Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday in the Empire

OR  Egg On My Face

Wednesday was a great day,  although a couple of times I ended up with egg all over my face.   I spent hours hanging out in the #SocialEmpire group on Facebook.   So many bright and interesting people to get to know.   @ryanjz is the leader of the pack.  He reminds me of a manager I worked for at Sprynet-- a brilliant mile a minute kind of guy who every now and then disagrees with me and challenges me a bit.  Ryan calls me on stuff sometimes and that's  good thing.   Every writer needs an editor who can see right through their bullshit.

In the afternoon I got to meet and spend some time chatting with Honor MacDonald (e)HMD.  A bit later I got to meet and chat with @starry_girl  and got to spend some time getting to know Fee Cooper (e)BOOTCOOT,    And belive me,  Fee is a hoot.    And what was so nice is that all of the participants are good at conversation and are also good sports.   At one point Paul Bowyer threw out some pretty provocative comments and there was a real and lively debate between actual liberals and actual conservatives.    I have previously written about my fear that people who disagree with each almost never associate with each other any more.   They get their hard core news from Red State or Daily Kos,  they watch Keith and Rachel or go for Glenn and the Fox crew.   They sometimes shoot flames at each other over the heads or other participants who sometimes try in vain to actually discuss the issues,  only to get ignored and drowned out in vitriol and rhetoric.   It was an amazing discussion and while there was sharp disagreement, there was never any hostility or rancor.  And as so often seems to be the case when human beings talk calmly with each other,   there were actually a few areas of agreement between the two sides.   Honestly it was  the highlight of my day. 

My otherwise great day was marred only by two incidences in which I was compelled to post with egg all over My face.    A bunch of us were just hanging out, shooting the breeze and I made an observation-- that while creating content on blogs is the primary value of the Empire Avenue game  (the activity which rewards the Most points), it sure doesn't seem to drive a lot of traffic to blogs.   Being the arrogant SOB I can be when I get real relaxed and start phoning it in,  I naturally expected an amen chorus.   But I distinctly noticed a slight chilling in the room when 2 two people rather stiffly told me that they had indeed visited this site.   I didn't exactly get reprimanded,  but it was kind of like the entire room was glaring at me-- ("are you really whining about your traffic as we try to discuss much more important things").     Ooops.   I had to sit down and stfu for awhile.

I also really enjoyed meeting and chatting privately with Holly Jahangiri-- who it turns out is a wonderfully gifted poet, with a wicked sense of humor.    You must go read her poem  How Can a Writer Not READ?  Holly is a fantastic writer and a wonderful down-to-earth lady  (Holly is definitely a lady) who is one of the nicest and most charming me people I've ever met.    After you've read her poem,  do buy a few shares in (e)HGJ.   You'll shoot yourself for missing out on the opportunity to invest in Holly at 60 when she is on the bestseller lists  and celebrating her membership in the 300 club.

And finally,  my second egg all over My face moment--  I got as little bit confused about all of these really great women I met today and tweeted about Holly's poems  with @starry_girl credited as the author.  Mea Culpa.   My straight men friends might look askance at my excuse that I just met so many lovely ladies today. But it's honestly the truth.   And the admonishment about not whining about traffic is well taken.    I long ago learned that the most  sure-fire way to draw in a whole bunch of people and get most of them to comment, is to write a post that talks first person about a whole bunch of people and then link to every last one of 'em.  Which brings me to.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my little memoir today.   And I hope that you are enjoying your time on The Ave as much as I have been enjoying mine.   Happy Thursday everybody!


Paul Bowyer said...

Thanks Alan, great blog....

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Sounds like a productive day of social media connection and relationship building! #SocialEmpire is becoming the daily space where I learn from a lot of interesting people. Glad to meet you and read your blog!


Holly Jahangiri said...

You make me smile and blush and feel warm and fuzzy all over saying those nice things, Alan. Thank you!

I've made some amazing connections through EmpireAvenue; I, too, have enjoyed out conversations over the last day or two, and I'm so glad we've met. Took us a while to widen our gaze from "pretend stock" to "blogs" to "never mind all that - let's just have a chat," but to me, that's the real value of it.

And I notice we keep seeing so many of the same faces... there's a small, like minded group of us who aren't just there for the play money. (Hi, nakeva!!)

Holly Jahangiri

It's All a Matter of Perspective

This year, it's personal - I'm now a "survivor." Please give to Relay for Life.

Libdrone said...

Paul-- thanks for stopping by buddy. Hope you are having a good one.

Nakeva-- it's been so nice to meet you. Thanks for your visit, and yes I did consider it a very productive day.

Holly-- I agree it is the people and the conversations that are the real benefit of participating in EA. And I suspect that the mature, serious (egad am I really speaking of myself?) crowd will merge and congregate. I thinkg #SocialEmpire is off to a great start!