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In The Crowd

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I headed over to 111 Minna last night for the EFF Blogger's Rights event. I'd been warned that 111 is populated primarily by the see-and-be seen crowd, by the considerably more low-key House Of Shields crew. This turned out to be pretty true, there was a high ratio of wine & cocktails to beer and clusters of attractively dressed people gossiping about other clusters of attractively dressed people. However, the subject matter did drag out a few conspiracy theorists, privacy obsessives, and other awkward, pale and otherwise endearing geeks. I even I spotted (in the wild!) that rarest of birds, the unix guru. I have a soft spot in my heart for those rotund, shaggy, sock and sandal wearers, dating back to my babysitter who printed out ASCII Snoopys on the UCSB mainframes to entertain me while he did some kind of ARPANET research. But that's enough of that cred-enhancing digression.

There's a good review of the event over at Metroblogging SF, where I've posted a comment. Put briefly, it was a waste of everyone's time. I genuinely believe that EFF is doing valuable work, but the event last night was more of a cheerleading effort for bloggers than a substantive discussion. The only useful information given (for those who didn't already know) was several people commenting on the existence and mission of chillingeffects.org, the clearing house of internet-related ceast and desist letters. Apart from that tidbit, it was just another opportunity for the incestuous knot of higher profile bloggers to talk about themselves and their friends. Which is fine with me if they want to do that on their blogs, but less fine when it takes over a supposedly informational discussion.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Give the people what I want

C'mon, all the cool kids are doing it.


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Crisis or natural evolution?

There's a post today over at Futuretense about thirtysomething women ditching their jobs. My situation was pretty much what she describes except that I was not at all passionate about the theory (and I didn't have a cat). I just decided that marketing was eating my soul and I needed to stop manipulating people for a living.

However, I've also noticed a lot of people checking out of their jobs recently and taking time off or switching to something less lucrative but more rewarding. I'm not convinced this willingness to take a leap into the unknown is specifically age-related. I would not have left my job a few years ago simply because there was such a slim chance of finding something else, and I'm sure that many older corporate drones are just as burned out but not in a position to leave. I'd bet it has more to do with where we are career-wise and in our personal lives than with our actual age. Think about it:

  • You've accomplished enough to be taken seriously and to have developed a set of skills, but not so much that you get to call the shots.
  • You've been doing the same thing for the same people a while, trying to build up those skills and look stable to potential new employers.
  • You finally make enough that leaving your job won't leave you destitute.
  • You're still single and childless and therefore mobile.
  • The economy is strong enough that you have a decent chance of either making it on your own or finding work elsewhere.

Who wouldn't leave? Well, if you have a family or a mortgage you'd be less willing to gamble with your finances. If you're in a higher position and have more control over your own work there's less incentive to leave. But for the rest of us in the classic burn out situation of responsibility-without-power, there is no better time to go.

And yes I'm talking to you, David.


  • At 8:10 AM, Anonymous David said…

    LOL. As I read your post (and I'm sure you know this), I was thinking... hey, that Alicia and I have a lot in common... It's almost as if she's talking to me.

    ha ha ha ha ha. :-)


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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Then again...

It's been nice taking a little break from the blog, I've got a few things I'm working on but it's taking much longer than I'd suspected. I went to a MeFi/Flickr meetup last night and got to hang out with some people whose work I admire, including Matt from MeFi, PVR blog, etc., Judith from 20 Things, Merlin from 5ives and 43 Folders, Heather from Hchamp.com, and a whole bunch of other fun and interesting people. One thing that really struck me was that none of these people are making any serious money. If they're making money at all, it's from their day job and not their cool webthingy (which if they're lucky might pay for itself). As a person busy evaluating what the next step career-wise might be, that's a pretty interesting observation. I'm not looking to get rich, but it's nice being able to pay the rent.


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Friday, July 01, 2005

Change is good

You may have noticed that, as promised, the posts have gotten increasingly sparse here. After four months of living in SF I've gotten over a lot of the gee-whiz factor, I've settled into a routine, and most of what I do is not newsworthy or different from what I've already posted. Plus I think our own lives are inherently less interesting to ourselves than to others, writing about mine has certainly gotten dull, dull, dull.

What I do really like about this blog is that it's gotten me in the habit of writing again, and of structuring my thoughts for general consumption. So I'm making a little change to this thing. It will most likely mean posting even less, but what I do post will be a lot more interesting (at least to me) and idea-driven. There will probably be a few scattered items about what I'm doing, and a few links here and there, but only in the interest of illustrating a point. Or if I feel like it. Whatever.

Now would be a great time for learning about RSS feeds, for those of you not already subscribing to mine. Why waste your time fruitlessly clicking in the hope of an update, when the update can come to YOU?


  • At 5:11 PM, Anonymous on da muthafuckin' flute said…

    But I like fruitless clicking! Especially when I forget to check on you for awhile and then suddenly I have several blogs to read at once.

  • At 10:09 AM, Anonymous s said…

    ...furthermore, I have to come here to use your delicious list. Well, okay, I don't HAVE to, but I do. ;)


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