Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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.


Peter Wright said...

Found you through Empire Avenue, I am (e) PJW. I had visited both your blogs when I first bought your shares a few days ago. I then endorsed them. I have just endorsed your music one. I will come back again.

Alan said...

Thanks so much for your comment, Peter. Hope you are having a great Wednesday.

Stuart said...

Hi Alan - Using the little engine (that could) app, from TweekPress on #fb - I have drilled into the relevance you bring to our great group via Twitter that's all things "Empire Avenue". You understand what it means to use the #socialempire hashtag more efficiently and on target than any other Twitter user in this past week. Go #Eav

Libdrone said...

Me, efficient? /faints dead away Will wonders never cease. I switched to mostly focusing on this personal blog so that I could write about whatever is happening to me today (got Very tired of having to read and digest a 400 page book to write every 500 word blog post). And #SocialEmpire is definitely what is happening in my world these days. You and Ryan are doing a bang up job creating a fantastic group.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Oh, good gracious.

I was on Compuserve back in the day (okay, back in 1981, if you must know - back when "CB" seemed fast at 300 baud). In the late 1980s, I defected to GEnie (fit my budget better) and ended up an "indentured servant" (SysOp, game designer) there. I had to work to pay for my "online addictions."

Remember our discussion about Rand? It was on Compuserve that the promise to read Atlas was first extracted - by a user whose handle was "Equality50."

Libdrone said...

my very first Compu$erve bill was $300 which is About what I earned per week at that time. A real shocker. I remember downloading and buying an offline reader program called OzCis that helped me keep my bill down to about 60--70. I was very involved in section 17 of the Issues forum. I never tried CB-- lots of people told me how expensive it got and I was too afraid of the bill to try it.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I was on my dad's account and strictly limited to an hour a pop. And yes - even though I was 18, he supervised my online activities somewhat. :) I guess you could say he'd randomly glance over my shoulder and make sure I could handle the crazies - and recognize them as such.

I was kind of irked, once, to learn that the time-sharing bill of a company I worked for was LESS THAN MY GENIE BILL, and they were getting dunned for late payment. C'mon, guys, if I can suck it up and pay...