Social media hiatus

Social media hiatus
It is hard. HARD. Have I mentioned it's hard? I've been on hiatus for a couple of weeks now and I'm already cheating, by exploring a new community on Mastodon. I've also been answering far too many questions on Quora and commenting on The Guardian. Anyone would think I need human communication for my sense of wellbeing, or something. 
Well, I do of course. Everyone does. The longer answer as to why I'm on hiatus is officially all the Brexit trauma, Trump news and middle east news, in my face not just daily but hourly, minutely even. I have always been a political animal, and this level of detailed and useful information, from a collection of useful and well informed journalists built up over years meant not only was I in a state of intense engagement at all times, but I, was overwhelmed with the perceived need to read every article: To be again, utterly horrified, for the seventh time today. And to send on said horror to friends because they need to know about this horror! It's important! 
Will the news carry on without me? 
Does my level of stress and anxiety resolve said traumas? 
Does it increase my sense of helplessness to read such news constantly? Plus, an add on bonus: does spending endless hours reading articles about said traumas actively reduce the amount of time I have to do anything, including anything constructive about said traumas. Ahem. 
The short answer is obviously addiction. The false feeling of intimacy inferred by seeing casual statements from people you know and care about but haven't bothered actually catching up with for years is unhealthy. The perception that you should keep chipping in to the pool or your sense of self worth will be battered is unhealthy. The idea that your identity is attached to the outward advertisement of your own ethics is patently ridiculous but the addiction, the constant drag down, the renewal... it creeps up on you in, a news emergency and then it never leaves. I must log on or I won't see what everyone is saying! And that, from someone with a private account who doesn't follow famous people. 
But it is hard, I'm warning you. Do it though. I've already had an actual conversation with an actual friend, a long sms conversation with a friend and exchanged long emails with a third. Meaningful interactions, you see.
Ironically, I should start building up my 'brand profile' soon-ish, as someone not only training to be an Alexander Technique teacher, but someone with a mission to try to explain to nerdy type herberts just how important looking after your physical self is. I have plans, and there are things I must do, such as cultivating a Facebook page, getting my own Alexander website going, etc. I have lots of thoughts daily as to the kind of things I'd like to explain; short animations to explain physical movements... it'll be some work but it will be fun. And for someone battling with the idea of privacy for a multitude of reasons, it will be a challenge.
I was going to say something about the importance of owning your words, on your own blogs and platforms and how we've even forgotten how to do that, in our social media and Medium world. But then, I've written a blog post ain't I, so job done. 

Archive a go-go

My friend Meg is celebrating her ten years of blogging, and it kick started me in to pulling my old "Daily Cait" (defiantly still called) "Web diary" in to this database, simply in order that I don't completely lose the entries in some accident or other.

I started it on May 22nd 1998. So you now have two places you can read that entry: here, in the Moolies archive, or there, in the first hardcoded page of Daily Cait. It is very much a product of its time. We felt very self important in those days. I appeared to have a hell of a lot of readers, purely because there was still not as much actual content on the web as you'd think. What is interesting is the architecture idea of the site, predating 'tags' by some years, instead I used iconised major categories: cats, drinking, eating, music etc, and had to hardcode the bloody thing so every time I wrote an entry, I had to go and find the appropriate page to update that list. I sweated for my 'art'. The piece that I really loved at the time was the 'Asides' list. The idea was to write a 'universal' date-free list of anecdotes and facts which I was then able to link to whenever I needed to. I rather like that idea even now. I'll have to archive those in here by creating an "Asides" category. Perhaps I'll create a fictitious date for all of them, to vaguely maintain some sense of unity.

It also comes from the days before comments, obviously. God the debates when blog CMS's started happening. To Comment, or not to comment? I'll leave comments on the archive to enable anyone to post anything relevant.

I will add new old entries every so often, and will let you know when I do, so you can see what the then 28 year old Cait was doing, back in 1998.

Hey, 12 muscateers-

You know who you are.

Guess what. The average daily view for Moolies is now 15!

Blimey. Who are these other three people? And is it always so constant, such that the same fifteen people doggedly come along every day? Or could it be that for some perverse reason, these inane blatherings seem to have gathered a bunch of Google juice? If the search results that turn up in the stats are to believed, then I could give you a masterclass in how to focus and target your blog posts in order to become a successful, mediocre web presence! Or there again, I could just tell you that apparently, 'lists' get good search results.

Quick! New list posts! Hurry, I have to acquire more PI's for no logical reason other than external validation!

Very interesting infographic - no wait, come back

Here, have a look at this:

 image from

None of this is shocking or extraordinary necessarily. Women communicate verbally a large amount. It's not a big surprise that once the interweb had been dragged far enough from its coder roots, everyday women would find the communication tools extraordinarily useful.

What surprises me a little is the stat for "Digg". It makes me smile wryly because I *never* use Digg. It would never even occur to me to use it, and it's hard to put a finger on exactly why. I've always rationalised it (in as much as I have spent any more than about three minutes in total rationalising the decision "shall I use Digg? No) as being because it's just too er... much. All I want to do is keep bookmarks and share them. I can't be bothered with all this extra faff. People always lump Digg in with Delicious and, as someone with enormous brand loyalty to Delicious (purely through longevity really) I get a bit annoyed when people lump them together. So why is it such a masculine tool? Could it be that the points system angle is not one that appeals to women, who more often would like to positively share information? I'm unwittingly part of a visible demographic trend! How could I be this predictable?

I'd love to talk to the Digg guys and ask them - why is Digg masculine where Delicious is not? I'm not suggesting Delicious is feminine, by the way - there's room for a third way behind the A not A Dichotomy ;). Bebo meanwhile is, I think it would be ok to argue, fairly feminine. It is very cute - cute almost to the point of being Korean.

All very intriguing.

This came via a Read Write Web piece, by the way: "25 Mind blowing Social Media Infographics" which has a bunch of other useful stuff for industry folk to... er bookmark on Delicious for future ref.

Hello viewers

As you can see below, the export went phut after January. This is currently a work in progress. Feel free to peruse previous entries and leave interesting comments, unless you are a practicing moron, who desires to leave posts with inane philosophical themes, which apparently advertise dubious online chemists.

Something else!

Yes, I am capable.

Just getting my head around these CSS after not having used HTML since the dark ages I have done lots of nice things so far (had a session over about an hour or so on Sunday last which achieved the "no horizontal scrolling, no massive ariel everywhere and the calendar / links on the right hand side). This was all achieved care of ripping off Tomski's css and twiddling with it, but I cannot Can Not get my banner text to show as white. I twiddled with the right bit of his, downloaded obviously, then tried with mine and still nada. I don't like my Moolies being black. It looks rather stupid. The banner will change from beign exactly the bloody same as Tom's at some point but right now it'll do. Better than the horizontally scrolling nightmare it was on day 1.

Over the coming months I will obviously twiddle with it more so I can get it looking just - o please - a little less like the regimented thing what it is. But meanwhile, I just be startin' at the beginning, so any help gratefully received.

Life and moderating

I spent the morning volunteer moderating on the open (ie: no registration required) post-moderated forums on F... (cough) where I work. Never have I seem such a parade of miserable racism. If anything, the action being post-moderated allows a forum (albeit hopefully brief) for those whose voices are rarely heard in the media. Reactionary (in the true sense of the word) people whose emotional response to a situation is to find an easy answer - an easy villain. In this case it seems to be all Muslims. Moslems. Towel heads. Pakis. asylum seekers. These are the search words used to try and get these messages off the forum.

Continue reading "Life and moderating" »