The great blog kablooie
Some time in late June 2012 I accidentally deleted my entire blog - registeredalien.weebly.com - erasing almost 2½-years of writing. Shit happens. For a few weeks I had been working on the site, cleaning things up, reorganizing, and I was intending to expand it, add photographs, etc. It was very tedious work taking up hours and hours of my time as I meticulously went through earlier posts to clean things up.
I thought the online Support link was inadequate because it did not explain the meaning of its terms: what is the difference between a “page” and a “new page”? What is the difference between a “blog” and a “new blog,” a “site” and a “new site”? Isn’t it all the same? Apparently not. I E-mailed the Support people and they replied to my message with only a link to the Support site that I had already read. In other words, they were fairly useless. So I was left where I started, largely on my own to figure out how to augment my blog. In the course of trying to follow the directions I clicked “delete” when the instructions said to do so. The vocabulary of the instructions was confusing to me, and I accidentally deleted my entire blog.
The Weebly company Support service assured me that they could “retrieved and restore”information from an “inactive” page. I assured them that my blog page was not merely mislabeled and misdirected, but completely erased and gone, and so inactive. I only had the one page, so I was not simply failing to locate it. It really was gone.
I immediately began the extremely tedious chore of re-posting my writing. Most of my blog posts are Piper Paper articles, and I happen to have all of my Piper Papers - and much more, besides - saved on a memory stick (an external hard drive) that I carry in my pocket at all times. So by a long, slow process of copying, pasting, and then going through the text line-by-line to make formatting corrections, I quickly replaced what was lost. I replaced it so fast that I soon exceeded the original blog that I lost, thus rendering obsolete the company’s promise that it could retrieve the lost material. I was faster at re-building my blog bigger, better, than they were at answering my Support inquiries. I learned how to post photographs, label pages, created new pages, create double column text and upload pictures with captions all of which are features I can use in the future. Until now my blog has been only page after page of largely uninterrupted text.
I have time for this restoration work because it is the summer time now and have a lot of free time at home available. And because I am quite pleased with my work I have been asking more and more people to have a look at it. To date I still have not figured out how to create a working URL link on my E-mail messages, so people cannot simple click on my link. Instead, you must still “google” some variation of “registered alien:”
But you know, it is utterly fantastic how unable people are to follow instructions. Even native English speakers. They listen to what I say and then proceed to do things the way they are used to doing them. They insist on continuing to try to use the link. Or, they use Yahoo instead of Google. Or, they try to find my blog by using my personal name rather than my user name. Or, they simply spell the words wrong. And more. On and on and on. It’s utterly fantastic!!
Finally, when Japanese do see my blog they gush with exclamations,
“Did you write this?”
I don’t know what they are talking about. Of course I wrote it. It’s my blog. What did they think I meant when I asked, “Do you want to see my blog?” Of course it’s a lot of writing. But what don’t they understand about the words “my” and “blog”? Do they think somebody else wrote it?
After repeated inquiries of “Did you write it?” I end up shouting angrily, “It’s my blog!” What the hell?
Then comes the question, “Why? Why did you write so much?”
“Oh, I don’t know - self expression!!”
Maybe the problem is that blogging is now obsolete. Plus, my blog posts are long - literally an online diary or log. It’s possible that short-and-sweet tweets on Twitter, or short messages on Facebook have replaced blogs altogether and blogging is now a decade behind the times. That’s how fast the technology is driving the popular imagination. A decade is more than a lifetime at the
current pace of innovation. What was famous and popular five years ago is already up for grabs at garage sales. Ten year old things are unimaginable to today’s young adults. I cannot talk to my students about ten year old stuff because they are unaware of it. The blockbuster movie Titanic, for example, is now only the property of adults of a certain age. To remain popular and relevant pop singers and actors have to live on the edge of dawning technology. Yesterday is ancient history. Sure, they were great last week, but what have they done today?
What will be the state of communication in just five years? At my age five years is a little time. I’m still working on lifting myself up to a level of E-communication that was cutting edge ten years ago. I guess that for the rest of my life I will be a decade behind the times - partly because of money and partly because of disposition. I think I’m currently doing quite enough to keep myself in touch: a home phone number; a postal mailing address; two E-mail addresses; a cell phone; and, a blog.