Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Factoids are us.

A friend reminded me last week of a peculiar anniversary that was popping up. My two year anniversary of participating in the Topix chat room forums came and went this past February 10th.

Now normally, this would be a cause for celebration like my one year anniversary back in 2008, but this time, there was really nothing to celebrate. I have evolved to the point in my chat room existence that I now basically go there to say hi to my friends, constructively debate certain topics in my local forum and have insultfests elsewhere.

There really isn't anything left to do or accomplish in the chat rooms anymore for me, so I just simply do those things and let everything else roll on by. Oh sure, I continuously plug my blog and plug my book, have people get on my case for both, and even get trolled over it (matter of fact, I picked up another loser that goes by the name of "MASH HAMILTON" and has a floating ISP of Chaplin/Willimantic CT) from time to time.

In essence, and to paraphrase someone who put it so elegantly elsewhere, I engage in verbal bitching sessions with other posters. Kind of interesting though, in that I now use the chat rooms to decompress, de-stress and basically act like an arrogant jerk towards people who act like a pompous jackass 24/7/365.

In any event, some interesting factoids about me and two years worth of chat room participation:

1) I have four official personas, one of which has been suspended, in Topix.
2) I've had one unregistered persona binged and purged.
3) I created a sixth persona (Prayerful One) that was used for a couple of months in the MSNBC community boards back in 2008.
4) I've made in the excess of 17,000 posts, some of which were actually constructive.
5) I have made the same amount of enemies as I have made friends.
6) I have actually met one of my Topix friends this past summer.
7) I've had several derogatory threads made about me, one derogatory persona made about me using a picture from my blog, three people who have followed me from the chat rooms in a vain attempt to harass and ridicule me, and one person who came this close to being sued for copyright infringement (who interestingly enough, made a brief appearance over this past weekend, throwing a hissy fit because she blamed me for her own stupidity in getting herself purged).

With that said, I will say "Happy Anniversary" to me. Here's to wishing that my time in the chat rooms for 2009 continues to as smooth as the latter part of 2008 was.


  1. "I've had one unregistered persona binged and purged" ... sounds like cyber bulimia?

    Are you serious -- 17,000 posts?!? HOly cow. What do you post about?

    A lot of those terms you cite are new to me. I wonder if I'll ever be in a chat room, perhaps someday in a musician-related sphere.

    Is there one for bra flingers anonymous?

    It must be so freaking hard to sure for copyright infringement on the net. I mean just to pin down the person, counds like a cat and mouse game?

    Love, Jannie a.k.a Mash Hamilton. KIDDING!!! Kidding.

  2. Hmmm...let's see if I can answer a couple of those questions for ya.

    1) 'cyber bulimia' does sound about right. Topix has a terms of service agreement (much like Blogger or Wordpress does), in which you agree not to do certain things (last count about 25) while you are there participating. Violating said T.o.S. will get your posts elimintated, your persona eliminated, and your IP (IP is your computer's personal identifying number) temporarily banned.

    2) 17,000 posts. I participated on a wide range of topics and quite a few social communities contained within Topix. I used to a hardcore participant early on (like about 7 hours a day), but now I mananged to cut back to something more reasonable (about three total hours a day. most of the time is spent being on about five to ten minutes at a clip). It still helps me with my writing, since I let my mind wander while I particiapte.

    3) copyright infringement. Very hard to do. But the person gave me just enough hints on their identity so that if I ever wanted to, I could. But since I was able to get the offending posts removed, its something that's sitting on the back burner for the time being.

  3. happy anniversary!!! (That's a hell of a lot of posts. whew)

  4. Thanks.

    Yup, lots of posts.

    Some of them even actually made sense from time to time too.

  5. My first year or so on the chat was wonderful. After that I began to run into far more petty and jealous personalities than in real life and finally abandoned it. I did get myself banned from the chat a couple of times.

  6. Congrats! I've never actually used Topix, but it seems interesting.

    Ugh, like I need, or can handle, another online community.

  7. Charles: I couldn't agree more with the petty and jealous personalities. They were really bad during my first year and a half, but have gotten somewhat better in the past six months.

    'Course, I still act the same way over there as I do in real life, and to a lesser degree, on my blog.

    Also found out yesterday, that I got attacked by a troll while I was at work (over my book again). Fortunately, a few my friends were able to dispatch for me by the time I got online.

    Kyle: Agree with you there pal. I look it at this way: without discovering Topix, I don't think that I would have gotten into blogging like I'm doing now.

    Sometimes the ends, justify the means.

  8. Hey George, don't let the trolls get you down. Like you, I recently passed my 2 year anniversary (dare I say that I inspired this blog post?) and I can't tell you how many posts I have made because I stobbornly stay in the gray. I've had some blazing arguments, some hearty laughs and met some really interesting people ( you included)so I'm still there. See you on our 3rd.


  9. They did early on in '07, but by the middle of '08, they were basically just repeating whatever was already out there.

    Still, it can be a bit disconcerting sometimes. But it is what it is, and I simply just roll with the punches.

  10. I admit that some arguments have been done to death. I can't really get up a good rage on the education threads because I became friends with all the regular teachers, and the Hartford threads draw too much attention from the moderators, but I still find a good thread now and again. I move around the deep south forums because they don't get moderated and those guys really know how to argue. I used to do the Morning Call and Newsday too, at one time. Every once in awhile we get a good one like the Thanksgiving thread, but it does seem to have reached a point where everyone already knows what we'll say about everything. After two years I would miss some of the people though, so I still check in and drop some comments on new threads to see what happens.


  11. Sounds like a plan.

    I used to do some mighty surfing in '07. At one point, I had about 30 different threads in seven different states going on at a given time.

    I started scaling back in late last year and by this year, I scaled back to simply the local, Top Stories and Offbeat. I purged my only thread in M-Call because I started feeling like an outsider there (everyone knew everyone either from Allentown or from the original M-Call forum before it was merged into Topix).

    So now, I just check in with the various people I've made friends with and talk about different things and the like.

  12. Yeah, I used to go onto Newsday, the Long Island crowd, and there was this feud going on between two groups over a woman who wanted to let her son bring a service dog to school and a woman who sued her, so there was a heated battle going on for several days, and I mean heated. My kind of thread. I took one side, got stomped AND banned. Jerks. Here I was on one side of the issue and then all of a sudden they all started apologizing and turning nice because they were all acquainted, and there I was facing an angry mob. Go figure.


  13. Haven't had that since my personal Waterloo on Columbus day 2007 (check out an old thread called "What is your opinion of Cedar Mountain aka Da Bishop" and you'll see what I mean).

  14. I thought that thread got purged? It still exists? Not your finest hour huh?


  15. Nope, it wasn't.

    But we lived and learned.


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