And super heroes come to feast; to taste the flesh not yet deceased. And all I know is still the beast is feeding.

I'd like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

{Five points to the first person who says it}

I'd like to take you back to a day, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, when we used to have to walk 13 miles in the snow, uphill, to read someone's blog. When we had to manually add things called "trackbacks" using things called "permalinks" and if we wanted a blogroll, we had to write the html code for one in the sidebar of our blog. After we wrote the html code for a sidebar. A day when you weren't trying to attract readers to your blog, you were trying to explain to your mother what a blog was. A day when you wrote "posts", not "pieces" and you had a "blog", not a "website". A day when the word "widget" didn't exist and the only way to make money off your blog was by sitting on the monitor while you gave blowjobs.

These were the days when people visited each other's blog. These days, you left comments because, you know, you were already there and stuff, yo. These were the days when you formed relationships with the bloggers you read, because you all were this tiny little group of inverted freaks that no one really understood but each other.

Back in those days, you could write a blog for over two years before you ever even heard of Dooce because there weren't communities and blog awards and readers. And then they invented Blogrolling.com. And one day, that started notifying you when someone on your blogroll updated their site, saving you from clicking through every link on your blogroll every day. And then Google came out with The Dreaded Reader, saving you from ever having to click anything. And then some asshole invented Twitter, and Twitter Killed the Weblog Star. And then they invented Tweetdeck, so you never actually had to even follow anyone on Twitter, even though you're following 16,872 people. And now Newsweek Magazine is calling you a GOD.

These days, everyone wants COMMENTS and FOLLOWERS and AWARDS and there are movements created to rally the troups back into submission. These days, there are SPONSORSHIPS and SWAG and ADVERTISING DOLLARS to be had. There is SEO and SEM and there are plugins and platforms and contests and giveaways and everyone wants a piece of it.

I have absolutely no problem with any of this. It's an evolving market, this blogging thing, and there's no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going...yet the rowers keep on rowing.

The thing is, social media has made it easier than ever to be an unsocial recluse. Which is in exact opposition to the point. We don't have to read blogs; hell, we don't even have to write them anymore. Everything that we need to say can be nicely summed up in under 140 characters on Twit-Book. Every correspondence we ever need to have can be had using only a well-placed semi-colon and that weird not-quite-a-hyphen-wiggly~thing. We can completely participate in this community that we desire so much out of without actually participating in it at all.

Social Media is the worst thing to happen to Social Media since Social Media.

We use social media to further the interests of out community, and by using it, we're undermining our community. Which, also, I guess I could be okay with if I had to be (See above; evolution and Willy Wonka) except that one day I woke up and realized that I didn't watch the Daily Show the night before because I'd learned everything I needed to know for the day on Twitter. And when Twitter replaces Jon Stewart as the standard repository of breaking news, something has gone terribly wrong and must be fixed.

Round the world and home again, that's the sailors way.

It's time, for me at least, to turn social media against itself. It's time to take it all back to where it started. It's time to know who my community is again. It's time to take advantage of the tools available that allow us to connect more easily, not less. It's also Delurking Day, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

Delurker Day 2010



This month, I am reinventing my own wheel. I'm changing my outlook on blogging, on my blog, on my role as a blogger and my attitude towards it. There are changes a'coming in my little corner of the internet, starting today. Today, I re-instate the blogroll (that I don't have to code myself anymore, thank you sweet, pink baby Jesus.) You read my blog? You're on the blogroll. Leave your url in the comments and I'll take it from there. (Please be patient) Today, I also start clicking through that blogroll. Fuck the reader, screw Twitter...it's time to visit blogs. It's time to delurk, for good. It's time to help the people who take the time to read this blog earn that extra dollar with their ads. It's time to remind myself why the hell I do this on the internet and not on a cocktail napkin in the first place, which is honestly way more tactile-y satisfying and significantly easier to roll my chewed gum up in.

I've wished this blog dead more times than I can count. It almost died a million times, and I almost let it. This Mr Lady person has almost vanished from the internet because, quiet frankly, Shannon has a hard time keeping up with all. But we're not dead yet. Blogging is not dead yet. This community of bloggers isn't dead yet. I think we should all go for a walk.