Archive for November 4th, 2007

No time to get personal

In addition to the NaBloPoMo challenge of daily posting … one I’m shouldering only on Paradise Preoccupied while taking some weekend time for my family rather than pour it all into the pro blogs … participation presents another venue for publishing content, making friends, joining discussions, sharing music, and ever so much more.

As if yet another offering of a pleasant way to kill hoursdaysweeks isn’t enough, the initial requirements for involvement are also time consuming as all get out. Filling in the blanks is a no-brainer, but takes a while. The big investment, however, comes with the overture to personalize.

I’d love to see a study of how much time people spend selecting an avatar, choosing a theme, picking widgets and coming up with a name to suit the identity they are creating. The pressure is on to project the perfect image, to convey just as much of yourself as you wish to reveal at first glance … only one chance to make a first impression.

Are you frankly scarlet, or does olive come closer to producing the mood you hope readers don as your page opens? Are you edgy and sharp, or softly ethereal?

Themes on NaBloPoMo range from Neon to Ice Cream, London to Zen, Gizmo to Gothic, and offer flexible sidebar colors, fonts, and of course CSS if you’re savvy and determined.

Remember the days when personalized letterhead seemed a lavish luxury, and more than a bit precious when done for private correspondence only?

We’ve come a long way, and I’m not at all sure the trend to make and remake images of ourselves for public consumption is a good thing. Could the compulsion to customize also be too precious? And if not precious, how about pressure?

How much of our stretched time should we eek out of our schedules to make the choices, embed the widgets, apply the themes? And what does it say about us when we do? Or if we don’t?

At the moment, personalizing my NaBloPoMo is way down my ‘to do’ list. Does that make me less a presence? Do I grow generic as pages without customization multiply as participation increases and available time decreases in so close to direct proportion? (Generic sounds an awful lot like geriatric, so am I doomed to be both someday soon?)

Be that as it may, perhaps spilling my guts will be enough to say “Sandra was here”.

Then again, there are lots of Sandras.

I know! I’ll be the Neon Sandra with the helvetica text and mauve sidebar and Clustermap widget. No one else in the whole world will look like me then …

Read Full Post »