Being popular

After the merkley??? party, I went with some friends to Matt Mullenweg’s birthday party.

(Matt, for those of you who don’t know, wrote WordPress which over the years has become the premier blogging application on the internet. Matt also gets a lot of shit from me when I talk about programming)

My friends and I are chatting in line outside BigFoot, when this pretty girl, K—, who I’ve never met before, ahead of me in line, turns around and says, “Wait, is your name ‘Terry Chay?’”

“Oh noes!” Morgan says, “Terry, you’re internet famous!”

So this is what it feels like to be popular?, I thought. Is it wrong that I sort of like it?

[Internet Fame after the jump]

In[ternet]famous

So, how did K— know me? Was it because of my mad awesome coding skillz? my reality-distorting presentations? my most-viewed photography? my burgeoning status as a SF geek-social butterfly? Or, perhaps—and this would be my most favorite—because she is one of the twelve or so of you who actually reads this blog?

No. None of those. It was because I flood her with Lunch 2.0 invitation requests on Facebook.

Let’s stop for a minute and let that factoid sink in.

I’m.
Famous.
Because.
I.
Spam.

Shit. I’m evil. I should feel guilty!

Nope. Still feels good to be popular.

Other random thoughts

When I got in, I found it was really crowded in the bar. Someone let loose a really stinky one somewhere which was magnified by the total lack of ventilation. This caused me to briefly consider: Which party smell bothers me more: that or the pot smell from the merkley??? party. This was soon followed by a fervent wish: I hope I wasn’t the one who “dealt it.”

The most shocking thing that night was hearing from Matt that they were actually going to improve WordPress’s codebase. The only other punching bag of bad code I had was Wikipedia, which bought out some company that refactored the entire wikimedia codebase.

This means I’ll have to find another application to make fun of in my talks. :-(

Nah! I’m too lazy. Nobody is going to notice. :-D

I found out how cool our host Glenda is: she wouldn’t let any of us leave until they set the bar on fire.

Fire bar
Fire Bar” by magerleagues.

Right now I’m thinking, Good thing the fart cleared out before somone lit the match.

After the party, I found out that that there are two classes of crepes: sweet or savory. I almost asked for what crepes were both sweet and savory which reminded me of the story where Richard Feynman once asked for lemon and milk in his tea. Is it embarassing to admit that? I don’t think so—I didn’t know they made soup out of squash until recently.

Oh yeah, earlier that day, I read Morgan’s tweet about the mystical sexual powers of the wolf t-shirt. I don’t own that particular wolf shirt, but I did put on my shirt with a wolf logo on the back, hoping that would make me “painfully sexy.”

Note to self: On me? Not so much.

Oh well, I had fun anyway…

General wackiness ensues…
General wackiness ensues… by Andrei Zmievski
Bigfoot Lodge, Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

Nikon D3, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D, SB-800

I swiped this photo from Andrei’s Facebook. If you look closely, you can see I really do own a “wolf t-shirt.” It may not have “pulled in the pussy” as advertised, but it didn’t totally repel my friends like Marianne either. Thanks, wolf shirt!

On popularity

I have some chance to ruminate over the fleeting fame that is created by internet tools such as Matt Mullenweg’s WordPress. In particular, I was thinking of the origin of the word, “popularity”:

1490, “public,” from L. popularis “belonging to the people,” from populus “people.”

That’s why a blog is different from a diary or a journal. The former “belongs to the people.” If I had a wish for myself, I wish I could make a tool that create a fraction of that sort of “popularity” that apps like WordPress enable.

I believe each of us has a voice that deserves to “belong to the people”; each of us has a right to be “popular” no matter how narrow that is; a right—and desire—to be heard.

In the traditional sense, I was never popular; I’m not popular now. But “belonging” to your friends, being “popular” with them—and maybe a stranger or two—that is where it counts. And that’s the sort of popularity I wish for everyone.

Because it’s a damn nice feeling to have.

On Internet Fame

If you call this incident “being internet famous” as Morgan said, then I can finally confirm that being internet famous is exactly like being famous…only without the recognition, money, or babes.

Unless you include K—, of course. ;-)

Which just goes to show that you don’t have to be famous with everyone, you only have to be famous with one person to make it seem really, really cool.

To you, the reader

Almost nobody reads this blog, but that’s okay. :-)

Because the fact that it’s “popular” with you is enough—and, for you, to know that you’re “popular” with me.

Yes. Let’s all be “internet famous” together—our blogs “belonging to the people”—to each other.

18 thoughts on “Being popular

  1. Keith Casey

    Yeah, what’s with the uplifting tone at the end? I come to your site to be (minorly) shocked first thing with your latest tirade on Rails, morons, or other bits of humor you find lying around.

    Regardless, good point… I remember at my first php conf (ZendCon ’05) realizing that I had the books and was reading the sites of a lot of the presenters. It was kind of cool… and then I realized that – other than being somewhat more coherent – they weren’t all that different than me.

    Have a good one.

    Reply
  2. tychay Post author

    @Keith Casey:
    Hmm, you didn’t find my thoughts on flatulence or my lack of success with my Wolf t-shirt humorous? :-(

    @David Zülke:
    My camera is broken. ;-)

    @Lukas @Keith Casey:
    In an earlier draft, it ended…

    Yes. Let’s all be “internet famous” together—our blogs “belonging to the people”—to each other for all time.

    …or at least until my Dreamhost goes down or WordPress gets hacked again.

    Alas, I edited it out and left the sappy ending in. :-D

    Reply
  3. carpeicthus

    If you call this incident “being internet famous” as Morgan said, then I can finally confirm that being internet famous is exactly like being famous…only without the recognition, money, or babes.

    And how. Where are my groupies???

    Reply
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