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Jett Superior laid this on you on || January 27, 2003 || 12:49 am

When I started this whole Blogger-powered journal-with-a-smattering-of-links thing, it was a matter of convenience that led me to do it. I had started a journal thingy over on my old site, the crappy Geocities (no link, as a) you all more than likely know how to get there, and b) those shitbirds pulled the plug on me a month early) one that was full on Flashy-Trashy-Browser-Go-Crashy. Ahhh, the lovely days of WYSIWYG slow-loads and timeouts and drag-and-drop them thar poorly-cropped, bad-resolution images.

I started the journal on that site, and despite my lack of discipline with any other form of journal, I was doing quite well keeping up with the interweb one.

I quite literally stumbled onto Blogger’s splash page, and I was immediately intrigued. There were something in the neighborhood of 15,000 registered users with them at the time, which seemed like a lot; in retrospect and given the current number of users, that little number seems paltry now. It gives me a smidgen of lame satisfaction, however, to know that while I wasn’t one of the first, I was in on the whole shebang somewhere in the neighborhood of the ground floor, before the advent of blogspot, before articles claiming that having a blog was ‘NEWHOTFUN!’ were seen in mainstream publications, before the original Blogger team hiccuped and went the way of the dinosaur.

Intrigued, I tell you, and though I knew nothing of code and basic geek lingo and such (“What is this Eff Tee Pee you speak of?? Whaaaaa?”), I managed to sign up and get that sucker running and make my first post to a plain white page devoid of fancy font footwork and any formatting whatsoever. Boop! Post, publish, here it comes, there it is! So much magic….

Within three days the blog page had evolved to become a plain cadet-blue background and an ivory-ish, near-eensy arial font. I was uptown, baybee.

Needless to say, when I figured out italics and bold and links I was near-orgasmic. It took me six fucking months to realize that there was a nifty toolbar in my Blogger window that would allow me to do such things without the bother and tedium of doing such a strenuous task like opening and closing a couple little HTML tags. It took a month more for me to further discover that all I had to do to use them effectively was to highlight a bit of text and mash a little button. Slow on the uptake, fellas, but when I get something, that something sticks. <--SEE? Highlight. Click. Maaaaagic.

I plodded along, doing my own little thing for some time, reading some other blogs, interacting with the people behind them. I didn’t have a hit counter (that I knew of, anyway), so to the best of my knowledge I was about a five-hit-a-day gal and three of those hits were mine. Viewing the words after you hang an entry on a page has an appeal all its own. Lordy, I am published….even if it is me doing the publishing. I mean, I’ve been published before, random poetry here and there and a short story or two, but nothing that paid a great deal of cash and besides, there’s nothing like seeing your plain ole everyday words hanging on a page (digitized or otherwise) for all the world to see. Even if all the world isn’t in fact seeing, there’s that potential.

But I had the grand luxury of writing for self and that was oh-so-delicious.

A few months in, I opened my e-mail one day to find a note from some dude in Belgium (motherfucking BELGIUM, oooooh!) that was very nice and very basic: Been reading you for several months now and I like what you have to say, the way you say it. Well, okay! Alright then! That threw me for a big ole loop, because here all along I thought that the only people reading were Eric and chum, and boy didn’t that mean that there might be other people out there that I didn’t know about who were peeking in on my daily existence, my paltry scribblings?

Still, I slapped the words down and didn’t think on the matter too very much.

Then there was this little project that Brad put together, called ‘A Day With(out) Weblogs’ (which has since mutated into ‘Link and Think’). The idea spun off of ‘A Day With(out) Art’. The basic premise was to leave your weblog blank for the day, posting only AIDS-related links, or to share your own story regarding the disease. I chose to do the latter, writing about a cousin with whom I was close. This entry sparked thirteen e-mails from readers about their feelings having read it, about their sorrow for my loss, about the raw way in which I wrote about Dan.

Thirteen mails, eleven of them virtual strangers. It scared the holy motherfuck outta me. My words evoke a response in people I’d no idea ever existed before they mailed me? Thus, it was several days before I wrote anything of real substance.

Time passed, I changed some backgrounds, learned to do strikeout, shit like that. I finally unveiled a new template my first real design, the Mark Ryden one that I thought was pretty spiffy (lo and behold I found out a year and a handful of months later that Seth HATED it. The rest of you traitors can step up and admit the shameful truth now, too…I am here to absolve you). I still say ‘not bad for a first effort’ but since I am a technotard apparently, by default, what I say doesn’t count in the realm of interweb design and code and such. I added comments and got some sort of tracking going and such. Great. Now the smartasses I socialized with via e-mail could drip their pith all over my entries directly and I could keep up with where my twenty-some-odd hits were coming from.

An odd thing began to happen. I started getting linked on sites I’d never heard of. I started reading them, too, and some of them went on my sidebar. To tell you the God’s honest, I couldn’t tell you where I got half the people I correspond with now. I don’t know whether they found me or I found them. They may have come from the random odd link, a post I made in someone else’s comments, the strange-silly referral, Blogger’s recently updated list, a message board somewhere or my participation in the Blogathon. We found one another, however, and that’s what counts. The visits per day began slowly climbing. Eventually Seth asked me if I wanted to participate in a little project he was putting together, The Decablog. He was gonna round up ten bloggers and design sites for them. The project isn’t fully implemented yet, there are still spots to be filled and revisions to be made, but the idea is to eventually have a little community of bloggers whose words hold their own on the page (two of my favorite Decabloggers, trouble and Barber, do just that and they do it in a madly funny way…though Barber can’t speel spall spell for shit. A third is the olive, who is just so damned sweet in a genuine manner that I cannot help but to love her.). So here I was, and I finally had a little bit of ‘interweb cred’ due to the spanky design and the links kept coming, hits kept climbing. I say I get about fifty hits a day, but in truth it ranges from fifty to eighty. It’s largely dependent on the weather and the day of the week.

Here’s where I let you in on a little secret. I know of, for sure, about fifteen people who read my site on a daily basis. That’s give or take a handful. Those other thirty-five to sixty-five people? They make me nuts. I wonder who they are, how they got here originally, why they read me. I wonder if they have a quiet little corner of interweb all their very own. I wonder why they continually choose to lurk, not adding their names and opinions to the fray. In some sad, silly way, I hope they’re okay with who they are, if life is handing them good stuff, if they have happiness and health. It. Makes. Me. Nuttier. Than I. Alreadyam.

Then there are those times when someone refers to me in a post. Someone that I think, like me, is just plinking away on keyboard in the wee hours, someone who I think, like me, commands fiftysome hits per day and is okay with the whole shebang if it never climbs beyond that. That link shows up on the scene, and you suddenly find out that the ones who are linking you in posts are not so benign and innocuous in readership as you thought. The hits triple, quadruple in count and you are left shaking your head in disbelief at your naivete.

And you, because you are A Crazyperson Of The Highest Ordertm, wonder at and about all the people who are coming around: “There are twenty-five thousand hits on that sitemeter thingy, how did that happen? These people should tell me their names. They should give me some inkling of what they’re about.” Because I’m one of those weirdos that gives a shit about that kind of thing. Not every single day, I’m sure, because I have a life and all that nonsense, but most of the time….

18 worked it out »

  1. three legged pi 1.27.2003

    yay, i’m absolved! it feels so good to get past that. i’ve been harboring guilt for eons, simply eons, over my dislike of that design. but truly, and i’ve said previously, it’s not like i ever visited for your design skills.

    curious, tho: am i one of the 15, or am i on some different list? hmm?

     
  2. Jett 1.27.2003

    Dear timato…you are one of the fifteen. And your non-forked tongue is part of the reason.

     
  3. trish 1.27.2003

    I wasn’t around when the old design was here but I don’t read people for their designs.

     
  4. Keith 1.27.2003

    It’s absolutely wonderful that you write for the sake of writing and not for the purpose of entertaining your readers. That only comes naturally as a side-benefit, it seems.

    Personally though, I’m a bit guilty of wanting to make some sort of name for myself. I’m thoroughly impressed by the popularity of folks like Bill Quick at Daily Pundit and even Michele at A Small Victory, and for some reason I yearn for similar recognition.

    I must not have had as many friends in high school as I thought. :)

    Still, I don’t expect to win the crowd over so easily. I want to earn that reward. I am trying my damnedest to provide the internet with something useful.

    And if I do become someone important like Rachel Lucas or Glenn Reynolds, I promise to only use my powers for good. ;)

     
  5. One of the 35-65 1.27.2003

    “Those other thirty-five to sixty-five people? They make me nuts.”

    Wow. That makes me feel so powerful! But I know what you mean. I just posted a “Who are all you lurkers, anyway?” on my site yesterday. I’ve managed to scare a few of them out of the woodwork so far.

    “I wonder who they are…”

    I often wonder who I am, too. Let’s make a deal — first one to figure it out tells the other one, ‘K?

    “…how they got here originally…”

    From Seth’s links.

    “…why they read me.”

    Jus’ ‘cuz.

    “I wonder if they have a quiet little corner of interweb all their very own.”

    Yup.

    “I wonder why they continually choose to lurk, not adding their names and opinions to the fray.”

    Ain’t had nuthin’ to say afore now. Also, I rarely comment on blogs I don’t link, because I tend to forget to go back and check for responses.

    “In some sad, silly way, I hope they’re okay with who they are, if life is handing them good stuff, if they have happiness and health.”

    Aw, thanks. It’s nice to have such things hoped for one.

     
  6. Connie 1.27.2003

    Jett,

    I am here and maybe a lurker. hehe but here none the less. I enjoy the wayyou say things and your honesty. I do love your current design, I must say. That is what I got me to look around the first time I stumbled in.

    Keep on keepin on.

     
  7. Unxmaal 1.27.2003

    It’s just not fair. You get all the good readers.

    From my logs, people come to my page by accident. Mostly by searching google for:

    clown sex

    jolene blaylock’s tits

    japanese women farting

    At least they’re consistently fucked-up, right?

     
  8. the olive 1.27.2003

    I love your site ;-)

    Even when I’m not writing- I’m reading. Being able to spy into the lives of others undetected is one of the things I love most about blogs.

     
  9. ChristoCarto 1.28.2003

    I’ve told you many a time, Jett-mah-dear, that I (the bloke who is always in the corner, pulling wings off of butterflies and trying my DAMNEDEST not to care) am thoroughly MOVED by your writings. It’s REAL…it’s STRAIGHT…and I LIKE it. And it’s an honor to peek in now and then to see what is on your ol’ decadent mind. You are a TRUE artist…and I love you, girl. you FUCKING GODDESS. :D

     
  10. three legged pi 1.28.2003

    Unx, I was at your site and couldn’t find any clown sex pictures at all. Just you talking about peeing on the sidewalk. And I don’t care to see pictures of that. So… make with the clown sex, pronto!

     
  11. Jettlikethat 1.28.2003

    You crazy bloggers and your clown sex!!

    Speaking of clown sex, I cannot BELIEVE there’s an ongoing comments thread referring to it and melly isn’t here.

     
  12. dayo 1.28.2003

    I’m guilty! I found your page through Laura’s. I don’t stop by much, and don’t usually post because it feels intrusive when I’m a perfect stranger. (well, an im-perfect stranger, definately)

     
  13. Jett 1.28.2003

    dayo: there is much strangeness here, but there are no strangers.

    Now go away, you’re being intrusive.

    Heh. *kidding*

     
  14. cal 1.28.2003

    i found you via … hmm… well anyway, you’d written a post that really blew me away..and so i come back…and have linked. i’m not a big commenter anywhere…but will if it makes you feel better!!!

     
  15. Jett 1.28.2003

    cal: you used to be @ gammerstang, right? if so, we talked about homeopathic meds one night…your girl was sick and we were tossing things back and forth.

    if not, HEY, EVERBODEEE, *THAT* CAL IS NEATO!

    I’m curious…what was the post, do you recall?

     
  16. cal 1.29.2003

    ok, well now i’m loathe to say, cuz i can’t find it and wonder if, in my looniness, that i got it mixed up. i’ll email you on that one ;-) … but yeah, it’s me. in all my wacked out neato-ness!! [fnar fnar]

     
  17. Kat 1.29.2003

    My first real mind-blowing came when people from school who didn’t know me started recognizing me because “oh yeah, John and Steph sent me a link to your site”…

    Whoo. It’s weird out there. And you, for all your honesty and humor and sheer talent and a host of other reasons, rock; this is one of the best blogs I’ve read.

    And if I keep babbling, I shall be late to class. ::waves, vanishes::

     
  18. Angel 1.30.2003

    I got to your site through the decablog thing… I loved the other sites and found yours… I started my own a few months ago so I wouldn’t leave 5 page comments in other people’s comment boxes about a subject that has nothing really to do with the blog. I’m loving it now and if I keep it up… who know what will happen? I love humour and people who tell it like it is… and I LOVE your name.

     

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