#187 In which our hero helps set the world record for the most number of people simultaneously writing about the same topic online.
Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo.
As such, there are 2,000+ bloggers typing the exact same words as I am right now. I’m sure there will be no end to the “I’m glad that’s over!” and “Here’s what I learned” posts… I considered ignoring the whole thing, and just posting some random thing out of my head (as I am wont to do)… but no. It’s an achievement of sorts, and even though it probably wasn’t as difficult for me as some, I suppose it’s worth reflecting on.
I don’t know that I learned anything about myself, other than the fact that I’m pretty lazy and need some sort of outside motivation to continue to do something I don’t want to. But this, of course, is something I already knew. I did learn that there’s more people than I thought reading this, and many of them share my sense of humor, which is heartening.
I considered motoring ahead and joining Holidailies, a site that wants you to post every day in December. But I looked over that site and well, there seems to be a lot of rules. And no prizes. Matter of fact, they are looking for sponsors to give them money. See the comment above about outside motivation… so yeah, I’ll take a pass.
Not that I really expect to win a prize for NaBloPoMo. I mean, I have as good a chance as anyone else, but with 2,000+ participants, the odds aren’t in my favor.
But, strangely enough, it looks like I’ve already won something:
Blogger Rashenbo (not to be confused with “Roshambo”) sent me a very nice email, stating that she had read through all the NaBloPoMo blogs with an “S” title and thought “scripturient” was a great title. She wrote a post about it on her site. She even designed a nice little seal for the top 10 to put on their sites. She actually sent me six from which to choose, and I’ve picked the one, above, I liked best.
So, thanks Rashenbo. Appreciate it. However, I have to state for the record that I didn’t come up with the title, The Scientist did. I don’t know where she found it, but I thought it was an extremely cool word. And now, as in so many other things in our relationship, I prosper from the fruit of her labors.
This experience has me thinking back to my first “blog,” long before that word was even coined. This was the early 90s, and the Web was just starting to really take off. “Personal websites” started springing up; a trend that was greatly accelerated when AOL started providing subscribers with free server space to create their own. I bought a book on HTML, read it, and put up my own page. (Have I already written about this? Oh yeah, I have.)
I don’t remember the hordes of “online diaries” back then that we see now; it seems like most personal site were focused on design, making the Web look cool. Maybe that’s just the sites I was drawn to. Lord knows I wanted to have a really cool-looking site that people would flock to. But that never happened, which may just have everything to do with the fact that I’m not a graphic designer, I’m a writer.
But the other thing I really remember were the awards. Web sites were giving out awards left and right… and there was no “reward” really, all you got was a little graphic icon to paste on your page. And a link, of course. This was the real benefit, driving more people to your site. But these weren’t exactly the Webby Awards. Anyone could start handing out “awards,” and it seemed like everyone did.
There were a lot of “Tricia’s favorite site!” and “Golden Kitten’s Pur-fect Page” and the like. Just someone with a site arbitrarily recognizing other sites. And it seemed like everyone had an “Awards” page full of these poorly-designed icons, linking back to the host page.
Actually, I might have had more than my share. Because I was an absolute slut for this crap. I nominated my own site for every award I could find. Since the vast majority of these sites gave out their awards to anyone who requested them, it wasn’t hard to rack up a fair number. I had my own page of awards, carefully arranged in a nice table. I must have had a dozen or so, each more meaningless than the last. I never won any of the big respected awards of course (and rightly so) but that didn’t prevent me from proudly heralding the fact that my site was a “Silver Sparrow’s Song of the Day” site, or some such shit.
It’s interesting that this award phenomena has largely gone away. I don’t see people displaying pages of awards any more, even though a quick Google search reveals that there’s no shortage of awards out there. However, I have to say that a lot of them (at least on the first few results pages) seem pretty legit. I wish my old site was still up -- it went the way of the Dodo when I finally cancelled my AOL account. I’m sure it would be unintentionally hilarious.
And, just to be clear, I’m not maligning Rashenbo’s “best title” thing… she makes it clear that it’s just her personal picks, not some high-faultin’ award. So that’s cool. And it’s always nice to be picked first in gym class, y’know?
So that’s that.
Goodbye NaBloPoMo. See you next year.