The Production Room was founded in 1995 as one of the first full time digital commercial recording facilties on the central coast of California. We started with 4 stereo tracks, 16 mb of ram and a 250 mb hard drive. A lot has happened since then. Today we're focusing on ways to serve clients who are creating web based media content. This includes strategic planning to integrate the benefits of traditional media, web design and IT solutions into new programs produced especially for on-line consumers. Join in the conversation. Throw rocks at glass houses. Share your vision of the future. This is the most progressive time in the media arts since Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Welcome to the Community of Online

Every once in a while I get self conscious about my online existence.

Have I said too much? Is my profile okay? Am I really well enough informed to say...ANYTHING? I suppose these sudden attacks of humility, akin to checking myself for bad breath, mud on my shoes, or a big leaf of spinach plastered over my front teeth are only natural in a small community.

I've had the experience of growing up in a small town and living in the big city.
I've spent a lot of time with refined people, cowboys, media clowns and dull folks.

Living online incorporates aspects of all of the above. We've all seen public figures melt down on camera (God help Britney Spears). We've all been tempted by the distance of email to flame someone for their stupid opinions. And I suspect that many of us are shy to join in conversations we might be called to account for by the never ending memory of published text and the anonymous expert lurking in the shadows.

I myself have unwittingly given offense in a formal chat room, by putting my dirty boots on the oriental rug of a carefully crafted online salon. I gave my apologies and refined my approach.

The online community seems vast and nameless. But it is actually very small and intimate. This is important to consider as you craft your online identity and the manner of your communications.

Your online profile is your debut into society. Your manner of conduct defines you to your readers and viewers. Now that we live in a time when anyone can be a broadcaster, it is is important to remember the measure that the old broadcasters lived by. You are a guest in someones home. You should behave accordingly.

I live part of the year in a small, island community. Small enough that people know each other by sight. And they know each other by reputation too. Once established with a nickname or a good story, you're known for life. The same is true in the online world. Unlike the big city, people will connect with you online and tell you exactly what they think of you. If you try to chat with strangers in a grocery store in LA, they'll ignore you and walk away. If you broadside an opinion online, better stand back for the fallout. And yet any small community will teach you that you need to be careful about declaring anything as fact.

One day several years ago, I arrived on the island with two good friends from California. We went to the grocery store to buy supplies. They don't sell alcohol in the grocery stores on Prince Edward Island, so we wondered out loud how late the Provincial liquor store was open. A stout grey haired old island lady said, "They're open 'till ten o'clock dear...not that I'd know."


strobes said...

Remember - There are no secrets in the universe!

John Quimby said...

"The universe makes rather an indifferent parent I'm afraid."

Charles Dickens - Bleak House

Taymar said...

Yikes! I have to worry about my online manners now too? Say it isn't so! Is there an onine etiquette course I can take?

John Quimby said...

Well you know there are manners...and then there's "cool".

"Cool" is the ability to dig or pick up on what somebody else is putting down and responding in a way that lets everybody know that you're hip to the message.


Don't flip, it's cool baby.