Friday, January 16, 2009

Enjoyed the semi-silence?

Late Wednesday night, after a post and a stumble), I decided to take a 36-hour vow of semi-silence, which would end Friday at noon when my weekly "Empoprise-NTN High Noon" appeared. (In truth, it only lasted 33 hours; see below.) No posts, stumbles, tweets, shares, or scrobbles that would show up on my ontarioemperor or empoprises FriendFeed pages. However, I was going to make two important exceptions.

  • I reserved the right to continue to converse about the Eddie Murphy song "My God is Color Blind." And I certainly did.

  • I reserved the right to use FriendFeed's "like" facility. If you want to see all 13,000+ items that I've liked, check my "Likes" page.
But those were the only two exceptions. For example, while I'd like stuff, I wouldn't comment on it.

In essence, I'd be listening to the Murphy song (since I wouldn't be scrobbling), I'd be listening to what other people say (and liking it, literally), and (with the exceptions above) I wouldn't be creating any online output.

What I envisioned would happen was that
  • I'd learn a lot of stuff from what I was reading.

  • Anyone visiting my FriendFeed page would be treated to the amazing wonder that is the song from Eddie Murphy's first serious music album, since those were/would be the last things that I posted to FriendFeed.

  • I would be missed terribly, and Steve Jobs would even issue a press release, asking, "Hey, where did Ontario Emperor go?"
OK, I didn't really envision the third thing would happen, but I didn't realize that I'd have so much trouble with the second. I figured that, since anything that I entered since Wednesday night would have to do with Eddie Murphy's song, the Murphy material would always be at the top of my feed. I even planned it so that if (as) I wrote additional Murphy material, I'd also bump up the older stuff I wrote.

But I forgot that other people can like and comment on my stuff.

Specifically, on Wednesday afternoon I shared something via Google Reader on how Facebook shut down Burger King's Facebook promotion. If you didn't hear about it, Burger King designed an app that would reward you if you de-friended people on Facebook. As part of its operations, the app would notify the de-friended people, thus helping to propagate the app. Facebook didn't like that, but a few of my FriendFeed readers "liked" it in FriendFeed. And people commented, also:

you had me at "blows a whopper" - Lindsey in Love

that's what she said - RAPatton

So a sublime moment was ruined. I mean, here's the young Eddie Murphy, vaulted to higher levels of success than I will ever achieve, taking the opportunity to express himself in a new way, and taking the opportunity to offer some serious thoughts on racism. But before you can hear Murphy's soft, pleading voice, you have Lindsey laughing at the phrase "blows a whopper." Oh well, 99% of the people who have heard the song think that the Whopper is better than Murphy's voice, so I really can't complain.

And the liking continued, when Seltoon liked my share of a Ray Parker Jr. vs. Nine Inch Nails mashup. Well, it got bumped to the top, and you can't change that.

Meanwhile, I was liking stuff. Here's just a few of the things that I liked, even though I didn't comment upon them.
And, needless to say, there were many more.

And for once, I didn't blog about them, or add commentary to them. I just liked them.

In fact, because of that there are certain FriendFeed entries that I just plain passed up because they DEMANDED comment:
Oh well, now that the experiment is obviously over (if you're reading this post, the experiment is by definition completed), I can follow up now. But I have to tell you - it was almost literally painful to stop myself from commenting on things. If FriendFeed were to remove the comment facility, I'd definitely miss it. Or I'd blog more, just to get my comments in.

But back to the experiment. As I was finishing up lunch on Thursday afternoon, things got really interesting.

You'll recall that Wednesday was the day that Steve Jobs announced his leave of absence; I ended up blogging about it. So Wednesday was a pretty busy news day, especially since I was following stories about layoffs (and other things) at Google, Motorola, and Oracle. I knew that Jobs wasn't going to take another leave of absence on Thursday...but then as I was finishing lunch, a plane crashed in the Hudson River.

And I had taken my vow of semi-silence.

But this was probably a good thing, since everyone and their grandmother were opining about the Hudson plane crash. The world had no pressing need to hear what I thought about it. Although maybe now that my vow of semi-silence is done, I might say a couple of things.

But then things fell apart on Friday morning. I had literally listened to Eddie Murphy all day on Thursday, and by Friday even I was tired of it. Then I began to wonder - is ComaR's "Mr. Jones in a Forest" downloadable? It turns out that it was, so I downloaded it and played it - then realized that the software was on and had scrobbled it, which sent it to the lastfmfeeds room in FriendFeed. So much for the 36 hour semi-silence.

But back to this "the world had no pressing need to hear what I thought" thingie that I cited earlier. As I've previously noted, I primarily blog for myself. (No, I know of no demographic segment that wants to see THREE posts about Eddie Murphy's "My God is Color Blind.") So, if I blog for myself, then are there times that I shouldn't blog...again for myself?

Something to mull over.

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