THANKS TO madtante for inspiring this post!
Being a “Baby Boomer”, of course I didn’t grow up using computers. Shewt, when I was in school, overhead projectors were new technology. Libraries were the only way to get any information, and people 30 miles away were truly a long distance away! Computers were something you only saw on Star Trek.
When “home computers” came around (anybody remember the Commodore?), I had absolutely no interest in anything computer. Computers would do nothing for me except cut in on my valuable drinking time. One friend bought a computer, thinking he would be a genius. Of course we soon found a game or two for the damn thing, and turned computer gaming into an all night drinking competition.
So….what changed? First, they started bringing computers into the workplace. I was in manufacturing, and ended up doing some X-Y-Z, three axis machine programming. The first computer I ran at work was a Radio Shack TRS-80.
I think everybody that ran one called it The Trash 80. It had truly “floppy” disks, and you had to use a bunch of them, as they only held small amounts of data. The data I generated went onto paper tapes with holes punched into it, and then read by the machine. This crap took FOREVER. When I got my first PC at work, I was amazed, ah tells yah, uh-mazed! The damn thing would run at 66 megz….WOW! AND…we could hook an RS232 cable right to the machine, no more paper tapes, whoopee! I still had to learn and use DOS, but it was SOOO MUCH FASTER.
Anyway, I ramble. Back to blogs. I think it was 2004 when I went to work at a D.O.D. contractor who makes bombs. By this time I had bought into computers as really useful tools. You see, I had been doing drafting with a pencil before. What a hassle. Pencils did not have an “Undo button”, you had to actually erase the stuff and start again. So, I really kept up with AutoCad, and got this job as a sinecure (their title was Junior Engineer). When I hired on I was excited, thinking I was going to be somebody. Little did I know that most D.O.D. work was one huge scam, and the project I was put on was just there to soak up some of the excessive defense spending that Americans seem to insist on. So, after I raced through the “busy work” that they gave me, and they couldn’t find anything of real value for me to do, I resorted to surfing the net. THAT’S WHERE I FOUND THESE THINGS CALLED BLOGS.
Blogs were so cool. I could comment and actually get feedback from others all over the world! There were still not many around, and people still called them “Message Boards”, but it was interactive entertainment. The DOD contractor was still pretending they were doing things, so they would even let me work overtime surfing the net. I finally landed on a political blog ran by the Wichita Eagle, where I commented prolifically. Little did I know, but I was actually getting a “following”! Hell, even the editors and cartoonist would occasionally email me with an “atta-boy” and encourage me. I know why. I was controversial, outspoken, and didn’t take crap from anyone. That’s where I really cut my teeth in the blog world. I learned about Trolls, conservative ill-tempered creatures. Some of them even used multiple personalities online.
It was all great fun, but after awhile it got boring too. Feeding the Trolls only has entertainment value for a short time. The few people on that blog (WE Blog) who had good sense were growing tired of the trolling and the hate speech there. So, now having a following, I took matters into my own hands, emailed the few commentators I had addys for, and started my own boycott. IT WORKED! I mean, the word spread, everybody started emailing me, and the very next day, the blog was empty of everybody except trolls and conservatives dimwits with ill-tempers and nobody to rant against. That’s when I started KANSAS MEDIOCRITY. It was not on wordpress, and was not as easy to use, but I did learn. All the liberals, progressives and populists were like, overnight, making me their very own Olbermann type character.
After doing the 1st K.M. blog for awhile I was lured away to write for another blog, based out of Wichita. It went great for awhile, until I started posting stuff that wasn’t political, and I got admonished by the admitted control freak that had invited me in the first place. (He was one of my fans/followers at the Eagle’s blog). That guy has since passed away, and the blog he started has disintegrated into a daily chit-chat between a handful of people. They don’t even respond when I go there. (sigh)….
In conclusion, man can I ramble, THAT’s how I got here. After I quit the DOD contractor and did engineering elsewhere, I decided that wordpress was for me. At first, I followed my old strategy of political controversy. After picking up a few trolls, getting tired of their hate speech and “flaming” other commentators, I changed my entire style. Now you get the MEDIOCRITY that some folks actually read. YES, I still do a political post or two, especially if it’s about local city or county politics. I did decide that any national political issues will now be posted about from a “populist” point of view. When it’s the little guy versus “The System”, you never get trolls. Nobody from Wall Street, Rupert Murdoch or the Koch Brothers bothers me here.
Thanks for reading. Hope you all keep blogging. Keep it weird, keep it real, just keep it coming. I no longer drink/party, so this is my social life. These posts put a link on Facebook, but no, I don’t socialize there. THANK YOU for reading commenting, and tolerating me when I show up to comment on your own blogs!
In this section I will share a few of my views on blog commenting.
The piece below is one of the very earliest from this blog.
My hope is that people will add their thoughts on commenting and help grow this list!
You never know who is reading- Not that I’m grandiose enough to believe that the Obama staff is taking cues from me, but It’s obvious to those who keep track of ‘hits’ that many people are visiting and never comment. (as of this posting, I’ve had 50,000 views and 900 comments)
Make friends and contacts- I’ve made friends by commenting that I certainly would have never met otherwise. Also, blogging is networking activity, if you want it to be. Some people who blog about business have used links to ‘sell’ themselves. When you comment on other’s blogs, and they get to know you, people will click your link to see what you post.
Hone your skills- I’m not a writer, obviously. So commenting and getting feedback is essential to my improving whatever skills I do have. If I find myself lacking ideas for new posts, I’ll visit another blog and comment. Many times my comment(s) will inspire a post. If the place I commented inspired me to be there and comment, it’s good for me to see what they do.
I find the other commentators that I like usually keep it short, concise and to the point. If you are really into writing books, I’ll look for your stuff at the library.
Get a fresh perspective- If I always read, post and comment at the same place, with the same people all the time, I eventually start to write just like the others there. If I only echo those around me, I’ve unconsciously became scroll-over material! Being unpredictable, without being shocking or offensive, is a great way to be remembered and make an impact.
It‘s the right thing to do- When I attempted my first blog, I found myself disappointed at the lack of participation. Why? I centered my thoughts around my blog, and my blog only. I never took the time to go and comment on other’s sites. Give yourself away, if you do, you’ll get more back! But…remember what you give will come back to you. Treat others as you wish to be treated. If you do these things, I strongly believe you will get more comments yourself!