Yes. I’ve lived in the same house for more than 25 years. Except when I wasn’t in the country and couldn’t take the house with me, but that was all before 2004/5 anyway.
Would we recognise you if we passed you in the street?
No. Well, maybe, if you know me well IRL. Few images associated with whatever my persona might have been at the time/s made their way into the public domain.
What do you think is the best/most important new technology/online thingy to have appeared in recent years?
We all had a blog back then. Do you still have one, or are you mainly present somewhere else?
I do (www.twistedrib.co.uk), but am mostly an absentee blog-lady and my primary online presence is skype. That would be because of the inter-continental relationship. (We first met, allegedly, in Languagehat’s comments where, it is also alleged, I was extremely scathing. So it took a few years to get going. Had this initial encounter been in the Hydragenic discourse who knows what might have happened.)
What achievement of the last 7 years would you most like to celebrate here?
Probably still being alive. Repeated bouts of an overwhelming desire to be dead have been, well, almost overwhelming. Haven’t had a serious one for some time now which is very good. (I originally wrote “staying alive” but it was too John Travolta. Yes, please thank me for the earworm.)
Stuart asked us: I’d like to hear her thoughts on: 1) pseudonyms and alter egos;
Pseudonyms and alter-egos… a double-edged sword. In my case a great shield to hide behind because I didn’t know who I was after my sense of identity had collapsed into a heap of inchoate rubble. Also I worked for an organisation which frowned upon its employees writing elsewhere. My blog with its pseudonymous sort-of-ego felt like a safe place to express the feelings of despair and death that are frowned upon by colleagues and family because they make them feel uncomfortable. On the other hand being pseudonymous can be like a red rag to a bull for a particular type of person who feels a strong urge to discover “the truth” about x. My protection, another’s provocation. So when that protection is breached (as it was with me) the feeling of vulnerability was terrible. I nuked my blog. Started a new one. Was found there too. An excellent lesson in the nexus of the private and the public and the internet. And this doesn’t even touch on the issues of authenticity/credibility/trust etc which can arise without attribution. I didn’t give a damn about any of that, I just needed a safe place to dump my pain. Mostly.
2) words versus pictures;
3) whither personal blogging?
Whither… or wither? I am now a person with a name (Rachel Rawlins for those who don’t know) and in the unlikely event that someone wishes to find out about me they can. Not that they couldn’t before, as the stalker proved, but just much more easily. Therefore for this person, personal blogging means something different now from what it did seven years ago. Self-censorship is active for protection of self and others. However I never really “got” twitter (it overwhelms me) and I loath and despise facebook so I have an old-school feed reader stuffed with the urls of blogs. At the moment it’s a bit like watching connections being reestablished in an electrical circuit as some feeds flicker back into life with the odd new post. My current take on the matter is that those guys at Uborka (I don’t know if you’ve come across them) are usually ahead of the curve and they’ve started blogging again. It’s an interesting project combining a look back at what blogging used to be running in parallel with new and interesting uses of the platform… oh, wait…
Who would you like us to interview next, and what shall we ask them?
I’d love to hear next from Pixeldiva, whose nom de blog/net has remained stable throughout, and has spawned (so to speak) Pix junior. I’d like her to gnaw on the meaty and portentous subject of “blogging baby” from her own and the future Pix teenager’s perspective. Since I know she’s an avid adopter of the new I’d like to know which of the multifarious platforms and services have proved a keeper (if any) and if so what makes it/them worthy. Finally, um, google glass – yes or no.
And could I thank Stuart very much indeed for nominating me? and apologise to Pix for not warning her of her task? And thank my dog… etc. I wrote it at the kitchen table without revision…