A perfect sea urchin

The Cyberculture Corner

Welcome to where I air my wrong headed views on cyberculture and the internet. I always have a lot to say and no one tells me to shut up. To return to the regular blog page, just click here.

Dead Easy and Dead to Rights

I got bored Sunday night and opened up a package of coupons from Kroger. I figured all of them would be the classic hype to get me to buy things I didn't need. I hate coupons. I was really bored. Much to my surprize more than three quarters of the coupons were for items I actually bought: garbage bags, Mezetta pickles, flour in five pound bags, Duke's mayonaise. You get the idea.

I was thrilled, and then I felt sick. You can guess the reason if you shop at Kroger. You have a Kroger plus card. Every time I buy something, Kroger knows what I buy and now I'm in their database, in a way that makes my privacy on Facebook look opaque. Somewhere along the line, I innocently decided to share my food buying habits with Kroger. That dididn't influence them when they rearranged the store on North Decatur, but that is another story.

Right now I feel too paranoid to spend any of the coupons. What does the database do if I respond to it. I can only guess. Who else gets my information. I guess I need to do some research.

One of the sections of this blog, QC-L Forever A Second Life, now has an RSS Feed of its very own to which you can subscribe. In an effort to make this blog more public, I asked a friend to blog roll me and even though Iyoba, my Second Life avie, was ripping hair out of her bald head over an unrelated matter, the person whom I begged for a blog roll said I could have a spot on his roll if I had an RSS feed. I said I'd provide one.

I dreaded the prospect. I vaguely remember making an RSS feed some time back and that it was a difficult and picky procedure at best, not quite tedious. That would have been too easy. This time was different.

I went to this web site and though the English is awful, the instructions worked. Voila, one RSS feed. I'm not sure I am going to syndicate this entire blog yet.

There is also the question of comments. I can get a web board and do like Clark Howard. I really don't want to leave my own rented server space, and I have no problem with code. I just tell myself one step at a time.

Eileen H. Kramer -- 8/16/12

You Can Not Argue with Pain or Really Share Nostalgia

This makes an apt title because it finally happened and now it is done. It wasn't much. It didn't feel like much. I'd pretty much given up on actively perusing VENGENCE (sic). I got busy with Second Life. I had dogged Howard Rheingold (founder of Brainstorms) enough. I had run a Play Pretend Brainstorms which I loved and which was lots of fun, but sooner or later it was fiction. MSN Groups which I joined and tried to support, degraded to death. I wonder if any Brainstormers were involved in that. I know it was not personal. They may have just worked for Microsoft and could have cared less about the "middle aged ladies" who made up the groups. They sent them on to Multiply which they also ran. Some people never learn to watch out for their own interest.

LOTH moved to Facebook and is half dead. RAOK moved to Facebook and got clobbered by an interface change. I hate Facebook, but Facebook and social media did more to make web boards (That includes Brainstorms which is a collection of web boards), mailing lists, and other "communities" whose leaders can make life miserable for members who are a bad fit, obsolete. The word for this is Overcome by Events!

This is where the story should have ended. Sometimes the world moves on even if you don't really want to. Second Life was twenty times better than Facebook. I moved on and I kept this blog. I've only been mostly silent this summer because a lot of my life is unbloggable. VENGENCE isn't.

Then it happened! Rheingold resurfaced! Not only did Brainstorms' owner and founder resurface. He did so in a public forum and he was discussing online community. Let's say, he handed me the soapbox, and I graciously accepted. In six paragraphs I told my story.

To their credit, Rheingold and his minions did not call me a liar. The facts are indisputable becasue I stated that they were from my point of view. You can't argue with pain. Also, after my post, the reception Rheingold received developed a few chilly patches. Yes, that felt good, but then again, nostalgia doesn't really sell for those who weren't there. Rheingold's version gold old days belong only to a select few on the west coast, and those behind The Well and Brainstorms walls.

As for me, I had my one chance and took it. Whatever I decide to do with VENGENCE doesn't really matter. I can still persue it in a low key way. I can give it up. I can redouble my efforts, but my chances of getting another up again just aren't there. This one took eight years. Eight years from now we could all be overcome by events.

Ask me how I feel? I feel pretty good. I don't feel as good as I would have felt three years ago, and no, I'm not entirely satsified. I'd like a whole long thrash filled conversation and maybe then I would never be satisfied, but I do feel better than if I had not gotten my chance at all, and certainly glad I did not let it pass me by. I can't really walk away for being in the game too long. I also know that walking away doesn't matter. Getting an opportunity and not forgetting is what did matter. Not forgetting from a loss and a wound like Brainstorms inflicted is pretty much all I'm going to get. And no, I still don't believe in moving on.

Eileen H. Kramer August 7, 2012