The cocky bastard has left the building...
January 3, 2003 12:55 PM   Subscribe

The cocky bastard has left the building... to be replaced with the life student. So, how are your online personaes lately?!
posted by insomnia_lj (41 comments total)
heh. i thought this was going to be about dave winer.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:59 PM on January 3, 2003

I'm still the same KnitWit I was in high school; quietly lurking in the background the majority of the time. Occasionally stepping forward with some pithy remark, and slinking back into the shadows.

Really, it's proper practice for someone who'll someday silently control the universe.
posted by KnitWit at 1:08 PM on January 3, 2003

Who cares? Post something newsworthy please..
posted by valerie at 1:11 PM on January 3, 2003

I'm sorry, what's the point of this?

(Also, there's no such word as "personaes.")
posted by languagehat at 1:12 PM on January 3, 2003

This guy cracks me up:
I am still on the path towards self love. But I am at a different place.I still love the pink fur pants, but they don’t serve me like they did. I will break them out for Burning Man and special occasions….but the limit-pushing I want to do now is more subtle. More internal.
I want to push myself towards truth.

Comedy gold!

That is a joke site, right? Has to be with all that new age crystal-humping junk and the blog bitch post about cell phone coverage.
posted by malphigian at 1:17 PM on January 3, 2003

Good Lord!, how is this worth a front page post???
posted by einarorn at 1:29 PM on January 3, 2003

i tried for years to create an online persona but after countless silly reinventings decided that i have none. i also realized how insansely difficult it is to create one that resonates with people . some of my past favs were bill, grrl and even good ole lance.

*off-topic. if you don't like a post for whatever reason, maybe it's a good idea to a)not say anything, or if your feeling particularly crabby then b)bring it into metatalk.
posted by poopy at 1:30 PM on January 3, 2003

This guy is for real. Not only that, but he's Mefi's own John Halcyon Styn.

And he was the subject of this weird, weird sex show on MTV a few nights back, as the #mefi crew was kind enough to alert me to.
posted by PrinceValium at 1:32 PM on January 3, 2003

If you don't like the FPP ignore it, I once heard you folks at Mefi dealt with things you didn't like by acting like little kids sitting in the center of the room crying till you got your way, all have have to say is quit your crying.

Now on the topic, creating an online personality is a bit strange to me, I'm who I am in real life, and online. I have seen a few people do some funny stuff on using pen names, I suggest you check out OldSailor he's a hidden gem over their on Plastic.
posted by jbou at 1:38 PM on January 3, 2003

I couldn't agree with you more poopy. The Cocky Bastard was one of the first blogs I discovered and I used to read his site a lot because it was quite humorous and unique in the beginning. Then everybody started doing it including myself. After a while it just gets drudgy and you feel a need to reinvent yourself. Hopefully we all reinvent ourselves from time to time, online and off, ... if not maybe you should. Then you won't get your panties all in a wad over what someone else thinks is cool to post on a group blog.
posted by oh posey at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2003

I'm w/ poopy (sorry poopy, that makes me giggle) and jbou. i once thought metafilter was this great spot to find an amalgamation of ideas and most of the time i still do but is it really necessary to act like pirahna and attack everything?
posted by foxyfoxinsox at 1:46 PM on January 3, 2003

Ok, sorry about that. So, on topic, I think it's pretty much impossible to be the same person online as you are in real life. My weblog tends to be about the exciting stuff in life, all the cool people I meet on weekends, etc. However, I normally don't talk about the boring stuff that goes on the rest of the week.

So people who read my site probably assume that my life is a lot more exciting than it really is. I think webloggers also forget to write about the embarassing moments in life. Therefore the person who the reader reads about is often one who doesn't make any mistakes and never does anything boring.

I still haven't read a weblog that seems to be an accurate description of a person's life.
posted by einarorn at 1:48 PM on January 3, 2003

I still haven't read a weblog that seems to be an accurate description of a person's life.

I wonder if it really needs to be.
posted by foxyfoxinsox at 1:50 PM on January 3, 2003

I still haven't read a weblog that seems to be an accurate description of a person's life.

Lives consist mostly of mundane interactions; it's far more interesting to pick a moment or two and share those. Honestly, I'd find an in depth description of somebody washing dishes to be more interesting than a shallow description of an entire day's events.
posted by mosch at 2:16 PM on January 3, 2003

Good for John.

An online persona may not be a completely accurate portrait of a person, but it is often one way to explore yourself. I know my site has changed along with me, and I've used it to reveal cycles, remember accomplishments, and define the things I love. I imagine that, after a while, an extremely flamboyant persona could be an albatross. It's difficult to move forward when caught in the public's expectations.

So John is changing their expectations, and getting ready to take the next steps personally. I think this will be an exciting time for him, as change often is.
posted by frykitty at 2:22 PM on January 3, 2003

"how is this worth a front page post???"

Things like this used to be what Metafilter was all about. I miss those days. This, IMHO, is more worthy than 90% of the stuff that makes it through the Matt filter.

My on-line persona changed quite a bit in the last year. I used to cultivate a cranky, confrontational caricature. But these days I find I get more satisfaction out of pretending to be nice and artistic. Being bitchy and arrogant is more fun, but being nice and artistic is more satisfying.

This is one of the nice things about weblogs/journals - we get to watch personal expression unfold and change, one day at a time, over the course of years.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:28 PM on January 3, 2003

I still haven't understood the point of this this guy some kind of old school blogger or what?
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:58 PM on January 3, 2003

Orange Goblin,

while not one one of the fabled uber-geeks of blogging, Styn was certainly one of the ones to embrace the creative possibilities of the medium. In other words, he came through as an 'A-lister' just as it was being noticed that such a thing existed.

When discussing 'web personalities' he's certainly one that should be looked at. He positively overflows with personality.
posted by KnitWit at 3:06 PM on January 3, 2003

I couldn't agree with you more poopy.

I just want to relate the joy I experienced having seen this in print just now.
posted by adampsyche at 3:07 PM on January 3, 2003

I agree mosch. Here in Iceland there are hundreds of weblogs, they seem to be in fashion at the moment. However, 99% of the webloggers seem to be trying to portray themselves as someone cooler or more interesting than they probably are (and I don't think I'm the exception). However, it would be so much more interesting and fun to read if they would just cut the crap and be honest about their lives.

I just started writing my own personal diary, and I've read through a couple of the entries and they are so much more interesting and fun than the entries in my public weblog. I just feel that I can't be honest in my public weblog, because it would also be about my friends, family & co-workers, so I would have to think about how my words affected them.
posted by einarorn at 3:21 PM on January 3, 2003

John's resume talks more about his credentials.

But yeah, most people at MeFi probably don't even know who he is at this point. I suspect most Blogger users don't know who Matt Haughey is either.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:12 PM on January 3, 2003

Post something newsworthy please..
posted by quonsar at 4:12 PM on January 3, 2003

Post something newsworthy please..

thank you.

speaking of web personas, i can't resist plugging slap; someone who has been around for quite a while, can be obnoxious and opinionated at times, yet very entertaining (and who doesn't give a shit about grammatical correctness).
posted by poopy at 5:30 PM on January 3, 2003

I still haven't read a weblog that seems to be an accurate description of a person's life.

Most weblogs aren't, and probably shouldn't be, or they'd be boring as Hell. Most good weblogs I've seen have more to do with the author's opinion of things than the mundane tidbits of daily life.

My own site is somewhat different. Though it is not a weblog as much as it is a personal site with many, many facets, it is an unapologetic and non-sugar-coated look at life in Hong Kong from a Western perspective. I don't cover the truth, nor do I need to embellish. This place is weird enough on its own.

And my so-called online persona is not a persona at all. BWG is merely a nickname, and a tongue-in-cheek one at that, given my location.

It seems clear to me that the most popular sites personal sites are a reflection of the author's personality, and I suspect if you were to meet them in person they'd behave in much the same manner as they appear to do online. Of all the people I've met this way, this certainly has been the case.
posted by bwg at 6:20 PM on January 3, 2003

Yea, go look at BWG's site. That's a personality!

(great site btw bwg - few shaved headed white guys can pull off looking badass while doing Tai chi)
posted by KnitWit at 6:48 PM on January 3, 2003

If this isn't hilarious parody, then it's utterly nauseating.
posted by hama7 at 6:58 PM on January 3, 2003

I couldn't agree with you more poopy.

That should be "poopily."
posted by kindall at 7:55 PM on January 3, 2003

I cut all ties when I recreate myself online. Hard to take a Lifestudent seriously when he's obviously just a Cockybastard. Also, you gotta have a really really interesting personality and life for me to pay more than one visit to your blog. I value most blogs for their links to interesting things.
Only two blog type sites have captured my audience because of the interesting personality/life of the author.
Both existed long before blogging, interestingly. (I ain't sharin)
posted by pekar wood at 8:06 PM on January 3, 2003

What I really don't like about the him is the same thing I don't like about most new-agey pretending to be enlightened people: pretention. He's pretentious as all hell. He actually compares himself to Ziggy Stardust and Picasso. That's not a comparison one makes about themself. It's a comparison *other* people make(and in this case, have failed to make). Comparing yourself to two of the greatest artists in history doesn't help you explain your point, it makes you look like a pretentious egomaniac, which he surely is.

Dont even get me started on the little header image with the sequence of tai-chi stances and other "meaningful" poses...

Oh..just found this, and I quote:
" Every day we have the ability to see our life from the perspective of Ulysses. Of Ishmael. Of Buddha. Of Marley. Of Gandhi. Of Ali. Of Yogananda. Of Picasso. Of Halcyon."

That last one...Halcyon....that's HIM. The guy thinks he some sort of major philospher when in reality he's just a web-savvy punk (he got a webbie, you know) whose 15 minutes are just about up.

I wouldn't be so harsh....if I actually felt his writing had any merit - but it's clear from his "about" page that his writing is trite and full of tired cliches. Trite, overwrought cliches about the meaning of life do not a major philospher make.
posted by jaded at 9:29 PM on January 3, 2003

Alls I have to say is that the sound lifestudent makes when you roll over the links is exactly the right pitch for ouch if you have your speakers tuned up to any kind of audible volume.

posted by furiousthought at 10:05 PM on January 3, 2003

He actually compares himself to Ziggy Stardust and Picasso.

Fine, then I'll do it, because on the web, that's exactly who John is. He's a web pioneer.

Not aiming at all at Jaded, but rather at the general ignorance I'm seeing here:

I realize that being on the web doesn't require the same knowledge of history that other media do. Most directors know their movies. Most writers know their books. Most webheads...know their heads. That's fine. But realize, before you chomp down any closer to your kneecap, that it makes you look a tad foolish.
posted by frykitty at 10:35 PM on January 3, 2003

i for one am glad to see him put his ucky pink fur pants away hehe... but it's also nice to see someone who's been webbing at least as long as i have been still have the energy and interest to move on to a new domain/persona. i stopped being excited about this stuff about 2 years ago as total web-laziness set in when i found i still got 30k-50k visitors per month without ever updating at all, simply because the name katgyrl became so commonly known/searched. i miss getting excited about a new layout and then pounding out code (hard core notepad gyrl dontcha know) for hours on end and then getting loads of feedback from around the world, but i know i'll never go back to being that way. i have many "better" things to do now, but it's kinda sad moving on and away from the web.

blah blah blah me me me anyway. while i've never been a regular visitor of his i think john's a-ok, he's all about self love and self esteem and he can think well of himself in front of me anytime. i think it's at once daring and childlike and i wish him well in his new incarnation.
posted by t r a c y at 11:20 PM on January 3, 2003

It seems cult of personality is a matter of taste. While some find certain web personas interesting others do not.

Maybe the more divergent a web persona is from the author's true self the more difficult it is to maintain consistently over time. Once the web persona changes, the readership like would dip temporarily, nothing wrong with that, no one expects true personalities to stay the same either.

It's an interesting flipside to the MetaTalk discussion about online anonymity.
posted by yonderboy at 12:18 AM on January 4, 2003

Anybody remember the end of "Carnal Knowledge," when Art Garfunkel tells Jack Nicholson that his (Art's) new girlfriend is his "love-teacher"?

Yeah. That's what this "lifestudent" business reminds me of. You'd think someone so gol-darn innovative could do better.
posted by hippugeek at 1:07 AM on January 4, 2003

cockybastard always felt like a rather amusing/repulsive spoof, and lifestudent is looking like more of the same, but it doesn't do any harm to have cocky, pretentious people/personas around on the web who are thoroughly in love with themselves. The web needs variety, and we've already enough geek weblogs & teenage angst journals to go round. More arrogance/insanity/strangeness please, even if I personally won't like most of it.

I don't think I've ever fully created an online persona, I've barely got the time and concentration to keep track of one personality, let alone several...
posted by malevolent at 2:59 AM on January 4, 2003

It was fun to follow Halcyon's successful battle with Fruit of the Loom some years ago. He took on some pretty silly corporate lawyers and won. I remember discovering some great web pages by clicking on his list of sympathizers who posted amusing support banners - briefs fashioned from flags, and the like.
I haven't visited his sites in years, but wish him well. He brought humor and color to my early days online, and helped whet my appetite for the odd little nooks and crannies on the web.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:54 PM on January 4, 2003

Thanks Knitwit. I appreciate that.

Dont even get me started on the little header image with the sequence of tai-chi stances and other "meaningful" poses...

Those aren't Tai Chi poses. If anything they appear more like yoga, but I really don't know much about yoga.
posted by bwg at 5:51 AM on January 5, 2003

Halcyon's successful battle with Fruit of the Loom

Let that be a lesson to all of you poo-pooing John's new reinvention. He's a very, very popular fellow, and he'll sic his army of friends with websites on you... that is, if he thought that the opinion of Metafilter was worth more than shit...

...which I suspect he doesn't.
posted by crunchland at 7:38 AM on January 5, 2003

We're supposed to invent online personas? Here all these years I've just been a butthead online cuz I'm a butthead in person. What was I thinking?
posted by ZachsMind at 3:52 PM on January 5, 2003

I always get a big kick out of people who sit in the peanut gallery and presume to tell other people what should go on their website. And then it's such a devastating blow when those people proclaim that they'd never go near X site.

If you don't like a personal site, that means it wasn't meant for you. Slagging someone who pays (time and money) to give you something free is utterly without class.

John has been out there doing it while most sat on the sidelines and twiddled their thumbs. If you think it's some kind of act, well, you just don't John. That's who he is.

Whatever he chooses to do, he has my friendship and support. I'm a better man for having known him.
posted by christophernaze at 9:52 PM on January 13, 2003

We're supposed to invent online personas?

you have so invented an online persona... zach's not your real name after all and sometimes you act like you've lost your mind, hehe.
posted by t r a c y at 6:49 PM on January 30, 2003

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