Hello world, from Barbados…coincidentally, also in the world

Posted on 31/03/2011


Barbados, my second home. However, #1 for inspiration. Self-explanatory?

Here I am.  A blog virgin (blirgin?).  A very surprised blirgin.  If you’d asked me yesterday if I had a blog, or had even considered having a blog, right up until about 11:59pm I would’ve said “no”.  That’s what I would’ve said.  What I would’ve thought would’ve been a whole other matter.  I’m a little too old to legitimately claim having “grown up” with the internet, but I’m way beyond average computer literate and happily embrace most things tech.  But a blog?

Yesterday at 11:59pm I thought what I’d always thought about blogs and the bodies and brains behind them:  that they were the stuff of self-important, self-obsessed, narcissistic blabber-mouths.  Maniacal social misfits begging to be heard.  Because what they had to say was so important that keeping it to themselves, or between themselves and a journal or a lucky email recipient, simply would not do it justice.

I also wondered how – or why – bloggers found the time to compose an entire half page the conclusion of which hinged on the grand event of a cookie being dunked in a mug of hot tea /the falling of a pedestrian autumn leaf from an otherwise nondescript tree / the discovery that one’s roots need redoing whilst looking in the mirror…whilst brushing one’s teeth.  I wasn’t just a non-blogger; I was a fundamentally opposed, matter of principle, I have much better things to do with my real life friends in my real life life (sic), no way not ever, non-blogger.

And then the clock struck midnight.  No run of the mill pumpkin for me though – Cinders was shortchanged far beyond the loss of a golden carriage and dodgy-at-best bridesmaid lookalike dress.  Had Cinders – like me – been magically bestowed with blogging fever when the big hand struck twelve, I’d risk guessing that Prince Charming might not have gotten much of a look-in.  What, with Cinders now preferring to blab to the world how truly, truly ugly “inside and out” her two sisters were; how much she truly, truly “hate(s) scrubbing floors and shifting coal”; and “ooh, before I sign off, I’d welcome all feedback on how you know if he’s the one – cos what if I go to a another ball next week and meet another charming prince…I mean, how do you know?”.

…Oh, Cinders, what to do, what to do?  Luckily, for little girls (and boys?) the world over, Cinders trudged off to await her prince minus one shoe, one carriage, and blissfully blog-ignorant.

However, not so for me.  At midnight last night, two things happened in my living room.  One, I inexplicably developed a little talked about condition, ‘blog envy’; and two, my dog passed wind.  We’ll focus on event #1.

Lucky last Christmas morning - not looking at her pressie; not passing gas...I hope.

A little background to the thrilling acquisition of  my need to blog is that precisely five days prior I contracted what I now recognise as a sneaky precursor  to blog envy: twitter envy.  Having signed up for tweetland a good 3 or 4 years ago, my account lay somewhere on the spectrum between dormant and dead and if I say I had 10 followers I’d probably be inadvertently grossly exaggerating.  And then, on that otherwise quite ordinary Thursday it hit me:  I’m no longer just a psychologist, just a mom, just a friend, just a anything.  Au contraire, I’m now fully responsible for the fully expected success of my fully exciting soon-to-be-launched website.  And full responsibility means responsibility online as well as off. Naturally – it just took me a while….

From the time my mini-epiphany hit me, Twitter was (naturally, as such is life..) everywhere.  Some will believe this, most might not, but regardless, this is true true true:  that afternoon I settled down to catch my weekly dose of Bloomberg‘s Game Changers – this week featuring those three boys Biz, Evan, and what’s his name, without whom Twitter would be known to all as something that birds do…and obviously, not very much else.  And the day continued just like that with Twitter here, there, and absolutely everywhere, the dastardly culmination of which was my nightly helping of Piers Tonight, where all of a sudden there it was for a whole 60 minutes, bottom left of my screen: “Twitter – @pierstonight”….

And so it was that I accepted that divine intervention (or a pretty terrific  impostor) had led me back to Twitter. Without the energy to question the universe (or the knowledge to know where to begin – for example, with whom would one book such a meeting?) I grudgingly embraced my fate and for the sake of my fledgling company, signed up all anew – except this time in the name of the company (Guango) and my website-to-be (Gleeg).  Find me, follow me, retweet me (@guangogleeg)…help the universe make it worth my while.  I digress….

Now we all know the very essence of Twitter is it’s micro-blogging concept.  140 characters – max.  Easy, thought I; inherently impossible for 140 characters to take over my time.  I know, poor idiot newbie – I’m sure somewhere deep inside I’m blushing in embarrassment, although of course, quite hard to tell.  On the first day, I added some “follows” and acquired a few of my own.  I didn’t tweet, but read through news updates, some tech info, thought of more people to follow, clicked them all into my growing tweetfolio, and ended day one with a fitting tribute to my undiagnosed OCD by swotting up on everything Twitter (Google, you make the world a much less threatening place and we love you for it…marry me??).

Days two, three, four, and five went even better.  I tweeted, retweeted, received replies, and gave ‘advice’.  And in between tweeting, retweeting, receiving replies, and advice-giving, I listened hopefully (obsessively) for my blackberry to twitter (the twitter app really does make that sound – so fun!) and when it did, oh the joy, the whole world and their every very very important, super-relevant, can’t-live-without-it thought right there on my little 3 inch screen!

In between the excitement (I could barely stand it:)), I begrudgingly cooked dinner, mumbled the odd word in my teenager’s direction (“hold on a sec”, “really?  oh cool”, “good for you”), and walked the dog…well, that last one doesn’t count…walked dog with right hand while studiously managing tweetfolio with left (and I’m right-handed…it’s that bad). And now I so totally – TOTALLY! – get it.

Twitter’s for gossip – if you want gossip.  Twitter’s for catching up with friends – if you want that.  Twitter’s for networking…  Twitter’s for keeping up with world events…  Twitter is exactly what you want it to be…nothing more (you choose your follows, so blame yourself if there’s a problem), and most certainly nothing less.  Twitter is pure genius…thanks Biz and Evan and (hold on)…Jack! (see, why wouldn’t I want to marry Google?).

So that’s the brief history to my blogging slippery slope.  Almost.  What happened to me on Twitter – besides the obvious networking exposure and update overload – was that it suddenly seemed that everyone in the world and his dog, cat, hamster, and canary had a blog link thrown in for good measure.  Everyone.  Except me.  Which wouldn’t really do since “I am fully responsible for the fully expected success of my fully exciting soon-to-be-launched website”…remember.

And so was my thought process at midnight roughly 27 and a half hours ago.  And now here I am; did it all by myself; fairy godmothers need not apply.  I am a blogger and you heard it here first.

Happy tweeting!  (more to come soon).