What’s in a name?

Welcome!

I say welcome, but you’re not quite here, are you? You’ve found your way online to my new digital home, but no matter which way you look at it, it’s just not quite real.

You’re looking at pixels displayed on a screen that form the shape of characters that I typed at some point into a computer. The thoughts I had in my head to shape these words left my fingertips and through the complexities of technology have found their way online. If you actually know me, you can perhaps imagine me saying these words out loud, and hear the intonation that I would give to the sentence structure, but if you don’t know me, you are putting your own rhythm and meter to these words. In many ways, they are therefore no longer mine, but yours.

So ‘welcome’ to almostab.

 

Why call a site ‘almostab’?

I have a very common name, and it’s not possible for me to buy the domain name that would be simply my name. I’ll write more about that in the future. For now, I chose a name that signifies my feelings about the online world. This is the closest you can get to me beyond the physical world. And let me be quite clear about my feelings here: online is a poor second place. Try as I might, I will not be able to convey exactly what I mean here. Sure, the thoughts and opinions you’ll find here are mine, but due to the limitations of technology, the closest this comes to me is ‘almost’. Great though technology is, it’s just not quite good enough to convey all that we need. Do you know that the majority of what we say is not conveyed by our words but by our bodies? If I’d chosen to video this, would you still be getting the whole message? I would contend that you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t get the fact that my breathing is shorter or my pulse is quicker when I address a group of people. You wouldn’t have seen me prior to or after my speaking. All you’d have received are the carefully selected moments that didn’t make it to the digital cutting room floor. I would contend the only way to really get a complete message from me is to engage with me in the real world.

If real life is best then, why keep this site at all? The thing is, I think ‘almost’ can be really useful. Here, we don’t have the problems of time or location. Overcoming both of those makes this site potentially worth its digital weight in gold.

So for those of you that aren’t able to interact with me in person, then this site is for you –

whoever you are,

wherever you are,

whenever you are.

Welcome.

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