Friday, September 07, 2007

Information Overload

I seem to have gotten busier and busier this year. I have less time to sit a read a book, and realise that some people have virtually no time to really read, or browse, or research, or click-through when on the Web.

I decided I needed a web presence (to grow old disgracefully) back in 2000 - and working in the library, and as content manager on a website, and studying in an online 'university', and teaching remotely (library staff), etc - means that I have become fairly fluent at navigating.

It doesn't mean I have improved my design and layout. The website has become the equivalent of a box of memorabilia in the attic - having started out with just a FrontPage 2000 template, and grown as I learned things. It is more like a coral reef of dead shells, with just a crust of new growth on the surface. To completely rebuild it would need a month off work! Now that I have a 4 Gb memory stick hanging around my neck, I can't even keep that organised (sigh).

Anyway - my assumption that people follow links, and click around may well prove unfounded.

Assume Nothing!

So, some people may remain completely unaware of the blog I use for my magic notes, or the Circus Arts Forum that I work on, or the creative group at the MLA that I have studied and worked with for the last three years (particularly Bobby Campbell - who I have collaborated with on some projects - and whose amazingly prolific output you can see samples of here)
Bobby's illustration of part of Joyce's Ulysses

Of course, like many people on the web, I have cultivated some sub-personalities (avatars) but I haven't tried to hide my trail or anything.

Just as (when I performed) I used my real name (unlike actors, who pretend to be someone else, variety acts pretend to be themselves) - so I tend to let people make the connections, if they choose to. This does lead to bizarre cross-overs, for instance, when Star Wars fans work out from research that I have a connection to NoFit State Circus, so send me mail at the circus PO Box address (I do wish they'd stop doing that, as mail can easily go astray in a long chain). On my front page I offer an email address to I am not hard to contact!

Back in the days I had access to The Stacks in the library (sadly no more)At the same time, please remember that I have a low paid job in a library, and have no desire to pay for pictures, mail costs, etc., just to keep other people happy. I'm not driving an SUV around my ranch, just because I had 6 weeks work on a film in 1982, and I don't work in show-biz any more, and don't have a publicity budget!

If people want a signed picture, I consider it reasonable that they at least cover the costs (and bear in mind I also have to go queue up at the Post Office, etc) even if they don't want to actually pay me for my signature! I agree it's a bizarre thing to do, but at the same time my sig goes on eBay for anything between £10-£60, so sending me (say) four pix to sign for free seems a bit pushy, expecting me to send them back at my own expense...some such communications I just ignore.

Sorry if I sound mean-spirited to some enterprising youth with a get-rich-quick scheme like blagging free pictures from all the Star Wars actors and selling them online! Sorry, kids, it's been done before, and we all got a bit wary. I don't even feel sure about the charity requests I get, either...even when I have sent a bunch of free pictures in the past I haven't had a word of thanks, which does make me suspicious...

I do get into a frivolous or generous mood at times, but sometimes not.

Jabba? Generous? I think not...

At the same time, I do make friends easily, I enjoy chatting and trading with people...and happily swap pictures for information, or old magazines, or DVDs of maiking-of, etc

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