The Fading Man…

 I have a little tale to tell. It is a true story. One that has actually occurred. I am forced into telling it because of when this post goes up, with its many words. Some fool will come along and like the post, without reading a single word. I am forced into telling this tale, because it is the only way I can be certain that those who actually do read, will get what I am really saying. I do not want the fools to know what is really going on, they do not deserve to know. I must make certain that the jest is on them, and not me, any longer. So this post will be a very long post. Any tale worth telling, should take a little time to tell, if one is to tell it properly.

 In my early days of internet exploration, I surfed the net looking for all the wonders to be found. The pics, the animations, the creativity…were abound. Even though AOL tried its best to limit my experience, I found ways around its constrictions, and explored. I was not seeking anything in particular, at least not that my conscious mind, would tell me. I was merely looking to see all that could be seen. A whole new world was open unto me, and I did not waver, in exploring all it had to offer. There was freedom in it, that I had not felt in years. Unfortunately, that same freedom, no longer exists upon the internet. But we shall go more into that mired road a little later.

While exploring I did manage to make a  large number of friends via the AOL IM, and it was fun to have them tag along and share with them, things I had found. The extra interaction was great but as with all things, eventually the time to move on from it. This came in the shape of an OS failing and having to reinstall, thus losing my connection with them. Soon after switching internet providers over this issue, I came across an entire community of message boards, known simply as MSN communities. The intriguing part of it, for me, was that each community(message board group)was made up of people who ALL shared the same interests. Thus, those who wrote music could find a group of musicians to discuss or even collaborate with, in regards to their current and future projects. Those who wrote could find others to critique their works, get new ideas from, and share experience with. Those who drew pictures or painted, could find others who would give opinions or suggest ideas or techniques, that might help them improve. By now, you should get the idea of what I am saying. You had groups of people helping each other. No one was ever alone, left to fend for themselves and try to figure out, if what they had created was crap, or brilliant.

 After being a member of several different groups, and finding myself ejected for one stupid rule violation or another, I decided to create my own group. Without fear, I dove in head first, into website design and creation. Hey, there were even groups that discussed ideas and gave tips, on building and designing MSN communities. I joined a quite a few of them and learned as much as I could, all the while stealing former friends away from groups, that had kicked me out. It was an easy thing to do. I have always been a strong, creative, and dynamic person, and people readily accepted my invite, to the new group I was creating. They knew if I was involved, it was going to be a good experience. As my skills grew in graphics and design, so did the group and I always kept coming up with new, exciting games and such, to keep people coming back for more. Eventually with time, my group became the number 1 most active group in our category, and held that position for well over a year.

 Again, as with all things, people begin to move on, yet we still managed to remain on top. But with those people moving on, I started venturing out more, and came across a game I really liked and began to play, for a while. I left my Asst. manager in charge of the group, while I was away playing, only to discover when I came back, that the group had nearly died. This was when I truly discovered just how important I was, to the group, to its members. Until that point, I knew I was a master smartass and extremely creative, in inventing new and different games to play. I did not, however, have any idea how much of a focal point I was for the group. Within a couple of months of returning to the group, I was not only able to completely revive it but I was able to return it to the number 1 position, in our category.

 I am not stating any of this to brag or show off. I am merely trying to point out, that when the freedom is there to speak to others, then I most certainly do excel. This knowledge becomes all the more important as the tale proceeds. I just wanted to point out that my purpose was not to be egotistical but to give you, the reader, the knowledge to fully understand my insights as the tale progresses.

 After learning how much my being there meant to the group, I began, over time, to feel tied to it. Trapped by own personality, you could say. The time required to keep the group on top began to take a toll, and that combined with my own feelings of being trapped, I left once again. This time though, I left knowing that I might return, to find a dead group. However, the group I felt at that point, was simply demanding too much of one person. That if the group to deserved to live, it should do so, on its own two feet and not mine. When I returned it was indeed dead once again. In fact, it was so far gone that despite the efforts of me and several others, we were unable to revive it or bring it back to its former glory. People had just moved on. When I finally realized after several months of trying that it was gone, I posted a gravestone to the community(group) welcoming page, and moved on also.

 It should be noted, that during the early days of the group, I created a personal website also and the group was, in an off-hand way, a platform for driving traffic to that site. I did not do it intentionally, it just sort of worked out that way. Mainly because certain file types were not allowed in groups while a personal website could host many file types. Thus, when members wanted to learn more about me, I directed them there. I mention this only to show, that I was not just limited to knowing how to construct a website at MSN.

 Around the time, of the death of the group, blogging was just beginning to become a thing. I built my very first blog at what is now the Google owned Blogger.com. I found the ability to customize the blog there, very confusing and unintuitive at the time. Thus I kept searching, for a better place to build one, and finally found a place called Modblog. This blog host had nice templates and an easy to use method, of modifying your blog to look how you desired. It allowed me to show off my graphics creation skills, which in turn gave me many immediate compliments and followers of my blog. Once again, I had found a medium I could flourish in, and my list of followers grew daily. Not just because of the immediate visual impact of my blog but also because I communicated with every person who left a comment. Unfortunately, this blog hosting service went under and I was forced to once more, to seek out a new place to call home on the internet.

 After that blog service failing, and the loss of all the posts I had created, I looked into a website hosting service that implemented an easy to use blogging platform. That was when I discovered the WordPress platform. I found it was easy to set up a decent blog and still had plenty of depth to customise everything. The only problem I had with that self-hosted blog, was the amount of traffic I received. Although, the few people who came by, did compliment and subscribe, there was just not enough people finding the site. I began to realize what the problem was. There was simply no community to connect with. If you are poor(as I have always been) you need a means of getting people to your site, without paying for ads. Besides, why would anyone fork out money to drive traffic to a site that was not selling anything?

 So my search began once more. It should be noted, that one of the things I had always searched for in any site that I constructed, was a lack of forced ads. I felt and always have, that ads are tacky and take away from the beauty we are trying to create. So this time, I was not just looking for a blog host, but one without ads and a community to interact with.

 That is when I found this place that you now are at. I was one of the first 500k to make this a home for my blog. Within a couple of months of being here, I made friends, had many comments on my posts, and was generally happy with the direction things were going. Over the course, of the last 7 yrs. I have added more content, than I can even begin to remember. But things began to change here, and across the internet, for that matter. Social websites became the newest craze, and the people, they did flock. So, in some idiotic way the developers here felt the need to place ads onto our blogs,(which they clearly stated they would never do) and created a like button, I am guessing in an attempt to be more like Facebook.

 After doing a little research, I discovered it was around the time the like button was added, that comments on my blog began to cease. Exactly, the same thing that happened to Facebook, was now happening on my blog. Only WordPress gave people even more incentive to use the like button, by creating a link to that person’s Gravatar, which lists every website they own. Now they not only won’t read your posts, they will also immediately like it, in hopes of getting people to visit their blog.  Furthermore, they added a reader here, at WordPress, so that readers never even have to visit your blog…ever! So everyone, who bought a custom template upgrade, got screwed because your readers will probably never see it.

 When I signed onto WordPress, just like Facebook, it was not get a bunch of likes and no interaction. It was not have people never have to visit my page. It was not to waste years creating stuff nobody ever bothers to see. But when this post is posted, that is exactly what I will get. Within seconds of making this 2200+ word post, I will receive likes and few followers, who will never visit my blog or read my posts. People who will never comment and are only hoping to gain more follows or likes to their posts. That is why beginning next year, I will be forced into making some changes. I discussed many of those changes in my Farewell Facebook post.

 Now I will give out exact details, knowing those who did not actually read the posts will be left in the dark, where they belong.

 I will be moving this blog, in fact, all of my blogs to another website. I will unfollow everyone, on every site, I have an account. I will be removing everyone from my contacts list, who has not sent me an email, within the last couple of years. At this point, I feel the time has come to move on and completely cut ties with everyone, whom I never interact with. There is simply no room in my life, to be wasting time on people who would not waste a moment, replying to an email or to comment. I am guessing that since they are so lazy and stupid, they will not even notice. Besides, most sites won’t tell you who just unfollowed you, and email never tells anyone they have been removed, from someone’s contact list. I waited until the very end to say this, knowing that those who I unfollow or remove from my contacts, will be none the wiser and the person who laughs last in this case, will be me. For me, everyday that things continue as they are, I fade a little more. Soon, I will become invisible, and nobody wants to be invisible. At least not permanently.

Now that I have made my intentions perfectly clear. I can write in peace, knowing that I have given everyone who cares to know, a heads up of what comes next year. Have a great holiday season everyone!

Axe

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