I have been participating in Nablopomo all month through this blog and I have to say, while it was a huge motivator, I am grateful this month has now come to a close. It was an interesting experience to keep up with a non-personal blog on a daily basis and quite a change of pace as I’ve kept up with my personal blog for almost 7 years now. I got nothing for doing this, other than the personal satisfaction that I was able to keep up with something for 30 straight days through starting a new job, the hardest month yet of grad school, and having had started the month behind because of my honeymoon in the middle of October.
I learned a few things along the way:
- My blackberry won’t post to word press and this makes me sad.
- I’m never satisfied with just posting about a single news story, I have found that my curiosity tends to get the best of me and thus I end up researching it for at least half an hour to an hour before I even begin my post, which caused my time I had to devote to this to be up to 2 hours a night.
- My friends who have kept up with my Livejournal for years did not keep up with this one at all. Tells me I should continue to keep this topic separate from my regular LJ postings!
- I posted a lot less to LJ this month as a result of this and everything else going on.
- I posted a lot less to Twitter as well.
- I was excited to learn that at least two people read this blog as that is exactly how many comments I got on it.
- Unlike LJ, it did not bother me one bit that I didn’t have a lot of comments or that perhaps no one read it as I was doing this for me. Sadly this brought to me the realization that in my personal blog (LJ), while it is focused on me, I am much more focused on the sociability of my posts and perhaps sensor myself more than I should for something that is supposed to be for me not the people reading it.
- Doing a Google search on Cyber Anthro does not yet bring up this blog (oh wow it does now! rank 5!), but it does bring up my LJ community as rank 3. I will continue to repost some of the stuff from this blog to that blog with posts linking back as that one seems to be gaining something of an audience (even if as a community no one posts in it).
- The cyber world, just like the real world, is full of social problems that can be analyzed through an anthropological lens.
- I like this subject enough that I am willing to fill up my free time even on nights where I’m up late doing homework and weekends where I have social matters to attend to to make posts here. This makes me happy and brings a bit of satisfaction to my life, especially concerning the choice I made to continue with my education to get my Masters.
To end this month and this post I give you a look back to Wired for November 1995.
By Jay Mallin
Soon, grad students will be turning to a new field of study called “cyberanthropology.” Rather than dig through the rusting metal of a municipal dump, anthropologists of the future will be able to confine their work to their computers. Financial records, marketing data, political mailing lists, even Quicken backup disks – all of it will provide fodder for scholarly articles in 3109, as researchers try to understand what life was like in the 20th century.
Well, it’s only been 12 years since that post and here I am, a grad school student who is self focused on cyber anthropology. While he put more of an archeological bent on it (a sub field, but not what all anthropology is about), it still amuses me. I hadn’t even graduated high school yet when this statement was made. I didn’t even have my own computer until 1997 and I bought my powerbook duo with its 256 grays screen, track ball, and dock just because it also had a 14.4 modem which would let me connect to this world I had only just discovered not even a full year before.
It was the social aspects that attracted me back then, and they continue to do so now as I sit here posting from a PC laptop at work where I am employed as an information architect whose sole purpose is to organize digital information to make it easy for people to use and access it online. Just think, even this job didn’t even exist until a few years ago!
I hope to be able to participate in Nablopomo again next year, if only to mark the changes that will have occurred in the interim. Don’t worry, I’ll continue to post here throughout the year (if there are actually people out there who DO read this), I just doubt it will be on as such a constant basis as it has been for this month!