6:41 PM, Tuesday, March 24th, 2009:
How do you tell someone what The Journey is, 9 months away from the 10 year anniversary, if they've never seen or heard anything about it?
You don't. You show them a video.
So, uhm - watch it... then jump down a bit.
You know I intended to make a brand new video including the Philippines news story on me, but I just couldn't get over how pitch-perfect that little introduction I made in 2007 was. However it's kinda missing what the meat of this project is. Simply put, this site chronicles what changes someone's character when they pursue their dream... for life. I've sacrificed so much to continue, I'm clearly a different person... and a bit curious at just how far it will take me. In fact, I presume that's why people keep reading. What will happen next?

So why a group on Facebook? Absolute desperation at trying to communicate to everyone. I mean, just this:

"Hey, new entry and video."
That's all I've ever wanted to say. Just be that guy that pops his head in twice a week and says "hey, update..." and then moves along. As the years have passed since The Journey began this has become increasingly impossible. The more following, the bigger the lists and the more impossible to send an email without getting blocked. I've done everything from break up the lists, use different email sending applications, even attempted an RSS feed (which I will have by the end of the year for search engine optimization purposes only) only to have it all fail. The truth is, the people that follow this story don't even know what an RSS feed is. And 2200 friends on Facebook is worthless when you can't even email them more than 20 at a time. However with a group on Facebook you have the ability to message at least 5000 members (after that you're screwed however - Facebook, really?) so "The Journey Group" was born...
There is a wonderful silver-lining to all this work however:  The Journey Players. Something I started back in 2005 when The Journey had it's own message board (spammers eventually ruined that), it was giving the "players" in this crazy story a name, number and the ability to interract with people who were reading it. So often I was asked "what Jess must feel..." or "whatever happened to so and so" and personally - I wanted a forum where people could respond to things as well. No matter how much I try to show things from other people's perspectives - it's still coming from me. So with the Journey Boards I was able to let people defend themselves or discuss things. It was really nice and I hated to have to take it down but the robots and spammers were impossible to moderate.
With Facebook however, I'm able to select "Officers" and give them titles - so voila, if you look to your right - all of the Journey Players I've found so far are represented in the order that they appear within The Journey. You can find a year and entry # under their name and I'm sure if you send them a nice note, they'll add you as a friend. Or, actually, maybe they won't. People are fucking strange about Facebok. It's like a perfectly kept desk where everything is symmetrical and someone asks to put their stapler on it... and mofackers go MILTON on you. So add at your own risk. :-)
Which I'm also finding out from thie GODDAMN SITE. Talk about love/hate. Facebook is about as Gestapo as you can get man. Imagine this, I wanted to add the people that joined "The Journey" as friends. Crazy idea huh? But alas - started getting warnings for "misusing the site". Basically, adding them too fast. My own members of my own group. (sigh). So I leave the site for 24 hours, nope - not long enough. I write to Facebook, nothing. I finally give it 2 days and everything is fine - but still, nothing from Facebook. I keep writing them because I cannot afford to lose this account. Nada. So I try a different approach:
Instead of "adding" the members, I write them a message asking if they can add me - voila it works! Until I get another warning for once again, "misusing the site". I go to write to them for the 5th time, and notice someone sent me a message. I CLICK THE NOTE and get another warning. Now, the reason these warnings are bad? If you get a certain number? Your account is completely deleted. They will not tell you the metric for that happening, they won't even tell you the metric which GIVES you the warning. You're just screwed. Facebook is like having a really hot sister. You're just completely schizophrenic about it. (obviously I'm an only child, because every guy I know who had a really hot sister told me it's just never an issue... but I have yet to believe that's possible) Heh.
So I guess if you're reading this and you're not my friend? Please add me... 'cause I can't apprently WRITE YOU TO ASK. (sigh)
Oh and, don't be afraid of actually starting from Entry #1 in January 2000 and goin' through it. More people do it than you can imagine and now that every video is embedded right in the entry, you can whiz through 'em. I absolutely love hearing people's initial reactions to things that happened years ago. :-)
Anyway, I have little to tell newcomers about what's coming next - because I haven't a clue. I can tell you there's a huge announcement next week, but after that? Anyone's guess.
Welcome to The Journey.
PS - Oh and, if you haven't joined the group:
... I would really appreciate it. :-)