Going on holiday is often as much about getting away from family as from profession. Whether it's the kids, the in-laws, the dogs, your siblings or simply everything, its about escape from social connections as much as from physical ones.
We need to escape from emotional ties, time to gather our thoughts, time to ourselves, time to reflect. A constant pull on the same social threads can lead to them snapping. We need to remove the strain sometimes and allow the fibres to mend.
And that's when the paradox of separation kicks in. What parent can bear to be away from their children for long? What dog lover from her best friend? What sibling from a close family? Social bonds are hard to break. Absense makes the heart grow fonder.
And what has set me off on this philosophical wandering? The realization that my virtual social circle or my personal blogosphere has crossed a threshold whereby the sum of the parts, the aggregate of the streams, all the voices together now add up to embody another entity to which I feel a social attachment.
For the first time during my holiday imposed separation from the internet I actually felt an emtional disconnect. And its an entirely different feeling from that which I have described in previous years. Its not the same as missing the convenience of online news or IM pings or even email. What I missed was being tuned into the thoughts of my trusted circle of bloggers.
You see, that aggregate of voices now amounts to a new personality in my life. Its like a younger teenage brother with relentless energy who can be sometimes annoying but usually entertaining and often inspiring. He's been growing at an alarming rate and he needs a first shave. Sometimes I wish he'd shut up. He's even got a name - PATRIC (Personified Aggregate of my Total RSSified Information Channel). Sorry but I love wacky abbreviations ;-)
The important point is that its not any one blogger or feed but the aggregate of all those streams of consciousness which amounts to something that I can think of as a personality. Social belonging is a drug. Our brains have evolved such that we need it. When we travel we take photos of loved ones with us, we phone home, we text friends so that we can be reassured the connections still exist. There's a sense of longing. For belonging. And for my first I have detected in myself a real sense of emotional attachment to something on the internet.
It was good to get away from my little brother PATRIC for a while but now its good to have him back in my life.
A Blogging for Business event is taking place this coming Thursday in the National Software Centre in Cork.
The event is aimed at educating business people on the potential advantages to them and their business of blogging.
The presentations are as follows:
A wonderful post by Doc Searls disscussing the limitations of IQ scores leads onto a rather profound observation -
Third, the Net, the Web, and the growing portfolio of freely available services that make possible what we're doing here, are flat-out utopian — Not in their aspirations, but in their achievments. Hell, look at Wikipedia. Pretty freaking amazing, if you ask me. Go back fifteen years and imagine the Internet we have today: something nobody owns, everybody can use and anybody can improve. Can you name the big, hierarchical company that made all that happen? Can you name the big, hierarchical companies behind HTML, HTTP, SMTP, POP, BIND, XML, or RSS? How about new ones sprouting like weeds... attention.xml, for example? Some helped, sure. But we live in a world now where a guy like Steve Gillmor — a journalist, fergoshsake — can call for a standard, enlist smart technical help (qualified by their good work, not by IQ scores nobody knows or cares about), and push it out into the marketplace.
This is inspiring stuff for the entrepreneurial spirit. Remember not all entrepreneurial endeavours must have a business model. OpenEir certainly doesn't. So it strikes me that I probably feel similarly to Steve Gillmor, in that we're both pushing ideas out there into areas where we have little technical exerptise. But it doesn't matter because in the idea amplifier of the blogosphere experts can be drawn to an idea like moths to a flame. If the idea has value.
Look at what has happened since Adam Curry pushed out the idea for podcasting less than a year ago. This is a world where journalists and DJs can now throw a spark onto the tinderbox of the blogosphere and be engulfed in flames of fascination within moments.
3:15pm - Just after watching The Big Bite edition covering the Irish blogosphere and I have to congratulate the six panalists who each conveyed articulately what blogging is all about in an Irish context, despite incessantly being cut across by David McWilliams. Well done all.
I wonder, are there any Irish real estate blogs yet? If not, why not? I can't think of a reason why real estate agents aren't using cameraphones to moblog the properties on their list. If I was in the market for a new house I'd love to be able to subscribe to my local agents' RSS feeds.
I was fairly chuffed with myself when my my first payment from Google Adsense arrived recently, but my revenue pales in significance when compared with Chris Pirillo's earnings. From PaidContent.org -
Google's own Adsense has done some good for some people...and this story documents it in some detail. Chris Pirillo, who runs the Lockergnome.com, is clearing about $10K a month in AdSense revenues.Holy schmoley..... $10k per month?!?!
Imagine my amazement when I opened up a letter from Google this morning and found a check for USD$104 for clickthrough on my Google AdSense advertisements (over there in the left-hand column). A miniscule sum by some standards I know but nevertheless a huge thrill to get paid for talking shite..... ;-)