Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You are now a member of this group.

There was a time when there was a distinct limit to how many groups you can join (25), but now it seems you can join up to 40. I received a notice about that from one of mine, but as there are ONE MILLION things that needs be done when I log in, I shelved that note and still haven't read it. Silly me, I should refer to it while writing this. But this entry isn't about how to do remove the limit, so the technicalities of it shall have to wait until I do read that note.

There are many reasons why one would join a group. Off the top of my head, I can think of three.
1.) You want to be notified of special events or upcoming sales. I think this is the most common reason. Why else would a shop or club have a group except to notify these events?
2.) To support a friend who is trying to establish him/herself or his/her group. I've done this several times. I am a member of the Fellowship of the Fourth Age, not because I spend a lot of time on the sim Alqualonde or because I'm a fan of JR Tolkien, (honestly, the saga bores the hell out of me) but because I was first a friend to AelKennyr Rhiano, one of the founding members. So now I receive scads of notices about the online story of what's going on there, and I have little reference to it.
3.) You want to be part of something. This is the game I play most often. The first group I ever joined was October Country, because one of the first places I hung out on regularly was Martian Wei's halloween-themed campfire. He streamed old time suspense radio programs like "The Shadow," and I adored this. I wanted to be closer to this kind of creativity. Later, as my Second Life character evolved, I joined several groups to reflect the changes Leigh was going through.

Most of the time now, the group notices I receive all get one quick scan and are tossed in the trash file. It's true, and I don't think this is an uncommon practice for may SL players. Only once in a while do I find a notice that I think is valuable enough to hang onto (an example being the note about groups limit above). Some of the groups I've joined are dead in the water from the get-go. Every once in a while, I'll post something in a seemingly dead group, trying to breath some life into it, and usually that effort is for the most part wasted. Usually someone will answer, but not so very much. Here's a sample (I made this up, it's not an actual conversation, but it is a typical one)

Leigh Eel pokes his head in the room. Helloooooo?
Friendly Person: hi
Another Member: wat's up
Leigh Eel: want to wish everyone a lovely hello
Friendly Person: ty. u2
Leigh Eel: thx. anything going on?
Friendly Person: not really. bored
(long pause here)
Leigh Eel: how bout a joke?
Another Member:
Leigh Eel: why does a gorilla have such big nostrils?
(*this is a standard ice-breaker joke. not terribly funny, but most people will laugh politely)
(another long pause. sometimes someone will ask "why?" but usually I just supply the answer if no one does)
Leigh Eel: becuz he's got big fingers

and it's about here that the conversation fizzles.

Maybe my jokes aren't that funny, that's ok. But really, can't someone make an effort? Granted there are times when there's a little spark and someone brings up something that someone else responds to, and a little life is brought into the group, but am I the only one who wants activity in the group? If so, why am I bothering? How many times does one try before giving up the ghost?

I'm noticing this in other social networks as well. Facebook, for example. I have two accounts, one for my real self, and one for Leigh. Most of the time, I've got fecebook set to my real self's account, because that's where my priorities lie. Every once in a while, once a month or so, I'll log into Leigh's account to see the activity, and guess what? nothing new. So why bother? Why do I keep the account? I dunno. Perennial hope, I guess. The last time I logged in I was seriously considering closing that account, because it seems the only thing it does for me is cause me despair in knowing that Leigh doesn't have that many friend, even though fb says he has 98. But to what end? Only a few have I actually met inworld, most sent me requests just because I have an account. Some I've met through blogger and reached out to facebook.

That gets into a whole nother topic: blogger. I'm not a terribly prolific blogger. Once a month, perhaps, and I keep saying I'll do it more often, but really? Who knows. I follow several blogs, and perhaps people stalking me look at what I follow and make judgements about me based on that, but so what? I'm not looking for statistics in friends, I'm looking for substance. I'm not going to drop someone whom I'm following unless I find that person to be mean or undesirable. Same goes for facebook. I've made the mistake of dropping people because I was in a snit or because some other very temporary emotion, and usually it winds up that the bridge is burnt. I'll drop someone who is unredeemingly racist or cruel, or beyond redemption or whatever, but I won't just because they have a difference of politics or worldview (That is, unless they are cruel etc). The world is made up of many differences, and so what if I disagree with the differences. Doesn't mean I'm right about all things, lol.

Ok, this is starting to ramble again, and I think I've made my point. Or maybe I haven't, and it was all just ramblings. Thoughts welcome.


Jordyn Carnell said...

It's not a requirement that ramblings "have a point".. that's why we call them "ramblings".

Of course.. there are also things we call "stories".. "monologues".. "observations".. etc. And what you seem to do very well: sharing.


Leigh Eel said...

thanks Jordyn. I think I've gotten into a habit of ending my blog entries this way. "I'm rambling now.." or something similar is blatant. Maybe i need a better catchphrase to close the entry, lol.