I need to blog last night's meetup... and I'm waiting for my Howard Stern dosages to download... (if you knew what gyrations I went through to get my fix, you would probably stage an intervention)
WARNING: VERY LONG and RAMBLING ENTRY.. EVEN MORESO THAN USUAL
At any rate, I'm mostly going to transcribe notes and then copy over a comment I just left on Adina's blog.
The cast: me, Adina, Prentiss, Doug, Chris, and a quick 3 minute cameo by Kallisti (although, I think she seemed a little nervous and we may have scared her away...)
- People commented on my homebrewed sign for the Meetup (although that wasn't the first time I used it nor the first time some of them saw it... hmmm.. maybe it wasn't as prominent the last couple of times). Adina and I joked about evolving the sign each time.. eventually using an LCD screen for the sign... That's actually an interesting idea... hmmmm..
- We talked about privacy and public blogs. the notion of being google-cached in perpetuity called into question self-censorship. Prentiss brought up something I hadn't considered before: will my children and grand children be proud or ashamed by what my virtual vapor trail leaves intact forever in ethereal world? There were different strategies for managing our newfound "fame": Adina has a password protected private blog... Doug has a very adult-themed blog; he doesn't seem to mind its personal nature, although he operates on a pseudonym... I pour everything down one pipe, but I'm drawing a line on what I consider acceptable... I just discovered a very well-written blog of a woman who describes her very perverted sex acts... presuming she's telling the truth, she her exhibtionism defies our concerns.
We all agreed that there are social norms that bleed into blogland... For example, most people would be uncomfortable with me posting naked pictures of myself here... could probably affect my future employment and credibility. I tried to discover what other boundries we used to censor ourselves. I gleaned as important: social norms, controversial politics, embarassment factor, and generally considering a story uninteresting for the particular audience we expect are reading (which would seem to contradict our pompous dismissal of pandering... hmmm). At one point I threw up my hands and claimed that by writing personal stuff in this blog, I've made the decision to put my life online, consequences be damned. In fact, I claim that the only reason a person would come to my blog at all (for a second time, that is) is to follow the life of David Nunez. So if I DIDN'T put personal stuff here, then I may as well not bother. (Of course, all that will change when I'm more actively posting Project process bits).
Truth is, there's a chance a future employer will google my name and find this. I don't think I have anything too awful in my background, save the usual blemish or two, that will affect my job hunts. However, the most beneign thoughts I consider throwaway might deeply infuriate an employer. So, the comprimise I strike is that I'm assuming the nature of work I will pursue will demand this kind of activity... hard to articulate what I mean by that. Need to develop that thought some more.
The net is that I'm banking on the opportunities created through this blog will outweigh the opportunities denied.
- There's no convincing difference between an "Online Journal" and a "Blog" timbrat: If you read this, please contradict me.
- Adina used "Hyperlink" to descibe what she does while reading offline material.
- We talked about comment tracking stuff... Prentiss dreamed about a system that would allow him to place a sidebar on his blog that would allow readers to see entries that he's commented on for other blogs (and to see when additional comments are there). We decided that MT's Trackback wouldn't be sufficient for this out of the box, but that this might be a reasonable/realistic MT hack. Other hacks: When you comment on a blog, include an option to be notified via email when there is an additional comment (or an additional comment from the blog's author!)... create an RSS feed for individual comment streams.
- Prentiss has a homebrewed blog system that does some interesting, "intelligent" syndication based on keywords in RSS feeds.
- Chris gave me some more insight into some of UT's programs... need to follow up with him with more questions.
- I bit my tounge on my hatred for RSS aggregators / syndicators... unless you are using them solely as a notification tool, for me, their major drawback is they remove what I consider to be the most interesting aspect of blogs: context It's nice to see a stream of thoughts (particularly if they make more sense in order), I love to find the "about me" pages (see second half of this entry for why!) not to mention "project" pages... ("What does this person DO besides writing blog entries?"), and I think it's a disservice to remove the interface and design from the blog. But that's just me.
- Adina is working on a project for work applications for blogs. I took notes, but I'm assuming an NDA.
- More business card talk. Prentiss passed out his. Apparently this is what they just DO in New York. If only Kinko's knew how to deal with Quark way back when, I could have been the "trendsetter" at the FIRST austin blog meetup (sigh...)
- we talked about shameless self-promotion, pundit vs. guru vs. technologist vs. loudmouth "tracks" in life, and using/abusing your blog pulpit for political gain? See second half of entry.
Second Half of Entry
Adina wrote a wrap-up (LINK MIGHT NOT BE WORKING!), and I posted this comment:
Ok. I freely admit I'm experimenting with "personal branding" (go ahead and shudder)... I think the game of marketing via blog (scorekeeping done by watching web stats) is fascinating and is an accessible training in networking and confidence.
However, I would agree with you about substance. Yeah, it's very easy to drive your hits up (business cards, dropping comments on random blogs, embedding yourself among vocal movers and shakers), but the payload is what's going to keep them up there. (It doesn't take all that long before the "string 'em along" tactic starts to fail... And, speaking of shameless plugs: I'm a couple bugs away from releasing a Raku "teaser" site)
On my site, I think some of the intersting bits are going to be some of the "misadventure" stories. It's a shame I don't spend more time doing those.
However, I think my real "competitive advantage" is that I do spend quite a bit of non-blog time feeding and growing relationships with people on a very personal level. That's where I operate, for better or worse. Show me you and I am more comfortable with your motivations. It's this obsession with personalities that helps me understand that I have a knack for connecting people together in weird and wonderful ways and on unusual levels... that's probably what keeps 'em hooked in real life. It does take a long time to build those deep and meaningful relationships, though... that's why I'm enfatuating with blog point-of-contact or as we say "touch" scalability. It ups my effectiveness at being human connective tissue.
My intentions, I think, are sincere. I genuinely enjoy learning the back-story about people I meet... and I hope I can reciprocate via blogging with some insight into the "me".
Keep in mind, the payload I'm REALLY gearing up for is my "The Project" stuff... robot shows and deep-end-whack-o human & technology experimentation... Right now, I'm discovering the knowledgable people that can help me accomplish my delusions and I'm also discovering how to build an audience...
I'll have something to say, eventually.
By the way, you represent a perfect example of how blogs have helped me to build a "connection" (which I hope will eventually cross the line to "friendship") with somebody I can learn from...
Attracting attention? Possibly... I don't think I have the right payload in place yet, but I earnestly believe that once I have some showable stuff up there (assuming it's interesting), the attention is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Ego strokes for me are also welcome, and I've talked about obsessing over hit counts. That's a hard sin to shed, but it's not the primary motivator.
I'm not sure if blogging has helped me "social climb above inferiors," but it HAS helped people connect TO ME proactively, which is nice, for a change.
dunno... I guess I'm learning as I do just like everyone else.
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