Posts Tagged ‘social networking


The Podcamp experience

Quite honestly, I never intended to go to podcamp.

I had the rare Saturday off, and I fully intended to go the Kecksburg UFOfest … not so much because I believe in any of that stuff, but more because I’m a peoplewatcher. And let’s face it, a UFOfest is right up there with Trek conventions if you are a peoplewatcher.

But Kecksburg decided to combine 2 different festivals into one: Old Time Days and UFO Festival were rolled into one, with the majority of UFO-related events slated for Sunday. I only had Saturday off, so, in a phrase, I was boned.

But podcamp was going on, and I decided to go. Now here began an little odyssey that I wasn’t expecting.

Now, last year’s podcamp hit maximum capacity — I know this because I had opted to go, again, at the last minute — but I only found out that it was sold out right before leaving. So, I figured this time that the same thing had happened, and asked on Twitter if someone could get me in. @Dwightspaulding had an extra registration, so we made plans to meet and he could get me in. Now, I only know Dwight from some brief conversations here and there … so it was kinda weird to have someone lend a hand to someone else who was just a voice on the internet. Weird, but awesome.

So, I woke up after 4 hours and headed on down in a zombie-like state. Upon entering The Art Institute, I immediately ran into @Wormy from Bitchburg. Now, I’ve been meaning to meet Wormy and crew for a long time, having already bumped into @Mindbling at Jack’s a few years ago. It took her a few to figure out who I was (as did Mindbling, because she only saw me with a beard), but as soon as she did, she gave me a big hug, and we chatted like we were old friends. And that feeling was something that ran throughout the podcamp … meeting people for the first time, and yet having it feel like you had been friends forever.

I found out that I could register at the door, and so I did. However, I waited for Dwight so I could meet him in person and thank him, because, again, that was exceptionally cool of him to offer to help me out.


At first I didn’t go with a name badge. I don’t know, I just kinda hate them. But as I wandered through, I realized that that was the only way I could recognize a lot of people was through that little tag. So, I went and got one. And that’s where the fun began.

See, I know my blog isn’t huge. I know that I don’t have a billion followers on Twitter. But the fact that folks recognized my handle and said, “Oh my God!” and introduced themselves to me or hugged me — it’s completely weird and awesome all at once. I’ll never be a celebrity in my life, but man, for those brief seconds, I felt like one.

And it was especially funny when people who were more celebrity-esque (maybe “recognizable” would be a better word) in the ‘burghosphere recognized me. I mean, yeah, I walked up to them to introduce myself, but they spoke like it was an honor to meet me, not vice-versa. Again, awesome and weird all at once.

I am a little mad that I wasn’t more awake to really take advantage of the day. I missed out on so many inappropriate jokes (like when women said, “I love your tweets!” — I didn’t say, “Well, yours are pretty sweet, too!”), and so many chances to just introduce myself to other people. I mean, I knew I was tired when I was chatting with @TallCathy about movies, and I couldn’t remember names of specific movies and actors that, ordinarily, I could rattle off in succession and not even blink. I had 2 beers, and quite honestly, I was ready to fall asleep. So I cut my socializing off early and headed home. Normally I’d try and tough it out because I hate that feeling of regret when I mis something that’s obviously awesome. But, with construction on Rt. 28 and a 40 minute drive ahead, I knew it was time to end the day.

But there’s always next year’s podcamp, and you can bet that it’ll be my priority. And I think it’s safe to say that I’ll take the day off beforehand so I won’t be wandering through podcamp in such a zombiesque state. I’ll see you all next year!


They're even better when you're dead

An interesting story came across the wire tonight — one that involved a guy who died after playing World of Warcraft.

Now, I’m a geek and play the game. I’ve played on and off since it was released and Star Wars Galaxies went down the shitter (which is a shame, cause I enjoyed that game). But Warcraft has been fun — I’ve chatted with a lot of interesting folks. But none have actually died … that I know of.

Well, apparently in this story, his daughter (he was 57, she’s probably in her 20s or 30s) decided she wanted to tell the rest of his guild (basically, his “group” that he ran around and did stuff with) that he had passed on. One guy who knew the player mentioned that he had been arguing with other players recently, so he figured that the guy was taking time off to cool down — but was stunned to hear that the guy actually died. So, this was apparently nice to know that he wasn’t actually holding a grudge against them — he was just dead.

Now, apparently this kind of thing is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as Internet social circles expand. There’s a guy who operates a site called “Deathswitch” that, in the event of your untimely demise, will shoot out mail to folks so they can close out your Internet dealings.

At first, this seemed pretty morbid. But then again, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I mean, if I’m dead, why bother to close out my Facebook account when I can just shoot a mail to a suitably sick friend with my account info and have him/her keep updating the status? Sure, my world wouldn’t be changing much, but I could still bring smiles to my friends’ faces by having status reports like:

“[Three] is still dead.”

“[Three] is decomposing.”

“[Three] can’t believe limbo is so damn boring. Gahhhh.”

“[Three] is wondering where all the topless angels hang out at.”

“[Three] may not have a big stiffy, but he is one.”

“[Three] is missing his organs.”

I mean, seriously, this could be some fun, sick stuff! And maybe if you’re good enough at it (and you have friends that are dropping left and right), you could become a necromancer of sorts, commanding an undead legion of socially active zombies! Think of the power!

OK, there really would be no power. But still, that could be a creepy-ass fun way to keep you alive in your friends’ memories for years to come.

(Yeah, this is what happens when I have entirely too much time on my hands at the end of my shift …. OH, and you get 10 points if you know where the title of this blog comes from.)

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