February 8, 2010

Part 2: I blame Louis Gray

Blame the soon-to-be canceled Ugly Betty show for its recent episode on blogging  and its reminder that audience size does not matter if your goal is to influence just one person.

Or blame Jim Hopkins whose painful exit from blogging about one media company led to a sharper, broader return to blogging about three media companies.

But mostly, you'll have to blame Louis Gray who once told his followers I give pretty good FriendFeed. for this public outpouring of the thoughts, guilt, insights, etc.

Yes, blame the guy who routinely has sucked me into the future with his teasing introductions of new tools and services. I don't know I need.

Louis Gray knows that I blame him and he did apologize for making my exit from blogging and most Internet things tough. (I'm sure the smiley face was a mistake, right?)

Let's be fair, though. LG, as he's branded himself, did not call or send an electronic message begging my return.. I'd bet big money (oh, wait, I don't have that anymore) that he did not even notice I stopped blogging, Tweeting, FriendFeeding, and leaving reactions to his blog posts and shared links.

Validation by IM

I got that apology only because I had the audacity to see that he was online one night and IM'd  a question that's been bothering me for about a year: Does it bother him when I keep quoting him?

But what I was really asking is "have I become an online stalker, a nuisance, an annoyance?" He's good at saying the right thing, at leveling the playing field, at valuing people as people.

"We're all groupies, he said, in that post-midnight talk. That's shorthand for the reminder that public adoration by linking is what people who write on the Internet do.

Forgiveness please

Then, because I'm trying to acknowledge the good in my life I lied to Louis Gray. At the time, I believed that I would never share this next part of the conversation, the part that led to the apology..

I don't have the original conversation saved but the gist is I blamed him for sucking me back into blogging, or at least wanting to shares what I know about technology and communication to benefit others.

Perhaps, I should blame Facebook.

Since I planned to finish the booked  Facebook 101 for Girl Scout classes and move out of all-things techie. I stopped opening Google Reader and Feedly and using most of the Internet tools like Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg.

But I kept using Facebook where Louis Gray is my friend (no, really, through his regular account even as others dropped me when the businesses did). But, for at least six weeks I ignored all of the postings and links from the guy who never sleeps.

Then, Facebook rolled out its new home page and Louis Gray's postings popped up because, of course, my settings were tossed by the developers who must know me better then I know myself.

Facebook fuels blame

The latest redesign makes me blame Louis Gray for unfinished quilts, sad FarmVille neighbors and fewer updates on the latest communication vehicle I've created for Girl Scouts.

I blame Louis Gray because he writes intriguing headlines.

I blame Louis Gray because he culls the best posts on subjects I don't want to be interested in anymore because I don't want to see the possibilities.

 I blame Louis Gray because he is ethical, transparent, and a good writer.

I blame Louis Gray because he is the father of twins, romantic and funny. (Somehow, that makes him more real and not just virtual. It  encourages me to share the inside openly.)

I blame Louis Gray for knowing how to become a bag of popcorn that I can't stop eating.

On Friday, one headline on Facebook caught my eye and I clicked. More links winked.Then, I binged on Louis Gray. I stuffed myself , chasing his links and posts. I raced through his endless bucket, catching up on a teen blogger who accepted gifts, the Twitter world, the Friendfeed frenzy, on and on and on.

My head hurt. My heart raced. My fingers ached.

Slicing via stealing

Plus, I blame Louis Gray because he steals thoughts from my brain before I have formulated them into a coherent structure. I hate how he slices through the clutter of excuses.Take The Burning Drive to Never Settle: Refuse to Compromise. I keep reading it, sharing it:
"I hate losing. I hate not seeing a result be as good as it possibly could be. I hate turning in a project or a product that is not to the best it could be. I believe in executing quickly, but not if it means sacrificing personal responsibility or standards.
 He yanked that out of my brain and then he echoed another thought:
 "And I know I am just as competitive out of the office or off the Web, making sure I win at cards or board games, or beat my friends at bowling. If I don't, then I'll know where I screwed up, and remember it the next time I get a chance to redeem myself."
 Look, bowling holds too many bad memories for me, but have you seen what I'm doing on FarmVille.  (Though I think it is a little scary that I quoted Louis Gray last night in the game.)

Louis Gray drags more out:
"It is a lifelong race that has no finish line ...  but I do not want to be second-best. I want to win on virtue of being consistent, driving quality, thinking in a way that is differentiated, and being active in a beneficial way in as many places as I can to distribute value.
"If you can achieve, never accept the opportunity to not do your best, and expect the same from everyone."
I blame Louis Gray.for starting the binge that made me realize " Never Settle: Refuse to Compromise"

You can blame Louis Gray for me doing more before cremation.

Note: I started explaining my return in  Part 1: Ending the Great Escape

Before I published this, I told Louis Gray I had decided to write about our conversation and offered him a first look. He declined (that sounds much colder then it was). Those actions won't surprise anyone who knows us.

Related posts: 

I've written about Louis Gray before, including this post on "Stalking or Starving" that let me learn what it's like when someone follows your Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and LinkIn profile on the same day. 

There was The past creates shadows on on today and  No secrets: Sharing insights, goals helps all, which was about mapping your social interactions. 

Gray snuck into Something special: Looking back at newspaper careers and  sparked Jealousy over blog post leads to reflection. He's inspired other posts, but I try hard not to be his echo chamber.

Note: This post was updated  2/9/10 to correct some grammar and typos. I added why it matters that he's a romantic father and confessed that he is in more then five posts. More confession? My bucket list is shorter because I got something better then a face-to-face space with him.

By the way, feel free to click on that email link when you find those errors in anything I write if you don't want to embarrass me in public comments. I love copy editors.


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