Image by marc falardeau via Flickr
I’m no whiner like Bob.
Sometimes, though, you just have to tell it like it is. The world is just not fair. Some people are ‘Cool’ and some people are not. I thought that those days were long over for me, I mean worrying about being ‘Cool’. I know it might be hard to believe but back in high school, I wasn’t cool. In those days, there were two kinds of kids.- the ‘Cool’ ones and the rest. I was one of the rest. I never knew what it was like to be ‘Cool’. I had to guess but it sure looked good to me. The ‘Cool’ kids all hung our together doing ‘Cool’ things and the rest of us watched. Most of my high school fantasies involved somehow being mistaken for one of the ‘Cool’ kids. Well it never happened.
Going through life, being ‘Cool’ faded in importance the farther I got from high school. At work, it wasn’t so important being cool. In fact, sometimes to my delight being ‘Cool’ was a disadvantage for my competition. Over time, I forgot about my painful high school years. I still wasn’t ‘Cool’ but it didn’t keep me from being moderately successful in life. My kids knew but it really didn’t matter because even ‘Cool’ parents aren’t ‘Cool’ to their kids. I coped. The scars healed and I was able to pretend that it was never really very important. Then I started blogging.
Before long, I was in the same sorry state as when I started high school. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t know where anything was. And once again, the world was divided into two groups- the ‘Cool’ kids like Darren and Leo and the rest. It’s pretty much the same hopeless state of mind because what separates the ‘Cool’ from the unCool is stuff you can’t learn – at least I can’t figure it out. In high school, the ‘Cool’ guys were the jocks, the cheerleaders and the student government smooth talkers. Band geeks like me just didn’t qualify.
So what makes ‘Cool’ guys ‘Cool’?
It is stlll a mystery to me what makes a ‘Cool” blogger ‘Cool. The ‘Cool’ bloggers aren’t necessarily great looking. They have other qualities that set them apart. The trouble is that those qualities are hard to identify and harder to learn. It isn’t the number of words that they write. It is that in those words they manage to touch their readers. You can’t bottle that skill and sell it (although number of the ‘Cool’ bloggers try and us unCool bloggers are willing to buy). It’s like that Supreme Court Justice said about pornography. He can’t define it but he know it when he sees it. Because it is so hard to identify the difference, the Blogging Gods invented Google and on the web, you know that guys are ‘Cool’ when Google tells you the are Cool’.
Well, I’m still not ‘Cool’.
These days with all the social media like Facebook and Twitter it’s easy to build up a following. They may all be band geeks just like me but it takes a little effort find that out. After getting my feet wet I began to feel comfortable with social media. Facebook and Twitter were great. Why add any more? But then I started hearing about Google +1. It sounded ‘Cool’. I wanted to find out.
But it is by invitation only.
That’s why I’m so upset withGoogle and their new Googlie +1. At first I just dismissed it as another Social Media site. I told myself why bother. I’ve already got friends. But the buzz got stronger. People talked about how it was different from Facebook, how it gave your community different dimensions. I was intrigued. Then the enchanting Guy Kawasaki posted about it. I read the post and decided to investigate. Maybe I could still be ‘Cool’. Maybe I could even be part of Guy;s community, The old high school freshman in me was still working. I wanted to belong with the cool kids.
So the problem is that Google +1is by invitation only and I’m not invited. Sure, Guy is “Cool’ and he says jump right on board. But he didn’t mention, that you have to be ‘Cool’ to do it. Google rubbed my nose right in it when I requested to join, “Maybe later.” they told me. “We are still working out the kinks.” Well, I know what that means. It mean that I’m not ‘Cool’ and everybody knows it. Google didn’t even have to check. They knew that if I was cool enough for Google+1, I’d already have been invited.