As a loyal Dell user, I have a little favor to ask.
For you, it's nothing really. For me--and the thousand or so people who read my weblog every week--it's pretty big. You see, last week I found out that my employment longitude is being quite dramatically altered--as in, instead of having a job, I don't. In some ways, this is good news. I can finally focus on my own consulting business, which already has three clients.
The problem with this change in job longitude is my Latitude. I have to give my Dell Latitude back to my former employer April 1st. It's going away. And, quite honestly, I'm devastated.
She's old in computer lives--I've had her more than two years. But she's mine, and she is inextricably linked to my brain and my eyes and my fingers. This is where I write. This is my axe. And I have to give her back...I'm sure she'll never blog another post, never see a blogger window again unless it's by accident. She won't get emails that set her on fire. She'll be relegated to a cube under florescent lights with wisps of perfume and magnetic word games assaulting her with every keystroke.
When I walk out the door of the firm where I've worked for the last five years, I have to leave behind my Dell. It will be re-circulated to someone else, and I'll be left without a computer to write from. To see for yourself that I can write, check out this weblog, and review some of my accomplishments for major brands like IBM (het-hem), Cingular, Nokia, AMS, and others here. Take a look at what others say about me here.
Now see, you probably think I'm hitting you up for a job, but nothing could be further from the truth!
(Unless, of course, you want to give me one.)
My business challenge, quite simply, is that I can't do what I do without my Dell.
I considered running away with her:
Up into the North Georgia mountains, nothing but green buds unfolding in thick woods, nothing but red clay and open roads, and that smell with the window rolled down just enough, nothing but the ashes flicked out the window of the Escape, our escape, making our escape, drive until night, when the sky unwraps the stars for us and puts on the shock and awe show we deserve. And we'll keep going. Winding our way up into the mountains--can you feel it getting cooler--nice, and you can smell winter taking its leave, leaves dissolve into the ground still, dampened from the cold and rain they continue their journey home.
When we get to the cabin, don't say a word. It's what I've learned. Act like you're supposed to be somewhere, have something, take something, and its yours. Just let me handle it. If anyone asks, it's a weekend vacation, up to enjoy spring in bloom up that trail to the cabins no one bothers with. I'll carry you, you just relax. When we get there, I'll sweep away the dust from the old pine table, give you a nice place to rest for a while before we turn on.
I've been creating on my Dell since before I began blogging. I blogged my first post with her back in 2001. She's online 24/7; she is my brain-station--the place where I think, the place where I invent, where I write, sometimes the only place I've been able to breathe. (It's been a tough year. I'll spare you the gory details.)
I'm not sure how much you know about weblogs and how they're fueling human connections, why they matter, why they should matter to Dell. I'm not sure if you know that weblogging is changing the way businesses--in fact made up of these blogging and blog-reading humans--interact with markets, or how businesses can participate as these micromarkets of shared interests and passions become more and more compelling (and the top-down elevator pitches of big business become less and less tolerable).
That's some of what I was trying to explain in The New York Times article [or pdf here] on Women and Weblogging, which featured me as the founder of the 100-member women's weblog, Blog Sisters. My core ideas didn't quite make it into that article, but the Times' coverage serves as an example of mainstream media trying to figure out how all of this works.
[Be sure to click the article. You see my Dell Latitude?! It's right in the picture. That's me, with my daughter by my side and the kitten over my shoulder.]
I can help you understand more about weblogs; you can help me keep writing.
All I need is a laptop so I can keep thinking and inventing and crafting and connecting here, just like I have been. I'm hoping you have a spare laptop you can send to this loyal Dell user in Atlanta.
I sure would appreciate it. And so would my readers.
Thank you in anticipation,