Flaky (My new tabby is…)

It’s not entirely unfitting that my two least favorite web services,  Klout and Disqus  both persist in using some ancient Twitter data and showing my name as outofit.    Outofit was a handle I adopted on my first MUD.  It was simply a description of how I felt each time I typed  telnet:quark.gmi.edu 5150 at a Unix prompt to participate in what was just a game,  yet one that would quite change my life.

Change happens.   I’ve said many times that change is the only constant in any online community.   And it does seem to me that most of us learn and grow a bit more, most every day.  My new tablet (a Cruz Velocity T301) arrived today.   I have been both awed at some of the cool new tech on display, as well as as frustrated as I have been with technology since the afternoon I struggled with AmiPro 2.0 soon after receiving my very first computer back in 1990-something and thinking that cool as it is–I do love the way the display switches from landscape to portrait depending on how you hold it– the device seems more than a bit flaky to me.

And much as I have complained about Disqus especially continuing to call me be a very old handle that I updated everywhere that I update things many many moons ago,  the new tabby leaves me feeling darned near as out of it as the Unix prompt and the method for inserting images into a document in a long forgotten also ran word processor once did.   So it is fitting that I had never actually heard of the cartoon character until I did a search for flaky + images.     While I have linked the character to a wiki page that tells a bit about him,  I’m honestly not interested enough to find out more about Flaky or find and view his cartoons.   So perhaps it’s not altogether unfitting that in some places I continue to be known as outofit.   But I must say I am looking forward to taking my tablet on the road and seriously rejoining the mobile connected.

Sometimes….A Bear Just Has To Be A Bear

My friends who know me well already know that I am a bear.  Both in the bear sense and  in being especially fond of bears iconicly and totemicly.    In Walking Down The Avenue I wrote that the Books index on Empire Avenue was such a natural fit that I would not switch to another index just to be a CEO.    And yet today,  I just did.   After three months of being visually identified mostly with my Libdrone Books logo, with scads of pie pictures and for awhile with a Seattle Space Needle picture I used as my Facebook avatar,   I decided on a whim this morning to post a handful of public domain bear photographs on my Facebook page.     And rather a lot of my friends Liked them.

I previously stated that when I reached 2.3 million eaves in net wealth I would sell off some shares and buy my third Bigger Piece of the Pie.     I have reached that wealth milestone and spent an hour or so today going through my portfolio.    Don’t own shares in me.  SOLD!   Sold off my shares when we were max/max and you still acted friendly to my face?   SOLD and BLOCKED.   Compared to my previous experiences buying pie,  this third slice came rather easily.   For the first time in more than a month,  I went through my entire portfolio yesterday evening and made and identified all of the tickers I held shares in that didn’t own any in me.    Where I only owned a small number of shares and/or the dividends were awful I went ahead and sold right away,  and re-invested the proceeds in shares that I want to keep.    Those that paid great dividends I put on a list.   And just as soon as dividends were paid I started selling.   Selling off those that had not invested in me netted me about 210,000 eaves.    I sold down in a few shares where I owned a lot more shares than the other party.   I also sold about 50 (out of 300 owned)   in two or three friends whom I know will understand.  

In honor of my third slice of pie,   I  will this weekend be serving up yummy delicious pie to everyone who invests in me.   However instead of posting it in my Empire Avenue avatar I will post pie pics on the buyer’s Facebook wall.   I will acknowledge all buyers on my Empire Avenue profile.   Alas,  the pie that I am serving is only pretty pictures,  rather than Empire Avenue upgrades.   If you’d like a slice and you aren’t already on Empire Avenue,  sign up now and get 2,000 eaves free from me.   My thanks to  Ryan who taught me and so many other players the value of having a newbie farm to finance pie upgrades.   My take away today is that change is good for creating new interest and getting out of a price rut. (With all of the likes my bear pictures garnered,  my share price is up over a full eave today.)  And that sometimes,  a bear just has to be a bear.

Why Am I So Pissed-Off?

The problem is,  I really don’t understand _why_ I’m so pissed off.   I’ve known the guy for less than a week.  And while I was surprised and a bit stunned by his abrupt departure from the group he created,  honestly it didn’t really ruin my day.    And I can’t really say I was surprised either, by the fact that a couple of days later he showed up again.

It seems to me reasonable to have been annoyed that he showed up again without a word of explanation.   He simply re-joined the FB group and created a new profile on Empire Avenue.    What really made me angry though is that most of the participants in this group immediately fell all over themselves to welcome him back with open arms.    Not one person requested an explanation.

To be fair, explanations do appear to be forthcoming.   And when he finally broke his silence, he did begin with an apology.    And yet,  two picas to the right of  ‘I apologize’,  he breaks forth immediately into talking about his problems with Facebook  (and again,  to be fair,  I can appreciate them) and then goes on to talk about ‘giving everyone a chance to buy in’  before he connects his ‘major networks’ to the new EA account.   And everyone is slapping him on the back and saying how great it is to see him again.   And I sit here typing this little account of the story and honestly don’t know why I am So angry about all this.    Ron downloaded a cartoon once– it’s late at night and the wife in her nightclothes is urging her husband to come to bed.   He waves her off and continues typing away at his computer, calling out to her over his shoulder “I can’t stop now, somebody is wrong on the Internet!”  

Honestly,  I don’t know who if anyone is “wrong” in this instance.    Nothing seems to be black and white, cut and dried in this instance.    A friend shared with me that what bothers Her is that he’s opening up all this drama.   I can handle drama, though, so I don’t think that is it for me.   For now,  I continue trying to figure out my feelings about all of this.   And I keep biting my tongue so as not to say much of anything until I can come to understand why I’m so pissed off.

Watching For A Resurrection?

Full Disclosure:  This post has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Christianity,  share prices, lunar cycles, the sun, the heavens, etc.

I had planned today to blog about my reluctance to Amplify my remarks;  my hesitancy to create my own press.li  newspaper and other various means of giving myself 10 blogs on EA without actually going to the trouble of setting up and maintaining oodles of blogs.   But after playing around with Amplify a bit,  I’m not at all sure what is going on there or what the value and consequences are,   so I put that post on hold to continue a bit along the lines of yesterday’s post,  wherein I wrote about death, even though No One Has Died!

My thoughts today turn instead  to the idea of  “resurrection”, not because it is getting on towards Easter (although it is) but because the man who disappeared from the group so abruptly on Friday evening appeared, albeit briefly and insubstantially on Sunday.    Weekends are traditionally a slow time online,  although activity often picks up starting Sunday afternoon or evening.   It was Not a slow weekend for my share price– which as of this writing has soared to 51.34e.   I keep hearing from folks how jarring it is the first time your share price declines.   I know of course they are right and feel quite lucky to still be on an upward trajectory after about 10 days on the site.   Empire Avenue continues to hold my strong interest.  And with hashtags like #EAvKinK and #UterusHighFive,   #SocialEmpire  group on FaceBook continues to be, most definitely,  not your run of the mill FaceBook group.   It was a little slow on Saturday,  but the handful of us who were there had a grand old time,  talking about any and everything.   And of course,  the number of participants did pick up Sunday afternoon and evening.  

I couldn’t help noticing during that somewhat more active time,  a member of the group added the departed back in.   Once in,  that user posted a thread  Watch This Space,  and then said nothing else at all.    Who knows,  at this point it still _could_  (conceivably at least) be some kind of publicity stunt in connection with the planned introduction of a FaceBook app to compliment the game and the group.   Although it seems unlikely.   The departed’s name came up very rarely,  and the powers that be tried to say very little– a combination of vague and re-assuring that is tough for even the most talented PR-type to pull off well.   Then comes Monday morning and a couple of those business types march in all decked out in sysop garb and try to say Reassuring Things.   This alarms me.    As I recall the Bible,  resurrections take three days.    I’m willing to wait until Wednesday to see how this one turns out.   But in the meantime friends,  Please.   Hold the sysop stuff.

Living In AET

The little clock at the lower right corner of my computer screen says it’s 1am  (Pacific Daylight Savings Time).  But I find lately that regardless of what the clock says I am living these days  in Alan Erratic Time.    I’ve always been a night owl.  And since getting very caught up in Empire Avenue,  my hours are more irregular than ever.

I’ve been very fortunate to stumble into a great small community within EA (#SocialEmpire).  Honestly, for me it is a bit reminiscent  of my early days on Entrecard,  which initially attracted a very bright and engaging group.    Once again I am making a bunch of new friends and spending a lot of time online engaged in  good discussion with smart people.   It’s really one of my favorite things to do, but it is actually fairly rare in my experience.    I am also of course recalling how @GrahamLangdon  drove Entrecard right over a cliff.   The cool kids decamped to CMF Ads— which is great btw, but of course it was never the same.   What’s funny is,  that even while I am greatly enjoying my participation and am certainly doing all I can to contribute to community creation,  a part of me is kind of waiting to see just whom it will turn out to play the Langdon role this time.  

The one thing I’ve learned about online communities that I believe is Always true is that the Only constant is Change.   They all have an incubation period,  hopefully followed by a start-phase,  then if successful to be followed by a prime phase, and then eventually a decline and inevitably irrelevance, relegated to the archives at the WayBack Machine.    I’ve seen it happen to Compu$erve,  and later to AOL,  as a customer and employee of the former and as former employee of the latter.    Today, look at Yahoo– except for their fairly successful (though not wildly money-making) Flickr site it has clearly seen its day come and go.    Which is why I am pretty sure that after some (perhaps great and long) run Twitter, Facebook and even beloved Empire Avenue will fade away as all of the people worth interacting with there now have drifted to other sites and other people.    Some friendships and acquaintances will continue on, on other sites.  (I still try to keep up with my friends Ron and Bev from way back on Compu$erve in the late 1990’s.)    And like a blogger who one day stops updating their site,  and you find you don’t have an e-mail for them,  and they never post again, and one day a spammer takes over their URL and you wonder whatever happened to a person you had really considered a friend, even though you never met them face to face,  that disconnect will one day affect most of the new relationships I am so ardently cultivating today.

Such is life.   It is a bit sad, I suppose, but in my experience discovering great new sites and falling into great online communities is something that happens to me over and over again.   I was tweeting with some new friends about the nature of the universe about 1am last night.   Whether it was physics or philosophy,  I am not wise enough to say.   But it was fun.      I was going to link some of the company names above to the WayBack machine to give everyone a giggle,  but it’s down now at the moment.   Sorry.   To all my new friends,  welcome to My world.   To all my old friends,  thanks for standing by me,  after all these years.   Hope it’s a happy Wednesday for you.


And a PS to my buddy @scribdiva   I’ve been thinking about what you said.   I will e-mail you today.