Floating on the Fringes of the Spiral

The World Wide Web is usually visualized like a spider web. I experience it as a whirlpool, an eddy, a vortex that spirals me into it. I ride on the fringes of the spiral, a mere droplet among the rushing currents. But I hold on, managing just enough surface tension to keep connected. But never part of the major flow.

For example, there’s this new “friends network” that one of my blogger friends sent me an invitation to join. Wotthehell. I did. But I was curious to see how he got connected to it and who his other “friends” were. And, as the strands of the spiral wound farther and farther outward, I saw the names of other bloggers I know who are also connected in that strand that must have started somewhere, with someone. The first cause, so to speak. After spiraling out about as far as I could go, I’ve decided it might well have been Joi Ito, whose session I attended at the “free” day of BloggerCon held at Harvard last fall, and who has established himself as a consummate virtual community builder.

I don’t know what I think I’m doing eddying around with techies who are way out of my league. But, again. Wotthehell. I’ve got nothing to lose.

Actually hanging around even on the fringes gives me a certain credibility in this blog world. The other day, at the suggestion of Blog Sister Jeneane, I was interviewed by someone developing an article on women and blogging that she hopes to sell to a magazine. I found myself explaining things to her that I never even realized I knew about how these spiraling connections work; I had just absorbed them from all of the stuff washing around me as I hang on for dear life in this wordy whirlpool.

And in the process, I bump up against cool people, like Adam Lasnik, a techie and a Lindy Hopper. (Ah, if only I were thirty years younger and lived on the West Coast; hey, I’m might be aging, but I’m not dead yet!)