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Monday, February 14, 2005


The idea just pops into his head, out of nowhere and from nothing.

He breaks into a cold sweat- tough to do while walking along Kauai’s Kaumuali’i Highway- and concentrates. The root beer slushy he’d craved is forgotten, but his legs carry him along until he’s actually inside the 7-11.

Why is he here?

No, focus on the idea. Turn around. Home is the new destination. Focus.

Fifteen minutes later he sits before his laptop with a fully formed and threshed out GOOD IDEA. The beauty of this GOOD IDEA is that it is non-political. The most influential bloggers, the blog-gods, are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Half would not link to pro conservative ideas, and half would not link to pro liberal ideas. But this idea was about the nature of blogs themselves. This idea was about the nature of the blogosphere, and the mind, and intelligence and synaptic connection and influence and heuristics.

He puts on his 1967 AFC Champion Oakland Raiders cap. It was a gift from his father. It is his editor’s hat. His mentor at Kauai Community College taught that writers must separate writing from editing. Writing is a creative process, a building process, a birthing process. Editing is a destructive process, a subtracting process, a killing process. Thus, one cannot write and edit at once. Trying to do so results in Writer’s Block at best, run-on sentences and endless exposition at worst. He took that lesson to heart, to the point where he literally wears different hats while writing and editing.

The Raiders/editor’s hat goes on first because he is pre-writing- writing about what he will write about- discovering what he wants to write by writing. A long time ago he would have put on his Oakland A’s cap, his writer’s hat, and tried to actually write what he was going to write. But lonely experience has taught that 1) pre-writing makes his work 10x better; and 2)re-writing sucks much more than pre-writing sucks, and only makes his work 2x better. Thus, the more prewriting he does the less rewriting he HAS to do, and the better the finished product is.

He types:

The net is the brain- the blogosphere the mind. Every synapse has its own mental mitochondria- its own consciousness of self and its part in the whole- (though its conception of the whole is absurdly inaccurate!!!) and its own AMBITION to wield influence- to create some NOTICE. (Title?)

An hour later he removes the silver and black Raider cap, dons the yellow and green Athletics cap, and begins writing. Half an hour later he is done. It is good. Good is great, though. Lonely experience has taught that when he thinks his own stuff is great, others, inevitably, think that it sucks. Which means it does. But this is good. He puts the Raider cap back on, checks for typos, word repetition, poor sentence structure, derelict diction.

It’s too stream of consciousness, isn’t it? No. That goes with the theme, and parallels the twist. Do it?

Do it.

Ten minutes later he has published. Generally, his site averages 180 hits a day. None of these readers are blog-gods. Few of them even have their own blogs. They are audience and will not push this idea even if they like it. But this idea is too good to let it flame briefly and then fail. He has regularly posted comments on several influential sites. He believes, though he’s never tested the theory, that he has developed some legitimacy with them. He will ask them to go to his site, to read this, and to pass it on if they feel it is worthy. It would be wrong if he didn’t think the idea and the execution were worthy. But they are. They are! He emails away.

The blogosphere is nothing if not quick. Within the hour two blog-gods have linked to his site. Within three hours more than one-hundred-thousand individuals have read his entry. This is success beyond his ambitions, beyond even his hopes. He had hoped for some notice, or influence, but he has in fact created a blogswarm!

The idea pops into her head, out of nowhere and from nothing. This happens more often than you’d think, so she is prepared, even though she is on a chairlift headed up the side of a snow-covered mountain. She de-gloves, unzips parka, retrieves pen and pad from an inner pocket, and quickly writes: IDEA: the net is the brain- the blogosphere the mind. Every synapse has its own mental mitochondria- its own consciousness of self and its part in the whole- (though its conception of the whole is absurdly inaccurate!!!)and its own AMBITION to wield influence- to create a Blogswarm. (Title?)


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