11/12/2010

Spirals

I've been on Facebook about a year now, maybe 18 months, I think, and it's hit a phase where the tech geeks I knew before the Internet was easy to navigate are now starting to appear. Maybe they've always been there, but until recently I didn't know that they were bothering with this new tech.

I read recently too, that the New York Times will be putting out its first eBook Bestseller list next year, showing that eBooks have finally become a 'legitimate' form of... well, if not literature, at least commercial success. Indy publishers and writers are no longer content to wait for New York to decide whether they are 'hot', they are getting out there with their material, their thoughts and hopes, and connecting with their audiences. The transom is only as high as they are willing to believe it to be and they can create audiences with a variety of social networking tools.

So it's a kind of convergence, 'old' techies from the mid-90's seeing social networks as something of value, even if they aren't as homegrown as the old bulletin boards and forums from 10+ years ago. The mainstream is perceiving social networking as the opportunity many of us knew it would be back when it was just forums and LiveJournal. Facebook, Twitter, Blogger aren't just flash in the pan, trendy, faddish things. They're tools people are using in creative ways to get their word out.

But back to reconnecting - I reconnected with a writer, recently, who encouraged me to write my stories back during those forum/bulletin board days. He had written a memoir that had just gone into remainders and we corresponded for awhile. We lost touch as life moved us in different directions and only recently I stumbled upon his FB profile. I know I saved our correspondence at one time (I may even have it, gasp, on /paper/) but if I do have the files, I imagine they're on 3.5 inch floppies and I don't think I'd have a way to retrieve them. He says he vaguely remembers me, and since I can't remember how we met online or what we talked about other than writing, it's a bit strange to connect on Facebook.

But there's a part of me that's really excited to have found him and really curious about what we wrote about 'back in the day.' I'll be digging around a bit more in my archives and I hope to find something.

Cause it really is about connecting - the tech of today does what letters did 100 years ago, what drumbeats did 5000 years ago. It's cool, though, when you can reach across time and find a bit of the past in the present, and maybe even learn something you knew then that you'd forgotten since then.