Today Practical RDF was reviewed at Slashdot, a fact I found out when some kind souls warned me of the fact so that I might prepare for the hordes marching in. However, Slashdot book reviews usually don’t generate the server stress that other Slashdot articles can, and the server was able to handle the additional load with ease. This now makes the second time I’ve been slashdotted and lived to tell the tale. Thirds the charm, they say.
It was a nice review, and I appreciated the notice and the kind words. In fact, I’ve had very positive reviews across the board for the book, which is very gratifying for me and for Simon St. Laurent, the lead editor. I’ll probably earn ten cents for every hour I spent on the book, but at least I can feel satisfaction that it’s helping folks and the writing is respected and seen as a quality effort. That’s pretty damn important for a writer – worth more than bucks.
Well, bucks are nice, too.
Speaking of Simon and the book, I was reminded that I owe some articles on RDF and Poetry, and a view of RDF from inside the XML clan, and a few other odds and ends. Hopefully this nice little push will energize me again and I can get these written. It’s been a while since I’ve delighted in the act of writing.
I also wanted to thank the folks for the thoughtful comments in the Tin Can Blues posting. I must also admit I lied in the posting – horrors! – but the lie was unintentional. I forgot that when I worked at Express Scripts earlier this summer that one of the people I worked with started weblogging just as I was leaving. I still remember the shock I received coming around a corner and seeing him read my weblog. As to the question whether your writing changes when you meet those who read it, I remember that for two weeks after that incident, I focused almost exclusively on photography and technology.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to the issue of meeting webloggers in the flesh. I think it really is up to the person, and the opportunities, as many of you noted. For myself, several St. Louis webloggers and others passing through the community have invited me to events, cook outs, coffee, and beers, and all of the people are terrific folks, and I know would be a real treat in person. But it’s not easy for me to mix my worlds.
Ultimately for all the chatter I’ve indulged in online, I have become somewhat of a reclusive person; uncomfortable with larger gatherings (i.e. more than three people), quiet at any events other that professional ones. I love to speak at conferences, but I find corners to inhabit when I’m finished. This person in this weblog – assertive, outgoing, and anything but shy – is the real me; but so is the physical person who runs from parties and get togethers, and I just don’t know how to reconcile the two.
I do know that my not meeting people in the flesh doesn’t diminish my genuine affection for the people I’ve met and come to admire, respect, and like through this virtual medium, and maybe that’s all that matters.
(Po-ll-y-a-nn-a!! This sounds good, but I don’t think it’s that simple. I can see a time when friends met online but never in person become less tangible than the ones whom we’ve pressed the flesh with, in one way or another. Our presence will begin to thin as it stretches to meet always and continuously across the void; touching through the mists, our essence flows around the shadows cast by the real, becoming increasingly transparent – true ghosts in the machine.
Or maybe I’m just tired. And maudlin. Time for new topics…)
Speaking of people I’ve not pressed flesh with, Liz writes about Google search hits, mentioning the phrases she now ‘owns’, such as “introvert extrovert”. I checked my stats and find that I own or partially own several phrases including ‘parable’ (number two), Shelley (number one), and ‘love sentences’ (number two).
The most problematic phrase I own is ‘baby squirrels’. Yup, search on baby squirrels and there I am, Kicking the Baby Squirrels, Again. I get a lot of visitors for ‘baby squirrels’.
I also own the number two position for the phrase ‘virtual friends’. I’d rather own ‘real friends’ but that’s owned by cats.
PS Nobody make AKMA laugh for the next week.