The Fallen 9ruler

There are a million things on my mind at this moment, all of which would probably never see any light because I have no words to put them in. My thoughts, as chaotic and convoluted as they are, are far from being ones that readily expressed. The loss of my emotional outlet seems to have put a damper on my ability to connect with people and connect with myself.

So it comes this. Over a year ago, I became a proud member of 9rules. It was a moment few have dreamed off reaching. The pinnacle of quality blogging. A few months ago, they changed the face of 9rules so that normal people and the select few could mingle, it was addictive, but I should have realized sooner that formats that rely on a lot of social interactivity would always lead to popularity contests I could never win.

There is always a fine line between living the life that’s real and immersing yourself in a world that you make real. For a long time, I’ve been doing the latter. Until recently, I’ve been balancing the two. Now, it’s become obvious that the life that I lead takes precedence over the social activities I REALLY WANT to be a part off.

But I can’t.

If there was a time I was known for being one of the rare individuals to be part of 9rules, that time has come and gone. Now, with the advent of the new and improved 9rules Ali2, how far the social interactivity/popularity contests go, I don’t know where I stand. I do know however, that I’m still a part of 9rules even if the philosophy and principles have changed. As long as they will have me, I have no reason to leave.

It’s unfair for me to ask much from them, I know. I haven’t been part of it for a couple of months now, but maybe all the effort I’ve put before into socializing has to mean more than just the presence in itself. If it’s unfair for me to ask for a little attention, maybe it’s also unfair that I’m now a forgotten member because I don’t spend time trying to keep up with all the notes that have been written. A little word from my peers that are part of the group, even if it’s on my IM, would set my mind at ease. No such luck there.

Of course, I’m a minority in this case. Whether I’m Asian. In Australia. A non conformist. An guy. A personal blogger. All of which constitutes elements that oppose the mainstream, so it’s not hard to see why I matter so little to the whole. There isn’t much there to contribute, so there is no reason to mingle with. Cynical, I know. No one has ever proven me wrong on that yet.

So what will I do? Nothing at all. If I was selected to be a part of 9rules because I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I’m not afraid to show it, then the popularity contests would always be a luxury I can’t afford. Wanting something and achieving them have always been two different things. As much as I try, I never seem to have that edge to be taken into account. At this point, there are far more pressing things in my life than wanting the love from people halfway around the world. Things that would take me further and further away from the socializing game.

So if I turn into a full fledged sociopath because of this, you’ll know it started here and it’s all your fault. Don’t say I didn’t try and warn you.

13 thoughts on “The Fallen 9ruler

  1. I don’t know if it is right for me to comment coz I have no idea at all what is 9rules. I might be commenting out of context, if so please accept my humble apologies. My 2 cents in general is I don’t think a blogger needs any particular group/network to validate their self-worth.

  2. We picked your site because you’re you. I know what it is like coming into 9rules. I was never self-conscious on the internet before I was accepted into 9rules. Shortly after, I was made Community Director and, wow, every self-conscious thing I skipped all the years before multiplied by 1000. 9rules was going through a transition at the time I walked right into it. Looking back it is kind of funny, but back then the girl, without a Mac that doesn’t program or design that just happens to be the oldest of the group was extremely self-conscious. It honestly took a year for me to define my comfort level. I found the more self-conscious I was the more I over-thought things and in some cases made things worse.

    It seems like you have an expectation in your mind of how people are supposed to react to what you write/say but you forget about the topics you write about (similar to what I do). They are reflective in nature and many times a person will not interact when they are reflecting. With some of my entries it took a long time (months) for me to realize it impacted anyone. Here is a quick example: on my9r I made a list of no-no’s people do on their site. No real responses to my list so one would think my contribution didn’t add much to the conversation. With a topic like that, people will either ignore the list or fix their site. The majority would not fix their site and say they did, or even comment on the list. Not sure why, but that’s the way it is.

    That doesn’t mean my list didn’t help people just like if you don’t receive comments your entries aren’t being enjoyed or reflected by someone. The type of entries you write prompt people to reflect not necessarily publicly react. I know from my own actions (and Scrivs can confirm this) there have been many times I talked to him about something you wrote (matter of fact we did a couple of ScrivsTyme’s based on things you wrote) but I didn’t say anything publicly or to you because I talked to Scrivs who I was already talking to or I was thinking about what you wrote.

    So the question is: if that is a normal response to what you write (and obviously people are reading what you write because you have 728 links from 163 sites as per Technorati) can you accept that and be okay with it?

  3. Um, Edrei, you’re not a forgotten member, and definitely not fallen. Matter of fact, I thought of suggesting you as one of the people who should test Ali2. We could name five people, I immediately thought of about ten or fifteen. I had to choose, sorry.

    Does that make it worse? That I thought of you but changed my mind? I don’t know. The fact is that attention spans are short and that the x minutes of fame we get on the web are diminishing every day. I don’t think for a minute, though, that fame or popularity (in a traditional, superficial sense) is something you’d be after. I think you’re trying to connect, and some times that’s easier than others. I’ve seen days of little activity myself, and then weeks of frantic posting and interacting. I can’t imagine what it’d be like if I had to start worrying how popular I was, or what others thought of me. It’s just an ebb and flow of things on the web. Of life, really, as it seeps into the web.

    I’m not sure where I’m going here exactly. Usually, I don’t comment all that much anymore, and definitely not this extensively. With work and hundreds of feeds and plenty other interests, my time is spread thinly too. I know that can result in things slipping under the radar – my own postings included. But, at times, that’s how I prefer it. Maybe you could benefit from evaluating what you like best: spreading yourself thinly (and be known, be it briefly, shallowly) or going for the value in things and post less regularly, interact more deeply. And even then, things won’t always last, work out as you want to, and people will drift out of view and back again. Again, just as in real life.

    Whatever’s bothering you, whatever the solution, it’s not my place to say, so that’s all up to you. But please don’t turn into a sociopath, because I don’t like them all that much, and many people would agree they’d rather not see you even say such things.

    See you on the forums or on Twitter. It’s easy 😉

  4. Well, I don’t consider you to be forgotten in any sense, you are after all in my top 9 :=) Keep writing, we enjoy it, you are doing a good job!

  5. Helen: Self worth is one thing, but a person defined his presence in the world by the peers that acknowledge him for who he is. There is only so much self inflated pride can go, most of which is worthless. You should click on the links leading out to 9rules, it’ll show you what real quality blogs are about. 🙂

    Tyme: What choice do I have but to accept it? Am I happy with it? No. Can life go on with me in it? Yes. I guess the biggest beef from all this is the way things are influenced and acknowledged. To have said something then have someone else say the same thing and be acknowledged for it leaving you as a second or an unknown is common and even a lifestyle with me. Not knowing if people registered what you say is one thing. Seeing the same things you know came from you be admired in others just tears something inside.

    Nils: As I said, spending time interacting is a luxury I can barely afford if none at all. The fact that the attention span of the net is short means I do have to invest a considerable amount of time into interacting with people. Even if motives differ, popularity and connection still needs that presence. I can’t help but feel that whatever I have said in the past, there is little to acknowledge of it. Your choice as an example, is proof of that acknowledgement. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying though. It just means that everytime I do and fail to be acknowledged, it just kills a part of me that bothers with people. One day at a time, one action at a time.

    Cappuccino: As long as there is a reason to write, there is no reason to stop writing. 🙂

  6. I’m not that familiar with it as you know. But as with anything, why do you feel the need to belong to something, when you can be the individual you are?

  7. I agree with Helen and Chickybabe… just be yourself and enjoy what youre doing and you won’t go wrong… or take ‘leave’ for a short while.

  8. Stop whining, man. Just because nobody has e-hugged you lately doesnt mean you’re forgotten.
    Leave popularity contests to the people who need them and focus on whats really important.
    I’m gonna do a little Tyler Durden for you: You are not how many comments/votes you get, you are not the people you hang out with online, you are not how many inbound links you get.

  9. I’m rather surprised at your reply there, Edrei. It’s not what I expected. First off (that bit may have been unclear), the fact I didn’t pick you, is not a sign of how you are not acknowledged, but quite the reverse. I chose someone else over you because of the constraints of the question: name five people who would be best suited for testing Ali2. That I didn’t choose you may be an error of judgement on my part, true, but the fact that I thought of you is the acknowledgement. The fact that I and others read this: the acknowledgement. The fact that we comment here: the same.

    It seems as if you’re in somewhat of a catch-22 here. You’d like to be socially active online, but you can’t because there are other things you have, want or need to do. Then, because you do not feel acknowledged due to that lack of interaction, you say it is our fault and retreat from being socially active online. I have to admit that is quite a remarkable thing to read. Maybe I’m reading too much in that last sentence of your post, but here we are. When we want something we need to make choices. I know that’s not always possible, but at least we should recognize what we do have. Tyme said it best, when she referred to both to your insightful and reflective posts, which my not always sollicit a direct reply, and to your stats, which are impressive. If that fails to satisfy you in real life, because it is so hard for you to stay visible in the crowds, maybe you should reconsider your priorites.

    Of course, I don’t know. I’m not even sure what spites you so much, or what’s making you so unhappy. I may be too distant a reader for that, or maybe I’ve lost the essence in the noise. I do know that all this won’t help. Trust me, when I say that in the school of hard knocks, I’ve got my share of beatings. And at the risk of sounding like a sports coach, lying down and whimpering is never going to solve that. Alienating people, by refusing to see they do have an interest, by writing sinister things like you do about “life without you”, “sociopaths” and “killing the part inside you that bothers with people” is not helping either. When one stops bothering about people, one stops being human. I dread to think that is what’s happening to you. Being Australian, or a guy or a blogger does not put you outside of the mainstream. It doesn’t mean you don’t matter either. Hear that.

    Enough said. Edrei, what I know about you is positive along the board. We may not know each other well enough to fully grasp what makes the other tick, but sometimes that’s not necessary. If you think my words are harsh, I’m not going to apologize. It’s how I feel when I see people stray into cynicism and reclusiveness. It’s what I do when I feel I need to speak up instead of look the other way. I wouldn’t spend time writing this, if I didn’t care or mean it.

  10. ChickyBabe: There is being an individual and being lonely. One pushes you further, the other holds you back.

    Vidar: But you are what you define yourself to be. You seek out what you never had. What important here isn’t the popularity contests, but the connection with people that’s overlooked because of the popularity contests. Connection that does give a little peace of mind that I seek. Are you asking me to stop pursuing what defines my statement on the world? Or are not testaments to character defined by the people that acknowledge you as an individual?

    Nils: Choosing people on the Ali2 design is inconsequential. It was an example that you used, that perhaps I could get you to understand what I was trying to say. Not the best example, but it starts there.

    Recognizing qualities that one has is one thing. We all can do that, but as I said, there is a line between self acknowledgement and self praise. One allows you to know what to improve, the other is worthless. Realizing that only presence constitutes to being acknowledged is a far cry of what I want to achieve, which is to leave an acknowledgement without the constant need for maintenance.

    Of course, you do care. Am I not allowed to vent my frustrations on the matter? Why does it always have to be posts like this that generate the biggest responses? Why are people attracted to the negativity rather than the positive spin? I don’t know and as much as this is acknowledgement, I don’t like it either.

    That being said, I’ll just accept this and move on. There are things in my life that weigh a personal burden on my mind and as much as it appears, there isn’t anyone I can constantly talk to about this, hence posts like this. You can’t alienate people when you don’t have anyone around to alienate. What you can do is rely on the mediums that you know the best. This blog is it.

  11. Okay, fair enough. People need to vent and if this blog is it, this blog is it. It’s yours and nobody should tell you what to do with it.

    “Leave an acknowledgement without the constant need for maintenance”, I can see that. It’s probably the hardest thing there is. I’m not sure whether it’s possible at all in the public space, but I recognize the fact you keep trying. It is after all something everyone deserves to have.

    Why do posts like this attract more attention than others? I think that’s easy. Look at the news, art, politics, life. That’s what sticks out, that’s when we feel called upon. It’s what readers do. And it’s what we bloggers have to put up with. See you around!

  12. So how do you want people to acknowledge you? Not sure if I am reading you right, but it seems like you are saying you are how everyone makes you out to be, instead of making a reputation (or whatever) for yourself. Online you really do have the power to be who you want. Look at me as an example, I am not any smarter than the next guy, but I wanted to be well-known so I took the steps to make it so.

    Saying others aren’t doing what you want them to do is never the way to go and will always lead to a dead end. Contrary to popular belief everyone is not treated equal online and you have to fight for your position. That’s life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You like to use popularity contests as an example of something you hate, but in all honesty people are well-known and more liked than others for a reason. You want to be acknowledged and if you were the most acknowledge then wouldn’t that put you at the top of the “popularity” contests?

    Again I’m not clear at what you want or expect of yourself or others and maybe if I gain that understanding I can see where you are coming from.

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