beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Sun 8 Jul 12 12:35
andreas, if you are still filming you should come to the east coast! there are Well members scattered all over the country, like my husband and i for one, outside of Philly (we met here on the Well in the 80's). members like me have been meeting others f2f but just not normally at the big bay area events. Dead tours and the like helped... f2f is like a formality in some ways. i've met dozens of Wellfolk over the years and we were like old friends already.
roll in confectioner's sugar (reva) Sun 8 Jul 12 12:36
(Hi again, Andreas. Nice to see you actually ON the WELL, weird circumstances aside.)
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sun 8 Jul 12 17:20
Hmmm...actually I'd like to meet almost everyone face to face; it would be like a homecoming of sorts. Now, with Google+ Hangouts, that's starting to occur, still not in the same physical space tho. I think the asynchronicity of the conversations is what provides the right 'distance'; moreso than the lack of being in the same physical space. Like Andreas says above, it's reinforced by f2f.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 9 Jul 12 13:44
Once I realized that most thrashes that made me uncomfortable were par for the course, I settled in. Although I distinctly remember trying to get people to a concensus, and that failing miserably and with the thrash then turning on ME! MYOB, is not a bad idea, even in open forums. Sometimes it pays to stay out of it. Sometimes it is fun to jump right in. Depends upon e thrash and the players. I've been aware of the bozo filter for most of my time here. I've only used it once or twice. I know I've been bozoed, and I think it's for the best. If what I write bothers someone to the point of bozoing, I'd much prefer they bozo me than mess with me.
a plaid pajama ninja (cynsa) Mon 9 Jul 12 15:46
>it would be great if you could try to >discribe it a little more and maybe your experiences as a musician >performing in front of an audience definitely I initially (and for many years, actually) perceived my online persona as a creation, an ongoing performance art piece. you have to understand how completely brilliant and humorous and a little overwhelming the company was. I treated every word like gold tender of admittance to some exclusive avant garde club of humorists. the algonquins meet the Simpsons or something. g weird for deeper understanding. bring a box of condoms and a spare lemur. then I was granted a hostship and I had to start being a little more accessible. but in between I made real life friends who would finger me (how's that for an intimate unix command) and send me sends and somewhere in there I had my first cybersex online with (xxxxx name elided to protect the departed) who taught me how to type one-handed, and also, I joined the motorcycle conf (g ride) and when my scooter got stolen, flash and vision came over with a copy of the local motorcycle rag and helped me pick out my first motorcycle, and dlee came over with his truck and drove me to Stockton to pick it up. so, I guess what I'm saying is, when my carbs got fouled and I would login and see vision listed I would get this warm, fuzzy feeling knowing help was right here! send vision halp! I keep getting rust in my pilot jet! and sure, he would mock me but he'd also tell me how to patch in a filter. logging in and doing u and seeing who is around to chat with, while meantime going to see what's up around the WELL and around the world...all in one window. they say the book versions are always better than the movies because our imagination does the work. I guess that's why the WELL works for me. I don't really need pictures of people's faces.
Julie Sherman (julieswn) Mon 9 Jul 12 18:26
Andreas, have you explored any other online communitees here or in Germany? If so, how do they compare?
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Mon 9 Jul 12 18:40
Hi Andreas. I loved the Well from the time I signed on in 1990, and never really experienced any flaming that actually bothered me, although my sense of humor and lack of political correctness did set a few sets of teeth on edge. But I found the bozofilter an excellent tool for my purposes. It's not that I didn't want to see what certain other people wrote, but there were people who, how shall I say it, didn't bring out the best in me. So putting them in the filter meant that I had to take an extra step to read them, which was a breathing space that made me much less apt to spend 20 minutes, like Scott, furiously typing ripostes that embarassed me when I read them the next day. I still keep a few people in there for that very purpose.
Susan Sarandon, tractors, etc. (rocket) Tue 10 Jul 12 07:29
The bozofilter is a blood pressure moderator. There are a few people who almost invariably make me smack my head in frustration -- and a few is not too bad out of many hundreds, if you think about it -- so why read them at all?
David Gans (tnf) Tue 10 Jul 12 09:01
I can't tell you how much I love <cynsa>'s post <30>. Writing was a performing art in many WELL venues. The <mind.> conference and <weird.> in particular were amazing venue for wit and play, while in other conferences we would have serious conversations about technology, politics, media, books, movies, etc. I think one of the WELL's greatest attractions is that it is a forum for a great cariety of discussions rather than a specialized or purpose-driven forum. In a given discussion we may have experts from fields that are directly involved with an issue and perspectives from other disciplines, plus input fmor people who are wise and accomplished in other areas. I sometimes describe the WELL as a collective blog: people bring news stories here for everyone to read and comment on, and we all benefit from the wisdom of scholars, professionals, intellectuals, and wiseasses of all stripes.
a plaid pajama ninja (cynsa) Tue 10 Jul 12 18:00
yeah! I think that's why I never used my bozofilter very much: even the worst jackass offender is a little like looking at a trainwreck. you kinda want to see the damage up close. although if there's a particular someone who pushes your buttons and you can't help responding to and you know you'll end up engaging in a fruitless debate, I suppose it's helpful...but I found my experience in the Well trenches (oh God, in Unclear, e.g.) really toughened me up for the greater Internet. I mean after you've dragged axon down into the dirt with your teeth fastened in his jugular and realized, even then, he wasn't going to 'fess up? Engaging in wank with some no-name on a mailing list or a livejournal anonmeme or HuffingtonPost.com is pretty effing pointless.
Gail Williams (gail) Tue 10 Jul 12 20:06
It's not (mostly) the tools, it's the talent. Cynsa, you've certainly got it.
Gail Williams (gail) Tue 10 Jul 12 20:08
Seriously, the success of this place is about the people here, and how expressive, interesting and involved everybody is.
a plaid pajama ninja (cynsa) Tue 10 Jul 12 22:30
Gail! oh, heart and soul of this place. who also happened to rescue me from my precariously high Well bill in my early days by encouraging me to co-found the GenX conference. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford sticking around. Not to mention it was Gail who hired me on at the Well evenually and started me on my career in tech. So much love, babe. The Well quite literally changed my life. For the better, if that wasn't clear. ~
David Gans (tnf) Wed 11 Jul 12 10:04
What did you do before you worked at the WELL, Cynsa?
a plaid pajama ninja (cynsa) Wed 11 Jul 12 17:47
I was teaching math and English for the Princeton Review, but the available classes dried up, so I ended up working as an admin for some insurance company (miserable) while I went back to school for my MA to become a fulltime teacher. but then I got distracted (read: obsessed) by the WELL and someone (I think dgault?) taught me bash scripting, and nharkins (and someone else in systems...can't remember who) taught me perl, and that was pretty much all she wrote. Gail, who else was our sysadmin back then? I don't think it was Pete. I'm really gonna punch myself in the face when you remind me...it wasn't tpesce because I think he came onboard a little later and rescued us when neil left.
Lena M. Diethelm (lendie) Wed 11 Jul 12 18:12
David Gans (tnf) Wed 11 Jul 12 18:30
Wow, I didn't realize your entire career emerged from your weird life here. Everybody wins!
Andreas Schneider (andreasschn) Thu 12 Jul 12 02:18
the idea/concept of "writing as a performing art" seems one way to discribe an relation between an audience and a user. Would be great if there is some thoughts on that and how it evolved over the course of years? And I just imagined that it might even happen, that one doesn´t feel comfortable any longer with the online persona that was created? (... if you consider that an online persona is something created between an audience an individual) And, who/what is involved in creating an/the online persona? I mean in how far is it created by an individual, by the "software defined place" (=surroundings), by it´s audience?
David Gans (tnf) Thu 12 Jul 12 10:58
"Writing as a performing art" had its upside and its downside. In the early days of the <mind.> conference - I'm thinking in particular of a topic called "Laundromania" that I believe was started by <bulbhead> - we were all performing for each other. It was like improv theater - lots of people contributing, building on previous posts. You'd go through the conference, laugh your ass off at what you read, add a post here and there, and then hit "see new" and go through a whole new batch of hilarious posts. There were others who came here with an agenda. The rock dust guy comes to mind. The slution to all the world's problems, exounded on at great length and in many inappropriate forums. We couldn't get the guy to shut up, and the bozo filter had not yet been invented.
With catlike tread (sumac) Thu 12 Jul 12 23:03
I'm still worried about (bathleen).
a plaid pajama ninja (cynsa) Thu 12 Jul 12 23:20
I think for some (I'm thinking in particular of one friend of mine that I sorely miss) his persona became a constraint he couldn't break out of very easily to make real human contact. Almost like breaking character for someone like Stephen Colbert. He was always on stage. heh.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 13 Jul 12 06:17
All interesting. We wear many hats and personas. I'd never thought about how, in a community like this, that might be re-inforcing. Great questions in <43> Andreas. There may be another dynamic at work here as WELL. For those folk who've been here almost since Day One, they have certain established 'online presences' that have been established over the years. But as new folk join and meet them for the first time, there are opportunities to reinvent themselves.
Julie Sherman (julieswn) Fri 13 Jul 12 06:39
I joined the WELL pretty late, in 2004. I had heard about it for years but somehow thought that it was a closed community and that you could not join it in present time. Then Salon had their "try the well for 2 cents for a month" deal and I got excited and joined. And stayed. For me the WELL definitley felt like a party I was joining late. But at the same time I felt very comfortable here. I had been on BBSes in the 90s, so was used to the linear format. I had learned enough from that experience to know to keep quiet for a while and just explore and "listen." I have a lot of regrets for not being here in my wild 30s. I think of all the Grateful Dead concert inside info I missed out on and sigh. The psued thing was really confusing to me in the beginning. <divinea> has a psued that mentioned Santa Cruz, where I was living at the time, and I thought that meant she lived there too. I was so surprised to find out that she actually lived in a different state, entirely.
Gail Williams (gail) Sat 14 Jul 12 18:06
Yeah, the culture of pseuds, which means changing your name field for a post or for all posts, is curious and can be daunting. The username or userID is permanent, but the name field can be adjusted. I assume the original idea was that if you signed up as Dr. Jennifer Smith you might wish to be Dr. Smith in some discussions and Jenny in others, so why not let that part of the tool be configurable by the user. So, there was a time of fanciful nicknames. Some of that still goes on. Then at some point the capture of snippets of conversation from other posters became the thing to do. For example,
being here in my wild 30s (gail) Sat 14 Jul 12 18:11
... in this post, you see I snagged a pseudonym from Julie's post #48 above. I probably won't let it stick for future posts, since that is more confusing here in Inkwell where the Wide Web can read, but I could. My identity and the authorship of the post are still clear, though. It can clearly be confusing, as well as funny or surreal. This is an example of something that arose not from rules, nor from rules encoded intentionally into tools, but more from the human impulse to play with everything. I can make a nickname in this field? What else can I do... The creative adaptation around here is simply incredible.
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