I want fame, right?

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Friday August 18, 2006.

Is Ed still alive? I don’t think so, either. Whether he lives or not at this point is irrelevant, I guess. Ed taught me something. He taught me that if you are going to write things on the internets you have to have a purpose. And that purpose is totally disingenuous if it’s “for me.” Nobody on the internet writes for their own self. We put things on this giant set of tubes because we want other people to read the things we put here.

Basically, we want to be famous.

Well, from the time Ed told me that, I was a disciple. I believed it with all of my internet energy, and I began hoping that one day I’d become famous. So I changed the way I did things, and I tried to entertain people like Ed did (admittedly not nearly as well) and started focusing on emerging (were they, though?) delivery methods, like podcasting (which Ed always thought would die a really geeky death) and social networks and the like. I’m still not on MySpace, though, thank God. Facebook me all you want!

While in pursuit of fame, I somehow finagled (who even knows how to spell that word?) my way into a graduate program in journalism. The point of the program is to learn interactive technologies and transmit with an environmental bent. I’m down. I especially want to learn the interactive technologies, and I feel like I can add a lot in that arena. The environmental part scares me a bit, but I can learn something, right? I guess that’s the point.

For the past three weeks I have been in a classrooom all day long with 13 of my new closest friends and a few professors talking about journalism, democracy, environmental issues, Walter Lippmann, John Dewey, Dan Gillmor, and ourselves. Somewhere along the line, we hit upon technology. I can’t remember when because unlike a fraternity hell week (which doesn’t exist), this was three weeks long. And sleep deprivation is difficult to overcome.

As we got to the technology part, it felt like everyone in the classroom looked at me. Professors were calling on me to answer questions, other members of the cohort (yeah, cohort!) were staring at me and asking me questions, and I felt like I actually could answer them (unlike previously, where I had no idea who those people were). All of a sudden, I was known to people.

Then I realized something. They were reading my blog. Sure, it wasn’t a whole lot of people, but it was that many more. People were reading the site and talking to me about it in person! I’m not used to that. Until that one time a few weeks ago where someone actually had heard of my blog before knowing me, this was unheard of (sorry about the parantheses, but they work. I swear I wrote about someone knowing my name before me, but I can’t find it). I’m a little bit embarrassed when I hear that fellow members of the cohort (yeah, cohort!) are reading this.

What it comes down to is that I’m not so sure I want to be famous. Sure, maybe I want to do something that garners fame, but me, myself, is pushing it. My fame is not nearly as important now as it was a few months ago. Besides, if you want to be famous, you should really do something more important. Like have a really gifted kid.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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