Thursday, October 25, 2007

In Which I Am A n00b

I'm learning how to use some blog tools and I just clipped this map from the Washington Post with Clipmarks. Yay me. Tool user and all that.

blog it
This whole technology plug-in, upgrade thing is a lot like washing the baseboards. You wash the baseboards and see how filthy the carpet is, so now you have to vacuum and shampoo the carpet. Then with the floor and the baseboards so clean, the walls look like ass so you have to clean and then repaint those. Then the blinds look dingy and so on and so on. Today (after my first post when I was trying to write other stuff and do housework) Linus came in and said he'd found this plug-in that I would really like because it would easily and intuitively let me clip bits (pictures, text, or video) from websites to email or blog. Mind you, he'd already tracked Libray Thing down for me this morning. Then, while installing ClipMarks there was the option of having the sources for anything you clip automatically saved in your bookmarks. My buddy Ray has been trying to get me hooked into this thing for...I don't know. How long has it been around? Probably that long and maybe even longer, because like Linus, Ray is a serious computer nerd and is always in on stuff before it even happens. Anyway - I've never quite understood what it was or what the point is. The idea of social bookmarking makes me giggle (bookmarks - so social - wouldn't want to have any of that anti-social, introverted, solitary bookmarking going on) but I like the idea of saving the source of my clips. So we went through another whole sign up thing. Then to make sure it all worked, I had to find some stuff to clip and save (like coupons - only prettier and um, more web-y.) I went to the Washington Post website to find a good article - only to have to register again there. "Re-gi-stray - shun time, c'mon! There's a party going on right here..."

Now I am all plugged-in, signed up, and ready to be social with my books and bookmarks and clips. My life is an open blog. Only now there is a notice at the top of my toolbar that informs me I am following (0) clippers. I am also told that no one is following me and I have no favorite clipper. Let's see - who is the most popular web clipper?! I should follow them! How many followers do I have? Oh no, not enough. Must. Clip. More. How do developers not laugh their heads off when they design this stuff? The virtual world is psuedo-social at best. Linus (bless his heart) keeps trying to explain the concept of a web 2.0 world to me. I'm assimilating as much as I can as fast as I can, but I do realize that there is a lot in the ether that is passing me by. I smile and nod when I hear about easy share, sharewear, bookmarking as a social activity, tag clouds (which morph into searchable, expandable tag bundles sometimes for no apparent reason), and netpubs and bl@h, bl@h, bl@h. (<--That last bit is my little leetspeak joke.)

Which brings us right to the second post I was going to write AFTER I finished all that other stuff on my list but which I will now write BEFORE getting to the stuff on my list. (See this? This is the stuff on my list not getting done. Ever. Clean socks? Highly overrated.)

The other night at supper, it was Mayhem's turn to talk. (We take turns. So civilized.) Mayhem was telling about his new Adidas and about the salesman we talked to about fantasy football the whole time we were in the store. (Sidenote: the salesman knew considerably more about fantasy football than he did about selling shoes. I'm the one who used the measure thingy to size up Mayhem's foot, I'm the one who read the tags about what the shoes were made of and how to clean them, and I'm the one who pointed out that they were on sale.) Mayhem's comment after saying this guy was leading his league by 100 points was, "That guy was poning." Uh, what? Mayhem, by way of explanation said, "He totally poned his league." I was trying to figure out what cornbread has to do with fantasy football.

Me: What are you saying? Spell that word.
Mayhem: What word?
Me: Poned.
Mayhem: P-W-N-3-D.
Me: What?
Mayhem (louder this time): P-W-N-3-D.
Linus: (sounds of pumpkin soup being snorted out of his nose)
Me: What do you mean? That's not a word. Three-d? Like three dimensional?
Linus: It's from leetspeak. There are no vowels. Hackers used numbers.
Mayhem (speaking at the same time as Linus - and thereby dashing my earlier claims of being civilized): It's total domination. You don't use vowels.

At this point in the conversation, I am utterly confused. (Please note I did not have a handy dandy little link to follow to find out what the heck leetspeak was. And not only were Linus and Mayhem trying to explain the lack of cornbread connection at the exact same time, but Chaos and Bug were cackling, making it even harder to hear.) World domination, hackers, spelling without vowels, leeches speaking? WTF?

Apparently I have become my mother. I was probably Mayhem's age when my mother said at dinner one night, "Mick? Mick who? You mean Mickey Mouse? I don't think his lips are all that big." We have never let her live it down. I did eventually understand the explanation and derivation of the pseudo word "pwn3d" and upon further research, found that I particularly like the urban dictionary entry on pwnage. Too little, too late, I fear in terms of the balance in my cool points account. I am overdrawn. I have zero credit in the video culture currency that is required to operate in my teenagers' world. I have been relegated to permanent n00b status. I'd like to think that they'll still let me visit their world and even that in a decade or two, they'd consider emigrating. For now, I think I'll just camp out here in the borderlands. With the other dinosaurs.


St Ann said...

Now that you know about leetspeak, try translating a blog entry or two at I dare you!

Sarah said...

I agree, the whole social aspect of LibraryThing and is lost on me - I could care less if other people have the same book or link. However, I love having my links accessible from anywhere: home, work, my parents' computer as I slowly introduce my luddite mother to the internet...

(typed around a cat purring on my chest, while avoiding the flailing limbs of sleeping Ray, who also has amnesia horseradish.)

Sarah said...

Oh, Ray is now hot on something called And you thought you might catch up eventually! :-)

Lilymane said...

Ay yi yi. I can't keep up with my friends much less my kids in this tech stuff - netvibe and gizoogle?! I'm toast.