I feel like an explorer these days, but instead of an explorer that comes from the big civilized world, I'm one that has come from the small still undiscovered country, a little island say, that has set out upon the high seas of the internet to discover the huge vast charted oceans and continents without the chart everyone else has so readily to hand.
My small island is, of course, Pan Historia. It is a land small but full of rich history and brilliant antecedents with a culture uniquely its own. I have spent so long governing this tiny island country in a distant corner of the internet that its quaint culture, unique history, and wondrous ideals are all that I knew of the world - until I boldly decided to stray on its behalf and become an ambassador to the world at large.
My first landfalls outside of my little world (which did include, always, email, ebay.com, amazon.com, and news channels) were Facebook and MySpace. I cannot really talk to the culture I found at Facebook. It was so alien to me in its constraints on my ability to interact in ways that I was familiar with (personalization, seeking out new friends) that I quickly abandoned my hut there. MySpace, born after Pan Historian (which is at least eight years old), was more familiar territory, more allowing of personal freedom and expression. I spent many hours with hammer and nails building up my little domicile and making lots of new and strange friends with the natives. I believe I even was able to get a few of them to make their first trips to my strange little island home. But ultimately MySpace is a frustrating experience for me - I hate it when I have to head over there and listen to the gears inside my tower start to grind as approximately 5 million useless applications start to kick into life. I can't even imagine how many diseases I pick up each time either. Please don't get me wrong - it's not the people, I have met some lovely MySpace denizens, but you have to go through a ton of chaff to get to the sweet kernel there. It's a big crazy indiscriminate place, a great hub where many kinds of cultures intermingle and mix.
Next, after a brief hiatus from my Marco Polo travels, I was directed to the world of blogs and of Twitter. Now I was on sturdier more engaging ground in both cases. Twitter might not be for everyone but it's less like a land of its own and more like a unifying communication net that can straddle all the different regions of the web. I have found myself pulled to all sorts of interesting and different places to find gems and pearls that I can bring back to my own land. My mind and curiosity has been engaged. A word of warning, however, to other travelers: you must choose your channels carefully. It's no good to just 'follow' everyone until your channel becomes cluttered with white noise. Follow those you like and those which interest you and engage when it's appropriate. I have no idea yet if my forays into Twitterdom has yielded visits to my own island kingdom, but it's early days yet. If you find me interesting I invite you to follow me.
Blogging is something different. I have come to blogging relatively late. It's not like I didn't know it was out there. I was isolated, but not deaf, dumb, and blind. It's just that I write fiction and I didn't understand to what possible use I could put a blog to. I even fashioned rudimentary blog boards for my Pan Historia people and watched them be a sort of uneven success at Pan. I understood them as sort of electronic journals or diaries and I was never very good at being a diarist, no matter how often I tried. Even my commitment to dream journals wavers over and over again. My forays into different regions of the more populated web, however, were done with a very definite purpose and that was/is to spread the word of Pan. It became clearer and clearer that I should try this blogging. The challenge was topics.
A strange thing happened on the way to the forum…
As I started to write on various topics, both personal and not so personal, I found that I had plenty of ideas of things to write and it was only a matter of actually remembering what they were when I sat down to the computer!
So in my quest to spread the news about Pan Historia (a unique community for collaborative writers and imaginative people), I have finally become a member of the greater social networking community.
Hello there, World.