Daily Thoughts 2/16/2010
I have been reading some more of the Talented Miss Highsmith. Right now, John Schenkar is writing about Patricia Highsmith doing an article on Raymond Chandler. Raymond Chandler was supposed to have moved 35 times when he was in Los Angeles. Somehow these details are what catches my interest in the biography.
There is a lot about Patricia Highsmith drinking a lot, eating very little, and moving a lot. In 1963, she is supposed to have permanently become an ex-patriot. She ended up living in Switzerland in her final days. A lot of the biography is the story of Patricia Highsmith wandering from place to place, in each place she finds a new set of lovers, then moves on when it shatters from her dark personality and addiction to drink. She is in Africa, Mexico, England, France, Switzerland, all over the United States, but especially in Manhattan, always writing, always moving on. It reminds me of the wanderlust of Jack Kerouac of whom she did not approve. This is very much a writers biography. A story about writing driving ones life.
I am on P. 415 of the biography. I read it in little bits then put it down. There are parts that are both disagreeable, quirky, and funny. She likes to kill dogs in her stories, keep cats, and has over 100 snails in her terrarium at one point. I did my second chat session of Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management online at 11:00 a.m.. The American Library Association offers a number of very inexpensive online classes at http://classes.ala.org/ . I spent a $100 for four chat sessions and seven online training modules to complete. There is a very nice forum that goes with the class. I think I am learning quite a bit. I may take some other online courses as well.
Today, I downloaded http://www.openoffice.org/ Open Office. I am taking a look at it to see how it works. I wrote a short document in it this afternoon.
This afternoon, I read some more of Viral Loop by Adam Penenberg. It is describing how companies use the network effect. This happened when telephones were first introduced. Each new person added to a network of telephones exponentially increases the number of possible connections between users. The network effect also happened when the first internet browser Mosaic was introduced. Every new user made the web of connections increase dramatically. The network effect is what powers social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and other places.
I find this a bit disquieting. It is interesting to have a crowd of followers, but not a crowd of followers without a common focus. This is what creates a mob. I try to keep my Twitter followers focused on books. The other part that is a bit questionable is how much the monetization of the internet is based on advertising. I am not that fond of many types of advertising. The dark side of viral advertising is of course spam which spreads unwelcome through computer networks. It is as viral as Twitter or Facebook.
This is a business book, so the larger the crowd you have to advertise to, the more money you might be able to make. This is part of what fuels the enthusiasm of companies like Google and Yahoo. Replace the word good with popular and it would make me more comfortable. If you believe a crowd is good, you will be more likely to attract people to advertise to.