Friday, April 29, 2011

Internet Conversations

I've been experimenting with various ways to be present on the "intarwebs," as my kids call this cyberspace universe. I started years ago on GEnie, and some of those friendships have lasted and deepened over the years. It was all text, of course, but for many of us, the format promoted conversation and fostered a sense of community. Not that there weren't flame wars, of course. I quickly learned to UNMark certain topics! For a number of years, GEnie was going to go away, everyone would run around being upset, and the upsetness further served the sense of loyalty to one another. Eventually, GEnie really did die, and I was one of those online during the final countdown. Dueling Modems got set up as a "bolt-hole" and eventually many people migrated there and to the topics. I did, although I found the format much less easy to use.

My kids dragged me into LiveJournal by the simple strategy of informing me that if I wanted to know what they were doing (both of them being on their own), I should read theirs.
LJ promotes community in a somewhat different way than GEnie did. It took me a while to figure out links and LJ cuts and how to upload images, but eventually I did and my Friends list got longer and longer. I reconnected with old friends from GEnie and found new ones. I still get confused by people's pseudonymic handles, but can deal.

In recent years, I added Facebook, although I had resisted it for a long time. It's less conversational -- one of the things I like about LJ is that the format supports thoughtful discussion -- but more "link-y" and network-y. It's a good tool for "going viral" with personal, political or writerly news.

Now I've added this blog. Whyfor? I wanted a place to hold forth on writing in general and my own books in particular. I don't care for constant self-promotion, but I've always thought that if people like what I have to say in general, they'll be more likely to check out my work. Hence, the little slide show on the right. I also figured that if I consistently offer content of value, people will hang around, link to here, tell their friends, that sort of thing. I'm being patient. It's a whole lot of fun.

Twitter may be in my future, but for now, I'm more interested in making what I've got work smoothly. I haven't figured out how all this fits together and what should be linked to what and how. It's definitely a work in progress. For anyone who reads this blog, I thank you and hope to reward your attention richly.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry, that was me - wrong ID!

    I find Twitter is most useful for quick (but very brief) news and tracking any famous people you might find interesting. George Takei's Twitter, in particular, is a gem. I also follow current deals from my dispensary, new articles from The Onion, etc.

    That's the niche it occupies for me, anyway. I know it has a much larger profile for other users.