Sometimes, I read books. Boring books. Books that suck the life out of me. Books that claim to be New York Times bestsellers. Books that everyone else has read. Most times, I let them sit on my headboard, waiting for a second chance. Other times I let them sit on my shelf until the day I feel they might be interesting again because my understanding of them has changed with experience. Often times, I just give them out because it’s not good to hoard stuff that someone else might enjoy. I gave away The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. I couldn’t stand it. Turns out my BFF’s mum loved it. I also gave away two John Grisham books: Sycamore Row and Gray Mountain. Honestly John bored me to death with these two. Bear in mind I’m a Grisham girl. Why would he bore me then, you ask? I have a theory.
I fell in love with epubs and Kindle editions. Slowly. And then all at once. (I really need to stop using this John Green line. Btw, John Green is one of the richest authors alive as we speak. Like duh.) Everything you can do with a physical book, you can do with an epub, only that you can do more with an epub. For starters, you can read in the dark. No more walking over from your warm bed to flip a switch. No? You have a bed switch? Oh really? Isn’t it just weird to have the lights on all night when you can’t put that book down. There’s something eerily delightful about reading in the dark as you plot out the story in the dark canvas. Just you and book. Try it out sometime, you’ll see. Also, you don’t need a bookmark with these books and struggling to remember where you left off, because, you know, the app stops exactly where you left off.
Also, if you are a highlights addict with all sorts of highlighter pens, forget about them, epubs and Kindle editions got you covered. You also get to see popular highlights across the global Kindle community, if that floats your boat. It doesn’t mine, so I turn those off. I don’t want my opinion of phrases being influenced by strangers strewn across the universe. Did I mention that you can get digital copies way before Kenyan bookshops lay their hands on actual traditional books? I remember what happened last year, one moment you are struggling to find good books, then immediately you read Gone Girl and The Fault in Our Stars on epub, they suddenly pop up at Text Book Centre. In short, the only time you’ll find a traditional book of that kind is only when it becomes popular and people start asking for it. I get overly tired of popular books. And songs. And movies. Hyped works of creativity. They are not all that. If they were, I’d have discovered them before they were popular. 😛
Anyhuuuuu, enough about my love for epubs and theories. Let’s get to the reason I started writing this post. I read a book over the weekend. A book that made me forget about An Ember in the Ashes which I’m still hoping will get to a juicy part soon. The book is titled Hatching Twitter. One day I’m seated at my desk, busy at work doing what I can to save the world. Lol. Then I remember this thing I read on my Flipboard in the morning about a company called Zirtual, and how it closed up overnight without warning. As expected, that is bound to intrigue me, seeing as I love all stories and experiences startup. I read through the whole article and let my thoughts wander to what might have led that to happen. I decide to discuss this with my Hangouts partner in crime.
Me: Umesoma juu ya ile company ilifungwa overnight?
Me: Wach a nikumbuke jina na Google
Me: Zirtual: http://www.businessinsider.com/zirtual-suddenly-laid-off-400-employees-via-email-2015-8
Me: Cheki hiyo link below that after kusoma hiyo story (some threads of this convo have been removed for various reasons. 😀 )
I do it and discover that there’s a link related to the story now that on Business Insider itself and not Flipboard. I quickly click through. Same old people who almost gave up on their companies before they struck gold. Interesting all the same. Until I get to Ev Williams. And I’m like whoa. From starting Blogger (I used to prefer my Blogger blog to my WordPress.com one when I started blogging) to Twitter (we all know I prefer Twitter to Facebook) and then Medium (I love Medium, I just don’t write on it. Story for another day.)
I wait for B to read through then I ask him to guess who intrigued me most. The Blogger guy of course. Damn. He knows me too well. Of course Ev intrigued me. From Blogger to Twitter to Medium. Who does that? I have to find out. So I Google him. And just like that we are asking each other who were the actual founders of Twitter, now that we all assume it’s Jack Dorsey. I am now determined to find out. I click through to Wikipedia. Not helping. That’s when I land on the Amazon page with the book. I stare at it. I click Look Inside! Hmmm… I have to go back to work. Leave tab open. Will come back to it later. I tell B I’ll get that book and he’s like ati Amazon is paying me of late. Whatever man. Anyway, in the end, I come back to that tab two days later. I know you do that too. Millennials. Smh. Too much going on on our browsers. I buy the book and there’s no stopping me now.
One week in the summer of 1999, while she was away on vacation, Ev released the diary Web site to the world. He called it Blogger, a word that had not existed until then. He believed it would allow people without any computer-programming knowledge to create a Web log, or blog.
Outside the small enclave of the Valley, most people didn’t believe in the promise of this weird blogging thing . Some called it “stupid” and “infantile.” Others asked why anyone would care to share anything about themselves so publicly. Quotes from Hatching Twitter
From the word go, I’m captured by the writing, not to mention the stories. In case you didn’t know, both me and the book are so clearly biased toward Ev. First of all, dude started Blogger in his apartment. And since I don’t want to spoil the book for you, I’ll be fast. Google bought Blogger from Ev, despite the fact that he thought it was going nowhere. Then he hooked up with this guy Noah Glass on a podcast project that was truly going nowhere. That’s when he stumbled upon Jack Dorsey. The rest they say is history. Only in this case it isn’t. Dude. The wrangles that birthed Twitter. You have no idea. Even as we speak, Jack is interim CEO, a position he acquired just last month after he conspired to kick Ev out many years ago.
The Twitter you see today is a complete contrast from what we had a few years back. When I say we, I mean those that joined around 2009-2010. Even we didn’t see nothing of the raw version. It took ages to take off from 2006. It was mostly a techie thing and I think that’s the same reasoning that carried over to Kenya, where most people thought it was difficult. Right until Twitter Z emerged and eggs joined just to tweet corporates. Most of the features were not really the founders’ ideas. They were brought in by users themselves. Remember the fail whale? There’s a whole story behind it. Remember when Tweetdeck was a third party app and there were many more that disappeared? Another story. You think the Mark Zuckerberg story is interesting? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Friends turn on friends. A crush lasts for years only for a co-founder to take her away from him. Cussing all the way, typical of Americans (not to be stereotypical or anything). Not to mention Mark wanted to buy the company twice.
The first use of the @ symbol was by a young Apple designer , Robert Andersen, who on November 2, 2006, replied to his brother by placing an @ before his name as they talked.
You know what, if a book made me write, you can bet it’s a good book. I’m itching for the next good book, as I continue doing An Ember in the Ashes. It has that Hunger Games vibe that I don’t necessarily like. What are you reading?