the wake of Six Apart acquiring LiveJournal (before it was handed over to SUP).  LiveJournal users were fussing about some format changes (think to when we had an interface change) and somehow in the discussion, VOX got mentioned.

LiveJournal users were afraid that Six Apart was going to turn their site into a MySpace alternative.  They reasoned that since VOX seemed to be aiming for an older audience (note: our privacy groups are named differently, starting with Neighborhood), this somehow meant that LiveJournal would be styled younger.  So I went over to see what the noise was about.  Admittedly, I let some of the negative hype get to me and I missed the window of the beta period.  But obviously, I overcame that and decided to jump in and see what things were about.

I was pleasantly surprised.  You see, I had come to know the "drama whoring" side of LiveJournal.  The theatrics came when changes were announced, and well, I came to LiveJournal through a gaming organization that was already known itself for its melodrama.  I did not find that here.  In fact, when I had UTTERLY crummy days and I was less than mature and composed– well– the response was different.  There was no "shit hitting the fan", there was no meltdowns, there was no passive-aggressive tactics… generally.

I've had to boot a few folks, as I explained already.  But it is with less baggage.  At LiveJournal, when you manage your friendslist, you see a list of names: an arrow next to them pointing one way means they have friended you (or what we would call "adding to the Neighborhood").  An arrow next to them pointing the other way means you have friended them (like adding them to your Neighborhood).  Because all this information is very blatantly obvious there, sometimes there was much conflict when people unfriended someone, or each other.  It is less obvious here, so people generally don't make a big deal about it.

I must give VOX style points for being user-friendly.  As I told Maya (or maybe I said it elsewhere), a user friendly interface was not the norm for LiveJournal, quite, until Six Apart gave it to them.  Yes, my friends, generally you had to know HTML.  That is not necessarily bad for a geek like me, but… really, now.  When you want things to be accessible to a broad audience, easy to use is good.  That hasn't been without hitches– I know a lot of you have had troubles with formatting and other weird compatibility quirks and such.  But it could be a lot worse.  And despite what LJ users said, someone at Six Apart took time out of their day to respond to a concern I had.  Read about it here and here and here.  Thanks again, daisy — you rock!

People are people.  Human nature being as it is, people do like to talk about themselves… and that's especially true on a blog!  I do find that people come by and say "why helllllooo" more often if I talk about them specifically or mention something I know they are interested in, but…

…it's magical when it really comes together and I just enjoy doing that for the social exchange.  Examples?

Maya says: Wow, we said the same thing– and we are on the same page! so of course I mention her post in my follow-up.

LBeeeze's whimiscal pictures inspire this audio post and this audio post.

canarygirl said: "Put on your best Homer Simpson voice and say it with me: 'MMMMMM Chocolate Caake.'"  Okay, done.  So then she edits the link into her post!  Fabulous!

I wasn't sure if anyone was listening to my VOXcasts.  Then I couldn't get a mic to work.  vu pops in and asks what's up.  Okay, I find a workaround and start recording again!  Sweet!  (Well, why shouldn't he ask?  Much earlier, he came by and said I was mentioned in a WHM podcast.  I went, listened, and found he was quoting part of what I said here, verbatim.  I was totally slackjawed, not to mention flattered.)

I tease Robbbiedobbbie about Tom Tom The Keyboard Man bringing her new stuff to her little job a while back: Tom Tom reminded me of the Tom Tom Club, so I did this post as a parody.  She laughed!

and it goes on!  (Apologies if I didn't mention you, but I should have– there are other great exchanges, for sure.)

It shows that while blogging can be a very self-absorbed activity at times, we still come together, and share, and inspire each other.

That is why VOX is my main blog.   That is why I am happy to be here.  And when I say I love my Neighborhood, well hey, look at those posts!  That's proof right there.  Thanks again!

(and thank you, LBeeeze, for asking for this response!  It turned out all right 🙂 )

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor? part 2 or Responsible Blogging

This particular QotD generated some interesting discussion around the Neighborhood, especially at Maya's place (go here and read if you haven't yet).  Rather than totally monopolize the discussion there, I figured I would put some more thoughts into a post of my own.

Sometimes, things suck not because the users are slapping up junk, but because… the interface is just lacking.  I mean, MySpace is just a web designer's nightmare.  Yes, I must sheepishly admit that I used MySpace for a time, mostly because friends and family were using it, at least at the time.  I can't count the number of pages there that I found hard to navigate because they were just a slapdash puzzle of HTML code.  It would appear that most users don't know HTML, CSS, and other web programming languages because there is a glut of "Pimp My MySpace" pages out there.  There are a few notable exceptions where a crafty webdesigner cracked the format, but most are just sprawling collages, i.e. very badly designed.

Maya mentioned eBlogger.  I have to admit I have not really checked them out, but apparently they go in another direction– you need to know HTML to get much working.

So a good bet for a blogging company is to put up an interface that is very easy to use.  These might be called Rich Text Editors (think of word processing software, like Word), or they might be called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Geta few of you here will recognize that as a Flip Wilson quote) editors.  Either way, they hide the code and make posting easier.

As I said on Maya's post, despite the heavy rantings by LiveJournal users, Six Apart actually did right by LJ by bringing a nice, clean, user-friendly interface to the posting page, which is quite similar to what we have at VOX.  It used to be that you had to know HTML to get cool stuff on a post there– I don't think this has been enabled for comments/replies, however.

(I would like Six Apart to enable HTML posting here, but that's another story…)

And then there's user junk.

Now I am no great fan of MySpace, but I am a fan of Count Boogie, a musician that sings primarily about Tom and MySpace.  He is so goofy and likeable that I can forgive him his obsession for a site that encourages bad design, but, the banality of user-posted junk is not lost on him:

Count Boogie – Bulletin Whore

And it goes on.  We discussed abuse of Twitter, especially through the third-party service LoudTwitter.  Web comedienne LisaNova made a satirical video about Twitter whoring (which you might have seen elsewhere):

Seriously, people don't really care if you're posting on the bowl or about random babble that does not serve much purpose other than to indicate you are REALLY SUPER EXTROVERTED and/or bored.  I'll say it again– I think services like Twitter can attract some really chatty extroverted folk who, previously, were stymied by the flat, introverted nature of the Internet.  I mean, it used to be the domain of nerds, geeks, dorks, and dweebs, right?  (Still is, in some aspects… hee hee…)

Drama.  Okay, I'll admit that some of this comes with the territory.  When the term switched from "weblog" to "blog" to "social networking", which encompasses more than just writings, we were bound to get some of it.  But in its extremes, well– posting when you are:

  1. Shit-faced drunk
  2. High
  3. Having a nervous breakdown
  4. All of the above
  5. None of the above, but totally wallowing in self-pity
  6. All of the above (again)

Is never pretty, easy to swallow, or tasteful, for that matter.  To me, it would seem that you have fairly little regard for those who are reading your posts.

So Maya and I both mentioned gated communities.  This is why I like VOX and LiveJournal (well, when I can dodge the wankery at LJ)– because you can decide who sees what.  There are levels of trust implied.  You have posts that you don't mind the whole world seeing, posts that you want to restrict to just your immediate readers, and posts for those readers you trust to share things of a more personal nature.  LiveJournal has the distinct advantage that you can group those restrictions however you like.  But– most VOXers/VOXters here just make a different blog if they want to separate content.

Social networking is a wonderful thing.  It brings people together where physical distance, shyness, or other barriers might be in the way.  But, if you're not careful, you can still make yourself out to be a total asshole or ignoramus, too.

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Oh Crazy Neighborhood Lady…

…why do you make it so hard for me to dislike you?

Today she came by saying she had to use up her WIC checks (for the record, Cimmy detests using the WIC program) and because she was decluttering (not her words, but Cimmy's) the house, she needed to give away the extras.

So we wound up with 4 gallons of 1% milk, 4 cartons of a dozen eggs, a jar of peanut butter, and 3 boxes of cereal.  All this for allowing her youngest daughter to come over and play with my daughter, so she would be out of the way of housecleaning.  She counted that, and that I would not accept payment for a half bottle of ranch dressing some weeks ago (because that would have been odd) as a fair trade.

Now, I know trading of government cheese and all that is not at all unusual or uncommon– I have (or have had) some friends that have done that on a number of occasions.  It's not that.  It's just… *makes a face*… softens me up a bit.

Oh, and she said she fixed their computer.  About time.

As of this moment, she came back to use the phone… she is trying to get her eldest daughter committed, basically.  Before anyone conjures up images of full-blown mental institutions, the one here is a short-term facility where patients stay no more than a few weeks or so.  (I know, because I have been there twice myself.)  We were just discussing how not only she takes off without a word, but has been cutting, harming other family members, etc. but will not talk with a therapist and denies any symptomatic behavior.  Gahhhh… well, now I am empathetic.

Crossposted to LJ, itemid = 902, security = usemask, mask = 1.

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Pluggin’ the neighborhood- mostly for Cimmorene

Well, I'm not sure who all is reading this aside from my awesome neighbors, but for the benefit of my wifey Cimmorene, I thought I'd plug a few of their blogs.

We♥Music has a wonderful blog highlighting some sweet music– quite a bit of it reminding me of my college years prowling around the alternative/progressive scene.

Valerae is a lady after my own heart– some parts geek chic, charm, and spunk.  Since Cimmorene seems to share a few of this qualities (at least in my eyes), I hope she'll start reading this blog once she posts a bit more aside from our exciting adventures of Jak Jr. (my handsome newborn son).

*pokes da wifey*  (hey, read up!)

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