Part I – The Fellowship of the Ping
Steep Into This
Like writing, brewing tea is an art. There’s nuance to the amalgam of ingredients, timing, and temperature. It’s more than just a tea bag and hot water. Timing seems to be the differentiator. This verb chef has been steeping in the subject of this blog post since the ACFW conference. The time has come for me to toss it out there for a taste test. I’m taking a seat at the dining table. Won’t you join me?
I’ve arrived! Woo-hoo! Sing along with me now, to the tune of “Jesus Loves Me”
Thee, Us, loves me, this I know, for my *mailbox tells me so. (* insert your favorite social media icon here)
I’m old fashioned; I still get a kick out of snail mail. And that includes rejection letters my writer friends. I got a kick this week. I received an unsolicited piece of “hunk” mail. I won’t call it junk mail just yet, because who knows, there could be some meat to this after all. Hope pings eternal!
The “hunk” mail came from a legitimate business entity that offers services to small businesses and sole proprietors. Now here’s the tingly part. It was addressed to:
Kewl! Somebody found my blog! Somebody made a connection between me and well, my presence on the web. I say this because the only place I’ve used the moniker of “verb chef” is on my blog or on the ACFW loop. I highly un-suspect the loop, therefore, the search mechanism that made this connection had to trawl or crawl my blog. And my blog is in its infancy.
But wait. I just said “search mechanism”. Why do I hear a piercing scree of a sound and sense a gust of air escaping as though from a balloon? It’s because my tingly has been terminated. It was a purely electronic and automated process. I got a ping but there’s no sing. Meh. L
What is a ping?
It’s a mechanism to get the attention of another entity with the hope of eliciting a pong response. A “ping” sensor (in the submarine sonar sense) can also measure distance using sonar and hopefully elicit a corresponding “pong” which helps the sender to know that they’re not alone and how far away the target is. Geeks know that we can “ping” hosts on a computer network to see if they’re alive, up, and functioning.
Ping hopes for a pong; to validate closeness, existence, and significance.
Are you a member of “The Fellowship of the Ping”?
See if you resonate with this. Say you start a conversation with your hearers like I’m going to model here:
Folks, welcome again to my blog – there’s still the smell of popcorn in the air from my last post but now I’m breathing the steam from steeping tea and … WAIT! WAIT!! WAIT!!
My waist just vibrated (ooo! That feels good – it tickles, it tickles right on down the inseam). I know, I know, this is a guy thing. Ladies, your purse might jingle and jangle since you’re not likely to wear a “communicator” at your waist.
And hold on. Was that a chirp, a buzz, a foghorn ringtone, or a snippet of the Bee Gees singing, “Stayin’ Alive”? No Matter. No worries. All I know is that I’ve just been pinged! Somebody likes me! That’s right. Hang tight dear readers. I’m important to somebody. My cell tells me so. One moment please.
And then the letdown. Oh. It’s just a poke from FaceBook. Or, somebody’s invited me to play “Scenery Ville”* – whatever in blue blazes that is. (* If somebody starts up an app for that, I best be getting some royalties for that puppy, just sayin’.)
And so we wait. We wait for that next ping to fire off some endorphins and make us feel significant.
If you can identify with one or more of the following, you’re likely a member of “The Fellowship of the Ping”:
- You jump and spill your drink & the smile on your face could light up a carnival when your cell phone chirps, gurgles, beeps, wails, vibrates, lights up, rings, buzzes, or whistles Dixie
- You find yourself refreshing the landing page of your blog in (3) web browser windows, to see if the “hits” to your site increase; getting more and more excited as the number climbs – all the while not realizing that your constant refreshes are being recorded as visits
- You get into a poke fest on FaceBook, giggling manically as you try to out-poke another poker
- You miss the call of your number at the DMV because you were texting (4) people at the same time – then again, it IS the DMV, so this one might excused
- You watch the ranking of your book sales on Amazon and email everyone in your orbit - including your doctor, the pharmacist, your online bank & paypal accounts with the news AND attach a link to get a cowbell app that plays every time a new sale is posted
- You publish a post on your blog and monitor for comments as though it were an Olympic event; cajoling grandma to post a positive comment under the guise of your dream agent or editor
- You feel like you just swallowed a handful of caffeine pills and act mighty twitchy when you get a sweep of “Likes” to a FaceBook post
- You tweet that your hamster fell off the wheel and you just can’t cope with writing right now; using the hashtags – #dizzyhamster or #hamstrungbypethamster or #wheelscameoffmywriting
- You pin pics on Pinterest showing skimpy unclothed books to stir up a murmur
- You get stuck in a mention loop on Twitter when you thank a “mentioneer” for a mention of you; they thank you back, you say “Don’t mention it.” But then retweet a mention of that.
So the thing is, we’re all poppin’ online all the time AND engaging in lots of “you doing“. Are we being consumed by the likes, the pokes, the tweets, the retweets, the pins, egraphs (electronic autographs), etc.?
Are we unwittingly inflicted with POS? (Ping Of Significance)
Think that one over until my next blog post …
Here’s the question I want you to ponder before I release the next blog post in this series.
If indeed we are inflicted -
Who do you think is The LORD of the Pings?
Do share your thoughts on that. I invite discussion. This could be enlightening.
You’ve been pinged! I await your reply.