The little clock at the lower right corner of my computer screen says it’s 1am (Pacific Daylight Savings Time). But I find lately that regardless of what the clock says I am living these days in Alan Erratic Time. I’ve always been a night owl. And since getting very caught up in Empire Avenue, my hours are more irregular than ever.
I’ve been very fortunate to stumble into a great small community within EA (#SocialEmpire). Honestly, for me it is a bit reminiscent of my early days on Entrecard, which initially attracted a very bright and engaging group. Once again I am making a bunch of new friends and spending a lot of time online engaged in good discussion with smart people. It’s really one of my favorite things to do, but it is actually fairly rare in my experience. I am also of course recalling how @GrahamLangdon drove Entrecard right over a cliff. The cool kids decamped to CMF Ads– which is great btw, but of course it was never the same. What’s funny is, that even while I am greatly enjoying my participation and am certainly doing all I can to contribute to community creation, a part of me is kind of waiting to see just whom it will turn out to play the Langdon role this time.
The one thing I’ve learned about online communities that I believe is Always true is that the Only constant is Change. They all have an incubation period, hopefully followed by a start-phase, then if successful to be followed by a prime phase, and then eventually a decline and inevitably irrelevance, relegated to the archives at the WayBack Machine. I’ve seen it happen to Compu$erve, and later to AOL, as a customer and employee of the former and as former employee of the latter. Today, look at Yahoo– except for their fairly successful (though not wildly money-making) Flickr site it has clearly seen its day come and go. Which is why I am pretty sure that after some (perhaps great and long) run Twitter, Facebook and even beloved Empire Avenue will fade away as all of the people worth interacting with there now have drifted to other sites and other people. Some friendships and acquaintances will continue on, on other sites. (I still try to keep up with my friends Ron and Bev from way back on Compu$erve in the late 1990′s.) And like a blogger who one day stops updating their site, and you find you don’t have an e-mail for them, and they never post again, and one day a spammer takes over their URL and you wonder whatever happened to a person you had really considered a friend, even though you never met them face to face, that disconnect will one day affect most of the new relationships I am so ardently cultivating today.
Such is life. It is a bit sad, I suppose, but in my experience discovering great new sites and falling into great online communities is something that happens to me over and over again. I was tweeting with some new friends about the nature of the universe about 1am last night. Whether it was physics or philosophy, I am not wise enough to say. But it was fun. I was going to link some of the company names above to the WayBack machine to give everyone a giggle, but it’s down now at the moment. Sorry. To all my new friends, welcome to My world. To all my old friends, thanks for standing by me, after all these years. Hope it’s a happy Wednesday for you.
And a PS to my buddy @scribdiva I’ve been thinking about what you said. I will e-mail you today.