by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/07 17:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/10/07/5349626.aspx
Shortly after I sent the acknowledgments for Internationalization with Visual Basic to the publisher, I got a piece of email from Sharon Cox, my acquisitions editor.
I had included her on the mail sending it in because I had specifically referenced a conversation or two that we had and I wanted her to know that I thought the book was ready to go.
In retrospect a few problems creeped up later like the way fonts were handled in the final production of Chapter 3, but I didn't know about that at at the time and had anyone noticed I'm sure it would have been fixed anyway!
Anyway, the mail she sent me was simple and to the point. She pointed out that after she had read the text, after all this time she really didn't know me nearly as well as she thought she did.
And this is true in a much wider sense than just her.
You see, there used to be just one category of people I knew -- people who I would slowly tell my stories to over the course of months or years. They were not the sort to really gossip much amongst themselves so they really had only one source of information. Me.
This issue was intensified by the fact that I had moved several times and thus was kind of a mystery to start with anyway....
We'll call them Category A.
The blog of course did change this -- I am still the only source of information, but now I put it in this entirely different medium. So even though I still slowly dole out my stories, people can just read before they even me or maybe shortly thereafter, and get all of the interesting details that could have taken them years. Not because I am secretive, mind you -- but because it is not a class or a lecture so stuff just comes up when it is topical.
This led to a new category (we'll call them Category B) -- the people who read the blog and thus who I would start to tell them some story or occurrence and they would recognize it as a blog post they had read.
Certainly changes the landscape a bit in conversations!
Now over time I decided I enjoyed posting to the blog (you may recall reading that at one point I was not sure whether I liked it or not), and I have posted a lot. Like way more than most people who are (a) sane, (b) have lives, or (c) all of the above would ever have time to read. This led to the third category of friend (we'll call them Category C) -- the people who read the blog on a semi-regular basis but they may not have read all of it and rather than tackling thousands of existing posts they have some regular subset they frequent.
Suddenly we are back where we were with the mystery (even in the old days there were times I would tell someone a story that I had told before without realizing it; how different is that in a practical sense from telling a story that they may have read in a blog post but I figured they hadn't?).
Of course all three categories are bad for me, at times:
Category A (the "what's a blog?" crowd) can feel that particular knowledge constitutes lies of omission based on hearing some story that they feel was important to mention sooner.
Category B (the "I love your blog! crowd) can be annoyed at the rerun factor where I would have been clever had they not already read the very same thing, written two years prior.
Category C (the "I like your blog, but I also have a life." crowd) get a little bit of each of those problems, with the added annoyance of when I subconsciously assume they knew about something because I have written about it and they feel like I am implying people should study before they hang out with me.
But mostly it has been really good and I don't want the list of things above to imply that I look at it as a glass-half-full situation. My cup runneth over here.
In essence, what the blog has changed in this space is that I have no idea how much people know about me, whereas I used to have a pretty good idea. :-)
This has been a wonderful growing experience, in any case.
It is like I have managed by accident to inject into my life a sense of mystery that I had previously (subconsciously) kept from ever happening. I embrace it since they never really were secrets; they were just things I had not gotten around to talking about just yet....
This post brought to you by ᥅ (U+1945, a.k.a. LIMBU QUESTION MARK)
2007/10/18 Better than a single serving friend!
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