February 22, 2003
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:44 PM
I consider myself some kind of default expert on team blogging. I'm pretty sure that Gonzo Engaged was he first team weblog on Blogger. It's a first I've claimed and no one's disputed. So have at me if you know differently.
The fascinating thing about team blogging is the ebb and flow of voices in concert. The energy within a team blog is dependent upon the spirit and conscious condition of its individual members, and conversation as a whole is incredibly interdependent, much more so than with the in-and-out linkage of solo blogs. More on that, sometime, soon, probably not during Jenna's awake time. More likely in the middle of some future night.
For now, I'm thinking about how we started this conversation on October 7, 2001. In the time since, we've wandered through some brilliant, rediculous, fulfilling, empty, sacred, profane, eloquent and fart-ladden, human exchanges. The blog itself went on a quiet hiatus for some months, the energy leaking out--there must have been a hole in the template, or a hole in our collective heart.
And then, without saying a word, silently and oh-so appropriately, in fitting style, Marek began writing there again, shortly after turning his blog into an anti-spam collection plate. One of us stumbled upon Marek there--a place where he felt no responsibility other than to be real and funny and human and outrageous.
Tom Matrullo, after finding Marek posting away on the old homestead, quietly joined him. Tom didn't tell anyone either. They hung out in this abandonned warehouse of a blog, meeting up to exchange spoofs on Nigerian spam, sheep farming (or something), and get-rich-quick schemes.
It was a while before anyone knew Marek and Tom were over there. All but the occassional "anyone out there?" post had subsided months prior.
Fittingly, Gonzo came alive again kind of by accident.
One day, as I understand it, RageBoy was talking to Marek J. on that other thing that plugs into your wall, and RageBoy said, "Marek--why did you stop blogging, man?" And Marek said, "I never stopped; I've been blogging for months over on Gonzo Engaged," at which point Rageboy called Marek a "Blog Squatter," and laughter and vibing on other profane new blog terms ensued.
So he told me, and I jumped in, and he noticed the activity was picking up and started posting in earnest, and then he showed up, and then she reemerged, and then he asked to join. And now look at us.
Voice. Play. Outrage. Love. RGE 2.0.
The Blogosphere is so amazing.
[blogger's note: if I forgot anyone involved in re-baking Gonzo, please bring your paddle and meet me in the agora. That'd be you, Frank. See you there.]
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:53 PM
Collin Powell recently said that there will be no war if Saddam steps down.
But what could convince Saddam to step down?
We all know that Saddam's a non-democtratically-elected dictatorial madman who bucks UN resolutions without giving them a second thought. He is a war-mongering egomaniac who doesn't give a hoot about the wants and needs of the people in his country. The Iraqi economy is a joke--there are simply haves and have-nots.
Not much to dispute about that. But how to fix it? How to get a man like that to agree to leave the country he thinks he has a legacy to rule?
And then I had an idea.
We too have a non-democratically-elected leader! We have a President who doesn't care what the UN says, a war-mongering egomaniac with a personal vendetta and no real concern for the will of the people who elected him (oh, wait, right, he wasn't elected either!)
Both of these men would rather throw us into World War III than for either one, individually, to admit that there's probably a better way.
My plan is this: What if BOTH men agree to leave the office that neither ligitimately holds? What if we offer that up--our leader will go if yours will.
I think it could work! We could have a global webcast of Saddam and W. and their administrations together at the White House offering their joint resignations. And we could all join in a virtual kumbaya celebrating peace--or at least how we succeeded in avoiding the destruction of the entire human race.
I offer it up--I think it could work. Our imposter for yours. A plan for peace.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:25 AM
Ever feel like you're due for another really big blunder--I mean the really big gaff that comes around, say, once every 7 years?
I can just feel myself preparing for the red-cheeked recognition that I've inserted profanity into a client deliverable completely by accident (I'm so sorry; I meant can't--the u is a typo!" Or forgot about a critical deadline, or sent an email with some seriously private jpeg attached. Any of these are distinct possibilities. In fact, resistence is futile. Something big is going to go down. I'm overdue.
I remember the last biggie--it was in fact 7 years ago, and after proofing and having everyone within 2 feet of me proof the company brochure before sending it off to the printer, the first one I pulled out of the box had a typo in our company name. "Sytems Techniques." None of us had seen it, but I took the mea culpas because the buck stopped with me. It was ultimately my job.
Of course, there have been more. But I hate remembering them. Especially when I know something's coming. I can feel it round the bend. I just hope this one's not ultra-mortifying--or worse.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:27 AM
And I have felt
a presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth . . .
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:23 AM
February 21, 2003
Tom points to this amazing amazing place, which is offered for sale by Sir Stavros' parents.
I am already in love with the place; I am reminded of this.
I have decided the place is perfect for us.
And why couldn't we? Really? Stavros--can you get fast access to the net there?
It looks like maybe 40 bloggers could live there comfortably, what with four cabins and two 20-man bunk houses, plus a main lodge and an owner's house (If I read it correctly). So, $265K divided by 40 is $6,500K and change a piece. Bought and paid for.
Instead of the Biosphere II project, we can create the Blogosphere 2003 and Beyond project.
And our motto, of course, would be:
"We don't need no stinking lid."
"if you change the rules, you can change the world."
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:07 PM
But thank goodness they came through. To keep me going, laughing.
A brilliant parody of Ready.Gov by idelwords -- time to put on the Depends. This line for the now infamous dead fish and bird graphic: "Piles of rotting animals may mask the odor of a chemical attack. Clear your home of dead animals frequently." Finally, some advice I can use. Kieran Healey's parody is funny too.
I love it when bloggers remind me I'm taking life way too seriously.
Someone with bandwidth needs to host these images and let us do that remote linking thang to them, passing on our own essential information as we go. Or something.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:27 PM
been up, slept an hour, wondering how and why I managed not to sleep more last night. Was it Jenna stirring? Or something else? It felt other worldly, actually.
I still haven't read the posts from my early morning meanderings. I don't remember much after the piano post. This ought to be interesting. Off to read now.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:46 AM
I wrote the next many posts in my sleep. forgive errors please. can' wait to see what I said and/or meant. In another couple of hours.
time to go pick out school clothes now.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 6:00 AM
You see, this is where I go in my rest state. I always come back to death and loss because they are comfortable. i am not saying this is unique to me, or special, or that it's a good thing. It's just, that's all I know to do.
That's where I find my warm memories, and although they are jarring, they are the only memories I own.
It's okay. we did the best we could. It's okay. Better days ahead.
I feel like time's running out.
Does anyone else feel that time is completely out of synch and the cadence is off by three beats and time ignores us as if we were chasing it down because it owed us something.
does it owe us anything?
putting my head down.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:57 AM
slap slpat tattered jeans hiding unseen from the scene
that delivers the green
the cat in my flat has a big stinking bat
to crash, crush, rush
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:53 AM
there is no sense to make
where love meets death.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:51 AM
My eyes are closed again.
I should be blogging from bed, you know, with my sidekick, but there are too many words waiting to come out. Too many words for the sidekick. These are laptop words, not sidekick, not tonight.
I'm thinking of the little girl who had the organ transplant two weeks ago, and something went terribly wrong, and she got organs that were type A blood; she was type O. Her body began rejecting the organs immediately and she has been critically ill since. I guess yesterday they found an appropriate donor heart and lung, and last I knew, last night, I'd link but my eyes are closed, she was having her second transplant--this time with the right organs.
I think how human the surgeon sounded in all I read. How he took full responsibility for not having a fail-proof pricess in place to proect against getting organs of the wrong blood type. He said that he was devastated. He didn't try to cover up, and neither did Duke--I think it was Duke. The were so human in the face of the very acceptable rage of the girls family.
It's a situation I've thought about a lot this last day--what I would do, how I would feel if that were my daughter, and such a grave mistake were made. Who would I want to kill--what would I do--would I be able to focus on step two (getting her back on track with the right organs) or be so consumed with anger that I would lose myself to that anger.
And I just don't know.
Kids aren't supposed to get that sick. How frail are we. We are so frail and so human.
My grandfather was killed as a result of a hospital mix up. Three weeks after my father died. He was in for what was a pretty routine treatment--he had bronchitis or pnemonia or some sugh thing, but he was scheduled to go home the next day--or maybe the day after. I saw him. I was in Illinois then, where my grandparents (mother's side) lived, apparently sent out of the disaray of my dad's funeral and burial to my grandparents. And with my grandpa in the hospital, well, I was already uneasy.
So when a nurse came in and administered medicine to my grandfather and failed to note it on his chart, and when the doctor came in and administered what was to be an overdose of that medicine, he went into cardiac arrest and died before they could get my grandmother out of his room. Gone in an instant.
That wasn't supposed to happen either.
And yet we are human. And it does. Damnit.
The difference is, in my grandfather's case, the hospital and the doctor knew they could appease my grandmother--It'll be best Polly if you just forget about this trauma and get on with your life--your daughter needs you--your grandchildren need you--there's nothing we can do to bring Frank back.
And that doctor retired, and he moved to Florida, and I think if I could find him I just might. I just might.
Because I'm human too.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:49 AM
Okay they're closed. My eyes I mean. I love writing with my eyes closed. The first time George saw me do it he got scared. You can type like that? I said, yep. And carry on a separate conversation.
It's relaxing to write with your eyes closed. At some point your fingers take over from your mind, and you're just along for the ride.
I've been seeing a lot of windows in my sleep these days, small panes of glass divided into little squares.
I don't know what that means.
The day I learned my dad died, me at six, I asked if I could go out to play, but I couldn't, my mom said, because we were in mourning. But having been removed from the dying process--yes I knew he was sick, but was never told how sick--having to rely only on my instinct to tell me just how sick he was, I learned at an early age that your instinct can fail you. It's hard to trust your instinct when your earliest memories are those of a big surprise that probably shouldn't have been a surprise at all.
Would it surprise you if I told you my eyes are still closed?
So, in removing me from the dying process, I really wasn't prepared to mourn. And then in a sense, the house full of dread leading up to my dad's death--I could feel that too...
My mother gave me a wonderful gift once. I was about 22 when I expressed to her how unsettled I felt about having never said goodbye to my father, how if I had known--if they had told me--I would have told him I loved him before I ran off to catch the school bus that day. And then, at six, maybe I wouldn't have. You know? Maybe it would have been a matter of course in my mind, having known no other course.
As I was feeling tragically guilty for not having known my father was as sick as he was--that somehow if I had known I would have behaved differently, my mother told me this: You were the only one who didn't look at him with eyes that knew he was sick. You were the only one he could be himself with. You were joy to him, you brought joy to him at a time when no one else could because you were a sweet, innocent, loving child.
I think that made me feel better.
For a while it did.
Eyes closed--opening to pos now.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:31 AM
I love that space, when I le down, relax, know that I could find sleep if I want to. I'm there now. The last couple of posts have taken that nervous energy from me. Where does it go? Maybe it's yours now. Maybe it starts swirling around the blogosphere.
Sleep writing is the most amazing thing. Sleep writing is me here, as I am right now, with my eyes closed. My fingers know where to go. I don't have to be awake to type really--just semi-conscious. It's a dream state, where, if I were to stop talking about the "state" and start talking about what I feel and see there, might get interesting...
shall we see? why not...
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:20 AM
I blog from my couch. I guess if you saw the picture in the NY Times article, you've guessed that. I write on a laptop in what has to be the most unhealthy position for a spine you can imagine. I am the anti-ergomatic. I never had a choice really. Four years of simultaneous child rearing and working from home puts you in some precarious positions. A deadline is a deadline, and so, you work around the the general household insanity until one day you surrender to it, sit down on the couch, and say, Okay, I'll work from here.
Across from the couch is our piano. It was my father's piano--he bought it when i was three I think. An Ivers & Ponds baby grand. And while you may think, hey, nice that you have a baby grand, anyone who has had the responsibility of a piano for more than 20 years as I have can tell you--it's like owning a baby elephant that sings. I don't play--I goof around on it. George, of course, gets much use on it as he sometimes writes on the piano.
But the thing about pianos is moving them.
It's no small task, a huge expense, something you have to plan in advance for, and something you have to design one entire room of your house around.
I have moved this piano no fewer than 9 times since it officially became mine at age 18. There was the apartment it barely fit in. There wasn my English teacher who gave it a foster home for a year because no moving company would take it up the winding stairway framed with stained-glass windows. There was the house where it had a living room all to itself. And many more journeys.
When I think about moving, I think about the piano. And when I think about the piano, I think I'll never move again.
And yet, because it is something that touched my father's hands, because I have tapes of him pulling chords and notes so beautiful from it, I can never let it go. I can get back to that place in an instant, me on the piano stool him kneeling beside me, me stretching my legs down trying to reach the pedals, and finally being able to.
There is something about instruments, especially those made of wood. I have seen and held many, played a few (badly), and I know when an instrument is special. I have felt the presence of pre-played notes, that tingle that lets you know a piece of someone who touched it has been absorbed in the wood. If you listen very closely, you can almost hear the echos reverberating from 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. It is a primal and joyous thing.
I'm tired, it's 5:13, and sleep won't come, my eye keeps driftin gover to the baby grand.
And I swear I can hear something.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:18 AM
I marvel at the words my daughter creates--expanding her vocabulary every second of every day, and I'm sure in her dreams she learns new words.
But sometimes she utters words that aren't and I wish I could turn them into words that existed.
Zabreer is one of those. A zabreer is what mommy's wear under their blouses. A zabreer is something she can't quite fathom the use for.
"Mommy, I can't wear that undershirt with the straps--everyone will think I have a zabreer on!"
I don't correct her. Those are her words and they mean so much to me that there are several I won't correct. Maybe she'll pay the price later, when she utters it in gym class, or maybe I'll tell her before then. But for now zabreer is just fine.
And so is elligator, which, if you're wondering, is what carries you from one floor to the next.
Smile. It's 4:56.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 5:00 AM
I don't know why I've been up all night--there's no good reason for it. I'm wiped out from being sick, from Jenna being sick, I'm steroid and antibiotic infested, and maybe feeling better - maybe getting a second wind with no where to put it but here. So here. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeshhhhhhh. For all of you who need it, that was my second wind, just for you.
I'm going to post myself into morning, post into a new day either to hope I find the sense of things there, or if not, numb myself with tiredness so that it doesn't matter.
I came here a year and a half ago because there was no reason not to. And that's why I'm here, hoping around between allied and stir and gonzo engaged, with a read through blog sisters too. What have I done? I've somehow unfolded worlds here, me and my teamblog obsession. Worlds of voices weaving in and out from one another, sometimes colliding, sometimes we make music, sometime only dissonance.
I don't know. Nothing makes sens at 4:51 in the morning when you saw day at 7 a.m. the day before.
7 to 7
lucky sevens maybe.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 4:56 AM
Shelley has some interesting thoughts today about the good, bad, and ugly of writing professionally. In typical blogerrific synchronicity, I'd been sitting here thinking similar thoughts--differently--when I came upon Shelley's thoughts.
Here's the thing.
Like Shelley, I've been writing professionally for a long time. Some days it seems really long. Really really long. I've been on the corporate side, I've been on the agency side, and I've done things for and by me-myself-and-I.
But unlike Shelley who has quite a list of credits to her name, I have earned my living--a good living--as other people's voices. Snatched up early by smart CEOs who recognized my ability to get inside their heads and say what they would like to say how it should be said, I became the perfect ghost writer. When you perfect this kind of business writing, it is more science than art. Mostly, you're a sponge.
During the tech boom, I had the opportunity to be inside some giant brilliant amazing galactical heads, to speak with and for these people through my writing. What I absorbed from them--from everyone I've worked with--goes right into the old file drawer in my mind. In essence, I get their smarts; they get my voice. We both get paid. Fair trade.
When I was in my twenties and thirties, though, my husband used to ask, "Doesn't it bother you that so much of what you write has other people's names on it? I mean, it's yours. Why isn't your name on it? You just wrote this 200-page book, and you let them put their names on it." And I would answer, quite truthfully, that no, it wouldn't be PR if my name were on it. And it didn't bother me at all. They got my anonymity; I got a good paycheck.
Interestingly, with blogging something has changed for me.
During my part-time day, I write in my paid-for voice, and then, like Clark Kent, I sneak into a phone booth and slip out of my silly work clothes into my super blogger crime fighter outfit -- it's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's me.
Lately I've been feeling a little bit ghostly about my ghost writing. Part of it is, having gotten used to the ownership of my own voice in blogging, it's getting harder to put aside my "jeneane" voice and do the daytime switcheroo with the person I'm writing for.
Fascinating. A little unnerving too.
The other part of my shakey-ground feeling is that I've never had the person whose voice I've channeled go away. Bare with me. This one's tough for me. And I'm writing to try to figure out why.
A few weeks ago I found out that my boss has decided to explore some new career opportunities--i.e., he's leaving. And, he's leaving me. I've only recently recongized that this is a pretty big thing for me, a pretty big thing for a writer who's been writing closely with and for someone for nearly six years.
Surely, I've parted ways with other boss/clients, right? Well, yes. That's true. And that's why I've been knocking my hand against my head trying to figure out why this feels so different. Why I feel abandoned.
I think I've got it: In every other job, I've done the departing. Three times by choice, once not. Nonetheless, they stayed and I went.
Sounds weird doesn't it?
Oddly, this way, I feel vulnerable and left without anyplace to put my voice, and I get teary eyed thinking, he's going. He's really going.
We writers who write for other people, the connection we develop with those people from climbing around inside their heads--absorbing their thoughts, learning their cadence, understanding their triggers, what matters to them, what doesn't, why, how their phrasing works, their inflections, how they think when they're tired, how they sound when they're jazzed, how to be them without being them--that's a hard bond to break.
In my case--I don't know how it works for everyone--I really have to like the people I'm writing for. There are degrees, sure. You can write for a corporation (read: client) and write professionally with flair and passion because you know that voice--you have it down pat. You've won awards for it. It's not too difficult once you've done it for a couple of decades.
But writing for someone -- really connecting with that person, locking eyes with them and grabbing at their synapses with yours until you achieve nothing short of a mind-meld -- that's really special. It bonds you in a very unusual way. Words unspoken, for some minutes or hours, you share a brain.
And so my boss--a friend and colleague I respect deeply, and with whom I've achieved this kind of voice/mind connection--is moving on.
And I feel like a voice without a mouth.
Wandering. Alone. Quiet. Ghostly.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 12:52 AM
February 20, 2003
Guessing there's a little house cleaning going on over at bloogle. Someone keeps packing my posts in a box and then taking them out again. Every time I turn around, they're gone. Then they're back. They're all sticky with duct tape--maybe those guys know something we don't.
That's okay. I'm cool. I'm cool. growing pains... yah. that's all.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:00 PM
Dave on the Google Pyra deal here. He makes one of the points I was trying to make in a much more eloquent and concise way:
"In other ways, the Blogger-Google deal may signal a change possibly as deep as the personal computer revolution, where huge glass palaces controlled by technologists were routed around, by software and hardware that did the same thing, for a fraction of the cost."
And that's saying something.
Meanwhile, Stir grows.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 7:00 PM
If ever there were a fitting domain name, this is it. Ready.gov is the homeland security site that tells us all how to pretend that we won't die if a nuclear bomb or some other means of chemical or biological warfare arrives at our doorstep. Dig the images. Wait, first grab your air-sick bag.
To me, in this instance, "Ready" means more than just "be prepared."
To me it's saying, ready or not, here we come. Which is, of course, what it's meant to evoke. To lull us into acceptance. We'll just wait right here while you decide when to start the party, Mr. President. Have my duct tape. I guess that means I'm "Ready" for you to go ahead and start World War III. Okay. Ready. Ready.gov. Everybody Ready? Not prepared mind you. But READY? Ready to roll? Didn't Todd Beamer say something like that before taking on the terrorists? He was a hero, right? I wanna be a hero too, so I'm ready. Yeper.
You ready.gov, Gary? You ready.gov, Farrago? Hey, Marek, you ready.gov? Shelley, are you ready.gov?
Checkout the tagline: "Don't be afraid, be ready." This is polished propoganda that makes me feel afraid, not ready. And yet, wait for the praise to come rolling out, for big media to pick up all the tactics and tidbits and tips and report them as is from the site, as if they were gospel, filling their three-minute slot and directing you to ready.gov for more information.
For Ready.gov's information, I'm not ready for this. Yes, I bought duct tape and felt like an idiot when I came home and looked at my house. I can't even clean the sliding glass doors. What on earth will I do with duct tape? I guess that's why my little visit to Ready.gov made me feel less ready, less willing, and less able than ever.
We've got to hurry before it's too late. Don't ask me what, where, when, or how--pick your things to hurry toward and hurry. They're ready.
"P.S., for our Spanish-speaking friends, you're shit out of luck."
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:16 AM
February 19, 2003
while I was wandering through the voting booths, look where MOC sees bloggers + Google News adding meaning
Michael O'Connor Clarke has it here--and Tom has it over here, via an email exchange, good blogging, and some conversations earlier today.
By the way Tom mentions stir in his posts from today too. He says some nice things about me and puts my portrait in the post below... but seriously, Tom is in this with me. Stir isn't mine. It's Tom's and yours and everyone's. Let's make of it what we will. It's starting with Mr. Matrullo and I. And I'm saying it here, for the record, that I owe Tom a pint of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Me Up ice cream for saying, "Okay, let's do it." Actually, everyone with a comment box owes him a ton of thanks, because now we can release our enthusiasm where it makes more sense instead of romping through comments far and wide spreading good cheer and dreams for the future.
That's so annoying.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:56 PM
Wasn't that a nice interlude? Pizza and kids and the giant rat? Ah yes. It's all good.
I don't have much left to explain over here--I'll do more so on stir. But I want to make a couple points.
1) I am not saying that as a single event, Google buying Pyra will change the world. If you've been reading me and my thoughts about what we're doing here--let's drop the blogging word because, like I say, once Dave sells, if he does, and whatever happens to MT--stay as is or some other plan--and with all the me-too blogging apps coming along, even on AOL I hear, the blogging "thing" will become less the point than what we're all doing here-------and, on what we're doing here and what you know about me, you should know one thing: I believe the most important characteristic of publishing to the net via weblogs is fluidity. fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity fluidity. Okay, more on that on stir soon.
So, the event/moment/deal/sale/acquisition/laptop-pop-open-holy-shit-from-doc moment is just that--a moment: a glorious wonderful well-deserved amazingly-timed, perfect moment that I celebrated and will be proud to have been witness to all the days of my life. (you think I'm kidding, don't you--but I'm not.)
But it's about how we make ourselves responsible for where we go from here. Movement. Fluidity. Forward. Leap post leap post leap post. AND It's about what this single event will spur to unfold. I see 96.5 percent good for all the reasons I've already laid out. And that has me excited. Really excited. I see the future so clearly--or what it will be if it continues to unfold in the way it has the last 72 hours--and there isn't a single reason I see why it shouldn't.
My frustration with the nay-sayers is that by poo-pooing the elevation of our voices (and that's what this is) you are, in my mind, an accomplice to the status quo with which you take such issue. That's what I'm having a hard time with. By not letting your brilliance run through this new door, it seems as if you're shutting that door.
With ya'll or without, I'm going through the door.
2) We just arrived. If things unfold the way I think and hope, it's our best chance to take away the option for corporations to ignore us. You remember corporations, right? The ones who are laying off your friends? Giving you suck-ass customer service? Yes, them. And, the power structures above corporations are not that far behind in having to accept that we have arrived. I imagine if I lived in Florida, and I imagine if I had been blogging on some google-on-steroids-enabled-blogging-platform, mobile even, during the last presidential election. I imagine the voices and the m-blogging pictures and from the polls, inside the voting booths, the ballots real time out there for all to see while things were going on AND as a record afterward. Look--this is just one example that popped to my mind this very second. I can't help that my mind is exploding with possibilities. It has been since before I wrote the thing about how we all have to move REALLY fast now--before this deal even went down. I feel something is breaking free. Not just this. Things are starting to move, but things need US to keep moving. Okay, so step back. Imagine the polling-place-hanging-chad example above, but two years beyond that. How much less fucking with us do you think there will be? THERE WILL BE LESS FUCKING WITH US HUMANS, I'M TELLING YOU.
3) What we can accomplish/learn/grow from/face/dance to/love with/recover via the order of magnitude of global voices linked, as I imagine, is staggering to me. I posted over on stir about how I was driving Jenna to school today and, because of my exploding mind now high on the possibilities of bloogle, I thought I'd like to take some classes to learn other languages. Now how am I going to fit that into my life? You know? And which language do I start with? Me, Ms. three years of Latin in Catholic school.
The point is, I want access to the Jeneane's that live over there and there and there. I want to hear them, feel them, know them. And then I thought, well, there's Google's existing translation tool. It's not great, but it's helped me read about three dozen things that I wouldn't have otherwise understood since I've been blogging. So, why couldn't google really rev that up, add more languages, put it on the google bar or in blogger so that I can click and read and share and talk globally with language no longer a barrier. Our language is common. Our world shrinks into neighborhoods.
I said I wasn't going to go on and on here. To Shelley, I'm sorry I said you are wrong instead of "I think" you are wrong. To anyone who can see what I'm seeing, I'll see you here and there (and everywhere).
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:00 PM
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:25 PM
eventually, we put up or shut up, and if we don't shut up, we start a blog.
more later--motherly duty calls. look at it this way, or I do. Stir is a place for agitation you can live with, is the opposite of spin--at stir, maybe we mix it up, see what happens, what floats from the bottom to the top. I want to learn, if nothing else, to develop a place to aggregate the blogworld's hopes and wants and ideas for the google/blogger-to-be. Dreams, wish lists, hopes, how we see the future, what we fear--in essence: this is your world, this is your world on weblogs. The only difference is, I woulda swapped the images around. ;-)
more to come...
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:32 PM
Shelley didn't like my war metaphor. She said she tunes out when she hears me talking about what we're doing here having the power to change the world, to stop wars. Respectfully, she's wrong.
It's not about blogging per-se (the word will be so mainstream as to not even be used in the near future if Google does good). It's about, and this sounds trite thanks to Cluetrain-come-before-us, conversation.
Don't tune out yet...
It's about who is heard (now) and who isn't (now). It's about what are now bottom-rung ideas and dreams, plans and movements, art and science, poetry and music, flip-flopping to the top. It is about ending the spin of Bush and Blair and companies that trickle down from them. It's about voice and choice.
It is precisely about war and peace and global understanding and shrinking the world down to neighborhoods.
I didn't choose the war metaphor to be cute. Let me explain more, just a little more tonight. I'm gonna borrow from the comment I left at Shelley's place, as I think jenna's strep throat is taking hold in me and I feel like shit.
Still, I have this current running through me about the potential of voice-given-wings through the Google/Pyra deal. I have that energy. I'm not NOT going to talk about it.
When we got here, I thought we could change the world. That's why I came. Not for technology or writing or to meet new and interesting people. I came to blogging because I had read a book called Gonzo Marketing, and I wrote as I read it realtime, and I believed the promise of Gonzo and it's predesessor. And I still believe it just as much.
I believe that conversation can stop war.
There, I said it.
And I believe that what we do here is have conversations.
We also create. Creation, the opposite of destruction and ruin. Get my drift?
I believe that flipping the current power and spin structure can happen. And I think the Google/Pyra deal is the closest thing I've seen to enabling it to be so.
Unlike Shelley, I think this is precisely the step needed to stop war. This war? I don't know. Depends on how fast/how deep things happen. Google, get busy. But it actually, mostly, depends on us.
What if one day soon it's not about Bush and Blair and they-who-come after.... what if it's not their view of the world, controlled and told to us by Ari/CNN/ABC/NBC/BBC/NYT/WSJ/LMNOP?
I'm not saying the pyra/google thing is a sliver bullet that will cure the cancers of the world.
But to me, it is the biggest advancement toward global understanding, and yes, potentially peace Shelley, to have taken place in my recent memory. As powerful as the peace marches. Do I really think this? Do I put so much credence in a guy flipping open his laptop at Live from the Blogosphere, and Doc uttering the yikes heard round the world: "Holy shit!"
Yes, I do.
Voice to Voice, things CAN change. What if we can do more than marching. What if it's me and you and gary and golby and tom and farrago and MOC and everyone we know and don't know yet (too tired to add links tonight..)--AND--what if our voice is at least half as loud half as often as the bush/blair spin machine and media puppets?
You don't think that you and us and them talking and linking and listening have magnitudes of power, and have momentum to power change? If not, why are we here? Or maybe it's just me.
Shelley, what better plan is there? What advancement has the potential to bring voice = humanity up a notch or two or ten to where people are hearing each other? Where big media sits down and we stand up?
You better believe I chose the war metaphor for a reason. For the precise reason that winning in the Google battle means we have at least a chance of winning at peace.
sleep on it. dream on it. I will be.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 12:14 AM
February 18, 2003
It may surprise you to learn that I’m pro-war. It comes down to what I see as a greater good that can come from destabilizing the current power structure, ultimately turning more control over to the repressed and abused at the expense of the leaders who have been doing the repressing and abusing for decades.
Okay, in a word, it comes down to freedom.
Is freedom worth fighting for? You bet it is.
That some may not live to see the end realized—many will die before this is over, unable to relish in the benefits of our noble effort—that is a fact of life and death and the fight to be free.
As I look around at the human toll, human beings ravished by the current state of affairs, I see the obvious: to do nothing ensures that more people--some our loved ones, some strangers--are sacrificed to an inhumane regime, that more families are ravaged, that more death and destruction occur.
To fight at least gives them, gives us all, a chance.
The way to win this war is not to drop 800 bombs in 48 hours—what is the benefit of that? Certainly it’s easier to control something by completely disabling it, but there is such a word as “overkill” and if 800 bombs in 48 hours isn’t over-killing, then I don’t know what is.
No, this war will be won through stealth means. Although individual battles—all part of a strategic campaign—will likely be spectacular, bursts of color and light awakening the dark night skies, the real progress will be nearly invisible, so inherent to the overall mission as to be almost indiscernible from one moment to the next.
And one day, not too far off, we’ll look back and realize we’ve won. And what a feeling there! What elation!
What humanity: the day that millions of moments come together in a single, quiet second that makes complete sense of everything that made no sense prior. That’s how we’ll know we’ve won.
It may also surprise you to learn that I’m not talking about Iraq.
I’m talking about this.
It’s that big.
"If you change the rules, you can change the world."
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:50 AM
You tell me there's an angel in your tree
Did he say he'd come to call on me
For things are getting desperate in our home
Living in the parish of the restless folks I know
Everybody now bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It's time we put the flame torch to their keep
Burn down the mission
If we're gonna stay alive
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
See the red flame light the sky
Burn down the mission
Burn it down to stay alive
It's our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside
Deep in the woods the squirrels are out today
My wife cried when they came to take me away
But what more could I do just to keep her warm
Than burn burn burn burn down the mission walls
Music by Elton John / Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 2:04 AM
February 17, 2003
jenna has strep throat. I'm sick too. And still I'm running--if only in my mind--charged by yesterday's news of Google and Pyra. I hope you can all understand. I have to go get my baby to sleep now, but if you haven't taken out your copies of Gonzo Marketing, please do... Google's Gone Gonzo.
"Mass media works top-down. Like Aztec temples, they concentrate power and ownership atop steep pyramids based on command and control, using broadcast as a form of human sacrifice. To the teeming millions massing from the bottom up on the net today, this is not just an overburdened metaphor. Having been treated their entire lives only as eyeballs, as fodder for this impersonal, inhuman media mill, they have no allegience to the gods of broadcast and their unholy rituals of content licensing and windfall profit. If you change the rules, you can change the world. And the only real question becomes: Why not?"
-From Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices, Christopher Locke
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:15 PM
February 16, 2003
I don't post six posts in a row and not hear a single peep. Not even on a Sunday.
Something is up. Something's wrong. I can smell it. Where is everyone?
Did Google suddenly lay off a slew of bloggers with the Pyra acquisition?
Hmmm. Still have a connection... publishing button is working... I didn't get a pink slip.
Does that mean I'm the last one here?
I hate it when I have to carry my own boxes to the car.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:01 PM
George went off to D.C. last week when terrorism and missle shooters were the big news. That news has been supplanted by other emergencies. I know they went to a gig last night--but haven't heard if they made it back. Hopefully they already picked up those extra cords and DAT tape.... George was wondering what to call the sessions before he left. May I suggest the whiteout sessions?
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 7:52 PM
I'm pretty sure that the guys at Google read my post yesterday on creative chaos and that's what sealed the Google/Pyra deal.
Shhhhh. I'm sure they don't want anyone to know they got the whole idea from me.
Glad I could help though.
NOW is everyone ready to start working like mad and screwing all existing processes?
Bang--and they're off!
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 2:12 PM
Slashdot is all a flutter with the Google Buying Pyra news, as it should be.
So far, this reply by neotrex is my favorite:
Internet connection ......... $30.00
Getting a blog .............. $10.00
Highest Google rating ....... $250.00
The whole word seeing my daily rants about how my life sucks and how the world is out to get me ...................... Priceless.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:57 PM
If you haven't heard already, you will.
Dan Gillmor reports that Google is buying Pyra, aka Blogger and Blogspot. There are already differeing opinions on what the news means, and what it will mean to blogging. Shelley says she's glad she's an MT user--if I understand her right, Shelley sees the development as, maybe, a move by Google to centralize data, or maybe she means voice? She writes: "Seems to me that Google is centralizing the data in addition to centralizing the data search." I don't think so.
A one-stop-shop for voice? Maybe. Weighing search results in favor of the common-voice news and opinion and entertainment offered by us bloggers (as opposed to big media)? I hope so! Google already does this--they've been doing it for at least a year. God bless them.
Anil Dash speaks for me in what he writes: "Congrats to Ev and the gang for pulling it off, and for broadening Google's vision. It'll be interesting to note what effect it has on Blogger's reliability and scalability."
Personally, I am thrilled for Ev and team who, in blogger, created for me the most important killer app of my lifetime. I'm thrilled for me, because it won't be long before I don't have to launch into an impossible-to-do-justice-to conversation and a "here's what I mean by 'blogging'" email, everytime a colleage asks me what's the big deal about blogging. Google just made us all 20 times more legit. Finally, we may all be able to stop talking so much about blogging and really focus on voice and content.
Ev, in case you read this post, this is the spot where I give you a very genuine and personal thank you. Blogger has changed the way I live, think, breathe; it's changed every part of my world as my husband and daughter have come online with me. It's changed my world as blogging friends have become realworld friends. Like Google, Blogger has been an incredible conduit for expanding my universe, for igniting my brain cells after a long spell of dormancy.
And that Ev made it available for free, to anyone within reach of a browser, puts him on par with Thomas Edison in my book. Congratulations to all involved--I can't wait to see what happens next.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:52 AM