Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, July 31, 2021

A couple of days ago, I got an email from my friend Tom. He was replying to an article on the best Cuban coffee joints in Tampa I zapped to him.

Since we were talking libations, I decided to forward him the permalink to my recent post about buying my first box of wine.

He got a kick out of it. After reading the post, he let me know so by emailing me back a little anecdote about his recent taste-test involving boxed wine. I appreciated the feedback, particularly because it played so well off the post’s subject matter.

Later on, it occurred to me: Why had Tom emailed his thoughts on the post back to me, instead of opting to leave them in the comments area of the blog?

I discussed this with him the next day. The short answer was that, because an email message had led him to the material, his first impulse was to answer using the same communication channel. It didn’t even occur to him to deliver his response outside of the send-and-reply email loop (barring the next time we actually spoke).

The more complex answer involves a general attitude toward communication, particularly online. Like most people, Tom considers email to be (generally) private and person-to-person. Contrast this with a blog comment field, or a messageboard posting: Nothing private about that. That’s the fundamental difference in approaches.

Contrast this with my thinking if/when facing a similar situation. My instinct would have been to leave my pertinent reactions in the form of a publicly-viewable comment. The idea, in my mind, is to extend and expand the discussion that’s already been started — really, the underlying philosophy behind blogging. It’s not so much making my thoughts known (although it is), but rather contributing to the topic.

Context is a factor, too. If it’s non-critical information — i.e., of little consequence regardless of who comes across it — then Tom has no problem posting it in a public forum. But if it’s at all sensitive, the more circumspect to stick with the closed email channel. That came to my mind because, in his original email reply, Tom included some offhand personal information that, while not particularly revelatory, could factor in.

We wondered how the recent Pew Internet & American Life findings about youth Internet habits that revealed teen attitudes toward email as being passe and for “old people” might tie into this. Since neither of us are kids at 34, I’m not sure it’s relevant. But since IM, the kids’ choice, has less permanence than email, it’s less reliable as a record. So you could consider the preference for IMing as stemming from expedience rather than long-term utility, even if that consideration doesn’t consciously enter users’ minds. Again, it’s about the context and the purpose of the exchange.

I wonder how this compares to the general online public’s feelings. I know some bloggers insist upon getting commenters’ email addresses, partly for the option of replying on the subject privately — pointedly, outside the “official” exchange on the blog. That’s another example of different attitudes in this space.

Any other thoughts on this? I’d strongly prefer you comment on it below. But, if you prefer, I’ll take your feedback via email, too.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/31/2005 10:58:50 PM
Category: Internet, Bloggin', Society | Permalink | Feedback (6)

on fire
Being in the publishing biz, I tend to have an appreciative eye for fontwork.

This example above caught my eye. I’m sure I’ve seen it before, but I can’t place it. If anyone out there can ID it, let me know what it’s called.

I could look through a couple of font library books at work, but I don’t really have time to wade through those thick volumes. On a temporary basis, I think I’ll dub it, appropriately enough, “Hideous Raging Inferno”.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/31/2005 09:10:19 PM
Category: Publishing | Permalink | Feedback

As much as I grouse about the shortcomings in Tampa Bay’s nightlife scene, I can always console myself that I don’t live in Orlando. Because the club scene and people are incredibly dead.

I was reminded of this yesterday, when I went to Mouseville with a few friends for a low-key bachelor party. (Incidentally, the occasion was my reason for buying that box of wine — not for drinking, but as a joke on the bachelor’s love of fine wines.) It was a good time; the main reason was to get together, hang out, have a nice dinner and generally enjoy each others’ company.

Clubbing was going to be only part of the experience, and a tame one at that (predictably, because aside from the bachelor, I was the only single buck in the group).

But, sheesh… We opted for CityWalk because it was close to the hotel, and it offered some variety without the constant need to drive. We figured a Saturday night would be as lively as it could get.

Turns out that, despite a good number of people milling around, the clubs themselves were fairly dead. We finally settled upon the main dance club, The Groove. While waiting for the expected crush of clubgoers to arrive, we ducked into The Green Room lounge area (sponsored by Skyy Vodka, of course). Turned out to be a good move, as we were entertained by Allison, the cute and engaging bartender there. As it was, the main dance area never really heated up, and before we knew it, it was 2AM, and party was over.

Yeah, I know the tourist district isn’t best barometer for judging a town’s nightlife. But honestly, this is just the latest iteration of every visit I’ve every visit I’ve ever taken to O-Town. It doesn’t matter where you go: Disney, downtown, the UCF area, the various suburbs — it’s all crap. It’s incredible to think that an area with so many people (almost the size of Tampa Bay) could be so deficient.

Oh well. At least First Friday is coming up this week…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/31/2005 08:25:13 PM
Category: Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (3)