Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The High Cost Of Ether

I can remember the first time someone suggested "free web space" to me. It was my wife, who has spent a goodly portion of her adult life in cyber-real estate. The idea that I could sit down at a keyboard and, with a few clicks of a mouse, hang my virtual shingle out there in the world. It was on a corner of Al Gore's Internet called Geocities. It was amusing enough to me that I could mount a nominally snazzy site just by copying and pasting and choosing attractive backgrounds from a host of selections offered by the friendly web developers at Yahoo. It had a cute picture of my then very young son in a cowboy hat alongside his faithful dog friend. It had a number of links to clever bits of writing I had saved but had no other place to display. It was connected to other bits of webmorbilia that would tell the casual visitor more about me: Where I worked. Where I went to school. Where I spent my free time.
Little did I know that I was sliding perilously close to becoming part of a prototype of social media. Before MySpace. Before Twitter. Before one billion people had signed up for Facebook. I had a guestbook and anxiously awaited comments from passersby. Eventually, I discovered the only way I could get people to look at my cool Internet page was to drag them bodily to a computer and show it to them myself. A year later, I stopped going there myself. It had become a boring waste of my time. Then, sometime later, Geocities went under, taking my embryonic web design with it. My chief regret at that moment was that I could not locate the original photo of my son and dog. That was easily made up for by my wife's efforts to bring the world to her virtual doorstep. She's everywhere out there. But it's not all free.
That's why I landed here, at Blogspot. Dot com. I'm all about the blog, spot, and even the dot, but the com as in commerce evades me. I'm happy to have a spot where I can be found, even when I'm resting, and people like you can find out all sorts of fascinating things about me and share in the wonder that is my world view. For free. Someday, the friendly folks at Blogspot may decide to charge me for this privilege. Or maybe they will go out of business too. But for now I'm still reveling in the absurd feeling of getting something for nothing. Perhaps you feel the same. Cheers.

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