Monday, March 31, 2008

With Intent to Describe

Strangely enough, I seem to have changed two of my Internet profiles within the past ten days.

I made my first change when Abe Olandres's original PinoyTopBlogs experiment got replaced with a new TopBlogs, and I received a fairly polite e-mail to update me on the matter. Sadly, Abe is no longer directly involved with the project... but at least the new TopBlogs setup attempts to resolve the popularity imbalance issue by categorizing blogs according to their proper networks.

I also found out that I had to change my blog's profile on the new TopBlogs listing because the original was far too long. (Yes... even the Internet complains that I'm too wordy for my own good.) For the last six months, I've subsisted on a lengthy description that involved miscellaneous topics and a slight mention of Caesar salad. Now, considering that I only have 255 characters to make my case, I settled on the following:

Sean tries to reason with the rest of the universe, and when that doesn't work, he whacks it with a really big stick.

It's kind of like what I normally do whenever I "fix" my computer.

The other change came about when I took a passing glance at my Blogger profile and noticed that I was still listed under "Internet" and "Project Manager". How I missed that is beyond me -- I mean, I've been in my current multinational job for over a year now. So I logged in, adjusted it to the more contemporary "Technology" and "Systems Analyst - Service Operations", sat back, and saved the changes to my account...

...Except that it wouldn't save the changes. Closer examination showed that the problem was not in the fact that I had changed my industry and occupation -- the problem was that, sometime between the last change I made to my profile and just earlier this evening, Blogger decided to disallow HTML code in its "About Me" area.

Do have a look at the description below and see if you can spot where the offending layout code was:

Sean is a writer who goes about in the guise of a businessman, a creative conceptualist, and a cognitive analyst. In fifteen years of writing experience, he has submitted entries to anthologies, collaborated on story backgrounds for computer games, and experimented with varying approaches to literature. Sean believes that life is a matter of taking the road less travelled, if only to increase exposure to various experiences and meet with a lot less resistance along the way.

All of the above, however, has taken a toll on Sean's sanity. Sean has consequently developed a paranoia of internet plagiarists as well as a habit of breaking down the combinatoric systems of board games. He also likes stuffed animals, which is always an indication that something's very, very wrong with his head.

Give up? The issue was in the paragraph break -- that single one-row valley between the two mountains of words. Placing that single space there needed two tiny HTML commands, which come out in text as "‹br›‹br›".

As it was already fairly late and the profile had already been up for a long time, I made the knee-jerk decision to change it to a single-paragraph description just to solve the problem. So now you're likely to see this new one in its place:

Sean is not an internet celebrity. He is neither a food critic, a gossip columnist, nor a political commentator. He is not an entrepreneur who uses a free blogging service as a means to make money, nor is he an itinerant spammer who foists product promotions on an unsuspecting audience. He is neither an activist nor a spectator. He is neither an instigator nor an irritant. He is neither the hunter nor the hunted. But he tries to tell things like they are, and he tries to do this from a logical and an introspective viewpoint as much as possible. He tries to take in many different opinions as a cohesive whole, and he tries to use this to touch upon many aspects of life. Sean tries to write. Sean tries to be a writer, and that makes him a very dangerous man.

It's still quite a mouthful, but at least it doesn't involve any HTML. And as an added bonus, it's as vague as all get out.

Blogger accepted this new description with my second attempt at saving it, and I started casting around for more things to change. Did I need to adjust the single blog entry at my Multiply account, for example? Was it worth it to log into any of my forum-based accounts and put up a more detailed description of who I was? Heck, did I need to change the name on my primary e-mail account?

In the end, sanity won over any feeble attempts at obsessive-compulsiveness. I'll let my most recent changes lie around for a while, and I'll consider getting back to them after at least a few months. I mean, it's not as though a lot of people read them, right?

Er... right?



Ida said...

That's too bad about the html tags. I liked the one with the mention of the stuffed animals better. :P

Sean said...

Ida: The only reason why I left the stuffed animals out is that they didn't immediately come to mind at the time. I can find a way to work them back in, I suppose.

One interesting thing, by the way... it looks like your HTML tags are showing, too. :)

Ida said...

Haha, that's exactly why I wanted to leave a comment on this partictular entry. :P These html tags are such a hassle! DX