A few weeks ago, Martin was musing on what these blogs are, really, and why we maintain them. He, like the blogger who prompted his article, used a number of real-world analogies to make his points.
I'm not so sure how far analogies can take me in describing why I do what I do on the web. (Come to that, I'm not sure I know why I do all that I do on the web.)
First things first, though.
Who are you on the Web, Abi?
My main Net identities are:
- evilrooster on Everything2
- evilrooster on Geocaching.com (and, less actively, other geocaching sites)
- this blog
- the evilrooster Bookweb
- jade_ring on ebay (evilrooster was taken)
Naturally, I have several "spoof" and temporary identities about as well, which I would rather were not linked to my "core" identity. Nor am I alone in this. I suspect that the vast majority of E2 users, for instance, have secondary accounts for various reasons. But these are the ones that I identify as "myself".
These identities are not all linked up (or weren't, until I posted this!), but together, they present a multi-faceted image that I am willing to make available to absolute strangers, friends, and family.
Why do you spend all this time on these identities?
For a long time, I didn't have a web presence. I didn't feel that I had anything that important to say. Further reading convinced me, however, that most of the other people on the web don't either. One of my teachers at Napier advised me make a site of all the things I would want to find on the web (and I have, both in my factual work on E2 and in the Bookweb).
This blog came about partly by imitation (because Martin had one), and partly to communicate with my family in California. But its usage has evolved. It's now part of my "shop window" on the world, an expression of who I am right now and what I'm thinking.
But (to ask a basic writer's question), who is my audience? Martin and I have received a number of comments and emails lately that have clarified this for me.
- One of Martin's high school friends Googled her name and found a reference to herself in Martin's blog. This led her to get in touch, as part of the re-consolidation of that set of friends from his youth.
- I got a comment on my blog from someone whom I have never met, who Googled his way onto the Bookweb and followed the trail here. Reading my blog convinced him that I might be worth chatting to, and we exchange the occasional email now as a result.
- Another email was from someone I knew at St Andrews, who found the site (don't know how) and sent me a "remember me?" email. Again, contact is being re-established.
Enough verbage. Who is your audience?
My audience is those people on the web who were, are, or might become, friends. As friendship extends into the virtual realm, so will the art of meeting people. My web presence is a shop window, an entry in a Personals column, an extended hand.
So if you think you might want to know me further, click on the rooster at the top of the page and send me an email. Alternatively, add a comment here.
Because it's a big, scary world out there, I'm not going to fall all over myself to be friends with everyone who drops me a line. I've made my pitch, described myself. But friendship is a two-way street. Tell me about yourself, make me care.
And in the spirit of Martin's friend getting back in touch, I'm going to list a few people I would love to hear from again, even just a brief note. This page is indexed by Google, so if they search on their names they'll find themselves here. If this is you, click on the rooster at the top of the page and get in touch. Tell me what you've been doing!
From Piedmont High School:
- Liza Groen
- Lisa Wright
- Alta Swinford
- Paul Casey
From Skyline High School:
- Jason Camara
From Richmond High School:
- Jetsun Eddy (Or are you spelling it Jetsün Eddy?)
From UC Berkeley:
- David Corcoran
- David Beckerman
- Eleanor (El) Casella
- Charlton Horne
- Keith Gordon
From St Andrews:
- Andrea Kagan
- William Grant