A mini-essay, while I’m away on holiday in Bath.

This is an extension of something I did for my Opendiary a year or so back. I tend to fail essays, my writing style gets in the way of anything I ever say being taken seriously. This is something I really should work on, attempt to take three steps back from the argument and present it as a flat argument, bereft of life, or whatever it is that appears to make people actually read what I write. And here we reach the point, because a point is needed, and the point is this:

Feedback.

I’m not exactly the world’s most secure person, which is exactly the reason why The Internet is really the wrong medium to be writing to, and Usenet especially, since the groups tend to frown upon “I agree completely with what you said” or “<AOL<” posts, so if people agree with what you say, or how you say it, you get exactly the same reaction as if nobody ever read it in the first place. The most replied to person on AFP is David Chapman, a man infamous throughout the group for posting controversial points of view, followed closely by Graham Deletethis – Which is not his real name, but the name I will forever think of him as because of his Spamtrapped address. They are also the top two posters to the group (Followed by Suzi, then myself), so I’m constantly in a state of wonder as to whether people are actually agreeing with me, or just not bothering. I know people read my posts, it’s just about crept though the last eight years of self-deprecation that there are one or two people out there who are reading what I’m saying. The Audience Is Out There. Listening. Absorbing.

But not reacting.

It’s very much talking to a microphone in a silent, empty room. There may be people out there somewhere. I’m an actor. Probably. I don’t count myself as a Writer, I don’t have a big enough grounding in any one area to count myself as a Real Geek, the one thing I’m prepared to accept I can do is talk to a group of people. And attempt to remain unfazed in the process. (One of my most surreal recent experiences was walking into an AFP meet and having it burst into applause at me. I never found out why. This comes a close second to walking into a Durham General meet where I knew nobody, and having someone randomly get up and say “You’re Aquarion” and hug me. I later discovered he knew me from AFDA, but it was pretty weird at the time). In order to know how I’m doing, I require feedback. Lots and Lots and Lots of feedback. The type of feedback you get from an audience of 500 people reacting to your talking, this is the feedback I’m used to. My writing style is very much like my spoken style, I’m told. Many, many subclauses. This is getting (Getting?!) a bit self-obessionary, so I shall get to the point.

Respond.

That’s the point 🙂

There seems to be this huge culture on the Internet of read, enjoy, and come back tomorrow. The popularity of a site isn’t measured by the people who say how good it is, or what they think, or offer constructive criticism, but by the shear weight of numbers of people who visit it. So if you see something you enjoyed reading, anywhere, Internet, usenet, IRC, Real Life, Anything, reply. We don’t put the “contact me” links on pages just for show, Most content creators crave feedback. We do it mainly for ourselves, but it’s nice to know that the void is listening, and sometimes will even speak back.