How do you describe a blog to someone who hasn’t read one? It’s like a diary¹.
Forget all this political mumbo jumbo and the (false) promise of blogs as the new journalism. Blogs are diaries. Some might be political, but many more concentrate on Britney Spears or the emotional traumas associated with high school.
This is my blog. It concentrates on what’s important to me, without the controversial stuff that would prompt my boss to ask me to stop.
Here’s where a blog differs from a diary. Diaries are private or only read by a select few. Blogs, on the other hand, are available to anyone, and once indexed by Google, Yahoo, MSN and the rest, become a contextual part of the Internet.
That indexing is very important. Stupid, insipid things written by me and others… relatively unimportant people, can gain weight when they concern an esoteric subject which isn’t often discussed.
Take Junior High School 218 Queens, aka – Harold G. Campbell Junior High School. On the Internet, I’m considered a source for JHS 218Q. But how many people care, or more importantly search for Campbell Junior High? So it was a surprise to read the email I got this morning
Mount Kisco, NY. I prefer the Powerhouse Gym on
Francis Lewis Blvd. but it is 39 miles away), working
away on the elliptical when I thought, “Why not go to
a search engine and type in Harold G. Campbell JHS?”
So I did (when I got home).
Your name and the Kennedy assassination article
appeared. I started reading it when I was shocked to
see my name. I then read that the day after,
Saturday, we went to a show. I have no recollection
of that but if you say it, then I must have gone.
Here’s that Google link. My website is the second citation.
The shocked man is my former 8th grade teacher, Harold Friend. He was Mr. Friend then, he is Dr. Friend now. The academic elevation doesn’t surprise me. He was very smart.
Dr. Friend was mentioned when I wrote about the Kennedy assassination. It was his classroom I was in when we got the word from Dallas.
How cool to get this email. How strange for him to search the Internet and find someone talking about him. The indexing power of search engines is a luxury of our times that never existed, or was even contemplated, as recently as 15 years ago.
After reading the email, Helaine said Dr. Friend must be old now. If he was 30 in 1963, that would put him in his early 70s now. Of course he could have been 25, or 45. To me, in the early 1960s, he was old. I was a kid. But, being in his 70s now doesn’t seem to make him as old as it once would have.
The fact that his story begins in his gym means, however old he is, he’s really younger.
Once again I have to ask myself, who reads this… and why. I can tell from my logs that most of my traffic isn’t to my home page, but people going to inside pages – archived material I had written about earlier which is pointed at by the search engines. It just boggles my mind that anything I write has any impact on anyone.
I’m just a guy who likes to write. Like all bloggers, all I bring are my own experiences and insights. It can be read, but that doesn’t make it special.
¹ – Be careful on the spelling, because it’s certainly not like a dairy.
Blogger’s addendum – It has been established, in further communication, that he doesn’t remember me.