I could have called this post Zombies, Vampires and Facebook Friends. But I had this nifty title and image saved in my queue and somehow this painting of writhing fish seemed fitting to yet another post about friendship, even if today I have vowed to stop wallowing in self-pity and to focus on promoting my friend Holly’s current contest entry.
I think most of us are well familiar with emotional vampires. Folks who constantly need so much (praise, validation, sympathy, what have you) that they seem to just suck the life out of everyone around them. I think that everyone has needy moments sometimes, and believe it one of the highest duties of friendship to reassure our friends when they are having such a moment. But having them all the time. That is SO not tidy. Honestly, no one should be the kingpin of emotional vampires.
I have to confess that as with vampires, I have at times been a zombie too. In the sense that Holly has been talking about it a zombie is someone who approaches blogging or social networking mostly as a matter of ramping up numbers. There was a time when I somehow had come to believe that unique visitors and Google Page Rank were THE marks of success as a web publisher and devoted an inordinate amount of time to chasing unique visitors, most of whom never read any of the posts on the blog (not that they had any interest in those posts) and checked my PR almost constantly. It took me a long time to realize that visiting three hundred or more blogs each day in order to get return visits from other bloggers (who were also chasing unique visitors and PR as some kind of Mecca) contributed nothing whatsoever to creating an engaging and compelling web site where I had conversations with visitors who might become friends.
I don’t think that blogging is dying, nor in danger of being taken over by vampires and zombies. I do think that each blogger must learn for themselves what the various stats are, what they mean and decide how much attention they want to pay to their stats. Honestly? I’m not paying much attention to mine for this blog.) I much prefer to focus on conversations with my friends. Speaking of, my friend Holly is in (yes, yet Another) blog contest and I would really appreciate it, if you have any comments or thoughts at all on this topic, that you visit Holly’s post Blogging With A Silver Bullet and leave your comments there.
As I write this on the evening of June 5th, my mind meandering towards my birthday tomorrow, I find myself thinking that the feeling of time shift, or time drift– the effect of constantly writing these posts in advance and scheduling them for a particular date, will be the surest and most long-lasting memory of my year of blogging every day. Already this evening I am getting Happy Birthday wishes on my Facebook wall, though honestly I don’t feel any older just yet.
Tomorrow Ron and I plan to celebrate with a late lunch at the new Chinese buffet that has opened in our neighborhood. (The one that closed a while back seems to have been re-incarnated as a Seven-Eleven.) After our lunch we will drive up to Milton to run an errand and then pick up our returning roommate, who is due back from two weeks in Canada visiting his girlfriend. Ron seems to be very much looking forward to having him back home. And some day soon, the UPS man will bring me my birthday present– Ron ordered me a case of Zapp’s potato chips– all the Cajun craw tator flavor. I plan to hoard them and stretch them out for the whole summer. He actually offered me a choice of the chips or an assortment of Hubig’s pies, but it seems to me we get plenty of sweets, and I find I really do miss my Zapp’s.
I frankly doubt that I will have nearly as many people wishing me a happy birthday on this post as I was able to round up for Holly’s birthday post a few months ago. While I’m sure I will receive a flurry of messages, I frankly doubt it will be a blitzkrieg. But I know that I will be genuinely grateful for each and every message I receive. Forty-eight years, egad. When did I get so……old?
I never really liked footnotes. Sometimes instructors could be quite picky about them and more than once I came almost to tears over a style guide trying to figure out just what details about the information source needed to be typed in at the bottom of that page next to the superscript number (created by turning the typewriter platen half a line down). I am not in fact techno butch enough to know how to place superscript numbers in a blog post. Though every now and then I do place an asterisk if I have some little tid bit to add at the bottom of a post.
One of the most frustrating mistakes one could make in the footnote category, back in the days when one typed papers on typewriters (largely obsolescent devices which used embossed metal strikers to imprint ink on paper, one letter at a time), was to come to the end of a page and realize that you have forgotten to include a footnote. You might be able to get away with doing end notes instead, particularly if you had not previously on any other pages inserted a footnote. But if that was not an option, it would in fact be necessary to type that entire page over again to fix the error. Current technology that made typewriters obsolete, and brought about such improvements as the Backspace key, automatic footnote entry and automatic pagination robs me of any excuse for omitting a foot note to correspond to the asterisk I placed next to the term LIONS in yesterday’s post.
My huzband is in fact “a lion”. I honestly don’t fully understand myself exactly what that means. If you’re curious I’m afraid you would have to ask Ron yourself. When I mentioned that my friend Holly is NOT a “LION” I meant that she is not a Linked In Open Networker. I don’t use Linked In. I never liked it and when it was pointed out to me that my profile on that site (upon which I had never expended any great effort) kind of, well, really sucked, I thought about it for all of a minute, then removed my profile from Linked In. It goes back to the discussion I am having with Michael the last few weeks. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to be on every social site out there. And I definitely think that not having a profile on a particular site is infinitely preferable to having a lousy profile. (see Hello World) Linked In LIONS are known around social media as the original instigators of the Open Networking movement, which pretty much prescribes connecting with everyone you meet on every network you’re on. Honestly, I get tired just typing about it.
In any event, I hope you will forgive me for first omitting this footnote from yesterday’s post and then for turning a one sentence explanation into a 500 word blog post. (A free form journal really is a lot easier than a blog that tries to stick to a precise niche.) I hope that this finds you having or having just had a good Hump Day Wednesday. And thank you so much for stopping by.