Sunday, August 26, 2012

Out There: The Recent Relaunch...

A double entendre?  A trebel entendre?  Or just a meaningless title for a post before I've had enough caffeine?  I'm not quite sure, and I'm not quite sure that I should be writing this at the moment.  Still, that's never prevented me from bumbling and stumbling on in the past...

I've been online since 1994.  Things were, ahem, much simpler then in regards to being online.  No, that's not quite true; and it's a bit of an excuse to be true.  Things felt simpler and had the appearance of being simpler.  Of that, I have no doubt.  I fully believe that.  Being online was not the social thing that it is these days.

Yes, that's the simple truth of it.  Well, at least that's the simple truth of it for me.

Back in 1994, I had more offline friends than I had online friends.  Even in 1994 I had quite a few online friends (er, acquaintances and friends).  Yet, I still had that offline social life and presence.  It's been a long time since that was the case.

I can name dozens of people on dozens of sites...at times, dozens of dozens on dozens of dozens...to be fair.  I could not name a handful of my actual neighbors.  Actually, I can only think of one of their names.  There might be facial recognition, but if one of them were talking about another buy name instead of where the person lived - I would have no idea who they were talking about.

I suppose that if I spent more time offline than online that would not be the case.  However, that is not the case because I spend more time online than offline.  I'm...out there.

But not really.  People come and go online in the blink of an eye.  We're all so quickly forgotten and replaced by new friends (er, acquaintances).  There is no, ugh, can you believe it?  I had the word right there, and as soon I go to type it - I no longer had the word right there.  Legend?  No.  History?  No.  Heritage?  No.  Though they all touch upon the word; but for the life of me, I cannot remember the word.  Perhaps it will come to me later.  It's a simple word; but it is eluding me all the same.

So in the somewhat anonymous and vapid existence online, there is the desire to be remembered - not to be forgotten.  A desire for permanence, having recognized the frailty of this mortal shell.  Yes, I can be overly dramatic at times.  It's good to be able to laugh at yourself though, knowing that others are probably laughing at you as well (at you, not with you).  Oh yes, I can be overly melodramatic at times as well.

I want to be remembered.  It's not the same as wanting to be famous (or infamous for that matter).  But I want to be remembered.  So as that offline presence has shrunk and the online presence has grown, the focus on that desire turns to online.  So, I'm...out there.

As I previously mentioned, I have been out there since 1994; and it was much simpler back then.  A couple of days ago, I decided to relaunch a website.  I had let the last of my websites slip away at the end of 2011.  At one point, I must have had close to ten websites or so that I designed/developed/ran/whatever.  Then of course, there are also the various social sites that I have belonged to over the years.

So yeah, one website - this will be easy, right?  I should be able to design/develop/maintain that with a steady stream of content (since content is king, queen, and even the royal poodle of websites).  Well, there is the one website and about 20 other sites that I'm tying into that website.  21 sites.  No doubt though, I'm not developing nor designing them all.  No, I cannot call some minor profile tweaks and uploading my ugly mug to them anything like that.  However, it still comes down to the royal poodle and that pesky content.  21 sites, eh?  I'm...out there.

As I type this, I am also looking over at the other monitor and all those pesky social icons as well as the links that have no pretty icons below them.  Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Zerply, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, GitHub, Spotify, Last.fm, YouTube, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Delicious, HubPages, CodePlex, SourceForge, SoundCloud, WritersCafe...and I'm realizing that I'm missing one or two.

Bam, palm to the forehead - hard.  I'm...out there.

I do not have enough content for all of it.  I'm spread too thin.  I'm...too out there.

So why didn't I just relaunch small - drop things - centralize...etc, etc, etc?  Well, for two reasons that stand out:

I want to be remembered.
Branding.

Okay, so I touched upon the first; but what's up with branding?  My name's Adrian K. Smith - what's this branding nonsense?  ZeroByteDNA.  Oh?  That?  A nickname?  Yes, branding.

Here's an example of what I mean by this:

I flip over to Google in another browser and do a search for Adrian K. Smith.  There's my WritersCafe, me on somebody's WritersCafe, my Twitter, mugshots of somebody with the same name in Missouri, there's a musician named Adrian K. Smith, his SoundCloud, an Ancestry.com record for an AKS in the 1940 census, another mugshot of another AKS in Toledo, of the five images shown - there's my King Frog pic and four pics that are definitely not me, and the final one is a result page over on Facebook of people named AKS.

I flip over to Bing in another browser and do a search for Adrian K. Smith.  There's my MySpace, the Wikipedia page for the Iron Maiden guitarist, five pictures of him, US Congressman Adrian Smith, my WritersCafe page, some news having nothing to do with me, an illustrator in the UK named AS, Adrian S Smith's Facebook page, a couple of AS over on LinkedIn, and the final one's a mugshot of an AKS over in Polk Co. FL that's not me either.

Then I flip over to Google and do a search for ZeroByteDNA.  There's my HubPages, my Twitter, my YouTube, my The Mundane blog that I just deleted, my Last.fm profile, several threads over on the Unity3d site, a remix of a song I did over on AcidPlanet, my AcidPlanet profile (yes, one of the things I forgot earlier), my Technorati profile (another one forgotten, meh), and my Digg profile that no longer exists for some reason (I was never big into Digg anyway).

So I flip over to Bing and do a search for ZeroByteDNA.  There's my MySpace, my profile over on Unity3d, a post I made a day ago on the Unity3d forums, my WritersCafe, that I listened to El DeBarge over on Last.fm, that I listened Armin Van Buuren over on Last.fm, a comment I made on YouTube almost two years ago, and a link to a HubPages sections on hats (I wrote a Hub about hats, humor mind you).

So you see the difference between the two?  Pretty major difference, am I right?

Back in 1994, I was Zark.  It was not long before everybody and their mother's uncle's neighbor's dog walker's best friend's nephew's girlfriend's favorite teacher's third cousin was using the name Zark.  I had been using Zark since 1981 in various RPGs (PnP).  It's impossible to try to get the name Zark for anything, as I said - wham bam - everybody...meh.  Zark 'em, am I right?

My first domain was actually digital-god.com.  I also registered digital-god.net and digital-god.org at the time.  It was not my first site, but it was the first one where I registered a proper domain.  I did that back in 1998 with Network Solutions (there were not all the options there are these days back then).  It had nothing to do with religion.  I was big into cyberpunk at the time...see...yeah, there you go.  Eventually I dropped the .net and .org, and bam - satanists picked them up.  Trippy, eh?  Needless to say, there was no branding with that name.  There are just simply too many people on the planet that are connected for there to be branding of any sort for something so common.

ZeroByteDNA.  It's another name that I actually used for characters in PnP RPGs back in the 80s as well.  I've even registered the zerobytedna.com domain previously.  I left it out there for several years.  It was there to take again, so I took it.  It easily beat out another name I used back in the 80s: VirusDancer.  Although it's likely to be me if you do a search for that name, there's all sorts of twisted folks out there using it as well.

Still though, Zark, VirusDancer, and ZeroByteDNA generally get thrown in my meta tags.  Branding.

I seriously doubt anybody's read along this far - it's pretty much me babbling and rambling along.  It was sort of a catharsis.  A way for me to put thoughts down on paper, er - yeah, and to think about what I'm going to do here.  I was getting burned out already, overwhelmed and all that relative jazz, from just a couple of days of trying to make everything perfect.  Yeah, thinking that - I was...out there.

Nope, I'm just going to do what I do when I do it...and it will come along or it will not.

I shouldn't lose today nor tomorrow because I want to be remembered or maintain some silly branding.  I definitely don't want to be the guy remembered for wasting his life wanting to be remembered...

...so keep that in mind as you're sweating stuff on the internet, eh?

Course, I can't remember if this thing just publishes here or to other sites when I hit publish.  Hrmm, yeah, I either need more caffeine or more sleep.

- peace...

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