I’ve got something to tell you. Parts of it will be sprinkled all along this blog, but the stuff that may get people really talking about might be at the end. Just FYI.
For the last two years, I’ve had something on my mind that I want to share, and the date I pick is normally around the holiday known in some parts of the world as Bastille Day. The funny part is that I don’t even celebrate Bastille Day.
I’ve made no secret of my belief that Great Britain is probably the most vile nation to ever wipe its poo-caked hands across the earth, largely through their colonial sequel. There’s plenty of reasons to hate the French — ask the people of Senegal or Cote d’Ivoire, let alone any World War 2 enthusiast — but I don’t have any particular antipathy towards them over and above my general distaste for Earths imperial nations.
Still, the whole “storming the Bastille” idea always spoke to me, kind of like Guy Fawkes Day. Whether you win or not really isn’t the issue — you want your kids and their kids and their kids’ kids to know you didn’t bend over, relax your muscles and take it willingly. For years, my brain always perked up around July 14th or November 5th, like I should be doing more to try to take over the world.
So, when I was planning to launch the first version of The Hundred and Four, I chose Bastille Day because it was near SDCC (when lots of people would be reading my reviews column at CBR) and because I’d been working on it for a few months.
Not enough months by any stretch of the imagination, because within a year my ambitious little “online literary symposium and journal” fell to disrepair and neglect. Four grown men just couldn’t find the time, and that’s fine.
My second Bastille Day was a much less ambitious project — do a blog about stuff that wasn’t me. That didn’t seem so hard — most things aren’t me. I reviewed smartphones, I blathered about music and movies, I generally had a blast. However, in the end, the issues of syndication and dividing the very limited attention of whoever is willing to read my work seemed to make it a needless appendage, like a seventh toe. I’ve often used “simplify” as a motto, so I rolled the “brand” of the Hundred and Four into my main blog (as you see from the header above) and left the website as a random digital playpen for my own amusement that’s not seen by most of mankind.
I’m always working on a ton of projects. I have something in the works I’d have loved to make my Bastille Day announcement this year (as it did feel like something should happen), but the ink hasn’t even hit the paper, let alone had time to dry. There’s other things in the hamper — I’m also three quarters of the way done with my third novel, I’m reading poetry at the Fifth Annual Power of Art celebration, August 14th at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (better announcement to come). There’s a million things that happen every day as a father and a husband that I could crow about, amazing accomplishments my wife or my daughters make.
Today, however, is something else.
Anyone who’s read my rantings regularly over the past year or two knows that I am superbly interested in mobile computing. I’ve spent a lot of mental energy (and actually a lot of money, when you look at my smartphone budget for 2010 alone) getting into the idea of the mobile experience. I’ve said often “apps are traps” and I don’t wanna spend the majority of my focus working on one platform (iOS, Android, Symbian, WebOS, et cetera) only to ignore the rest — the marketplace is too big for that. I like “thin clients” — mobile enabled websites that work just as well on virtually any web-enabled phone in the world.
So I built one.
With great pride and humility, I present to you The Mobile Edition of The Operative Network, which should work on anything from a Palm Treo or old-model Blackberry to the most powerful phones on the market. You can use the number keys on your phone to navigate. You can get a sampling of what you’d find on the “big” website (I hesitate to call it the “real” website, because the mobile site isn’t “fake” … stupid English language, another thing you can pin on Great Britain and their “the sun never sets on the British Empire” shtick), including poetry, fiction, my resume and even some mobile-exclusive stuff.
Remember what I said about stuff that might get people talking? Here we go.
In the blog section, not only can you get my world-watching “what fascinates me” linkroll (updated infrequently and incessantly, depending on when you look), but you can see the first 2,000 characters of the latest blog posted right here. Why not just do the whole thing? Couldn’t find an RSS reader that would work, or an easier way to syndicate to mobile. That could change.
Anyway, aside from all that, the crown jewel is the Tumblr-powered “Greatest Hits” page, which will spotlight/syndicate the best of all the areas of my interests — linkroll, Twitter (when I get back to it … oh, you didn’t know? I took ), blog … and it’ll feature “as-they-happen” sneak previews of my Buy Pile column. Between the hours of 5:30PM-9PM on Wednesdays, I’ll post quickie comments about how the comics are going, what looks likely, what looks terrible, what zaniness is happening in the shop like the epic Namor McKenzie vs. Comics Ink case, which remains some of the finest comics scholarship I’ve ever seen) and so on. That will not happen anywhere else. The “Greatest Hits” is a different experience than the Soapbox (“Didn’t you try that with the Hundred and Four and it didn’t work?” “Shut up, this is different, this time the Soapbox will help feed it … stop interrupting me!”) that will be exclusive to mobile visitors.
Why am I doing this? Well, I wanna start this as … hang on, almost let the cat out of the bag. Too soon. Suffice it to say, I’d like this to be a vanguard for more content from me, proliferated in more ways. I’ll take stuff from my Fictionaut page and repackage it there (particularly The Messenger). More poetry. More … Hannibal. I think that’s a good thing.
As with all things, your mileage may vary.
So that’s the news for this Bastille Day — Hannibal launched a mobile site. Thanks for reading and riding this far with me.
Playing (Music): “I’m Feeling Myself” by Nipsey Hu$$le feat. Lloyd