The XX Factor

With “Friends” Like These

Lauren , love the “friends vs. entities” post. But I wonder how Orlean would categorize the folks who set up Web pages about us but don’t interact with us. Just folks who look for Internet gaps to fill? Freelance Internet reporters? Citizen researchers? (I think we know what to call those who dedicate pixels to tracking and insulting us.) How was I chosen to be profiled, however fleetingly? Was I assigned to someone somewhere, just one in a long list of Cliff’s Notes to write? Why? And by whom?


For instance, who created this Wikipedia page about me? And today it was this . It’ s hilarious because, while the bio data is correct (except that I blog here now), the comments all relate to the person I call “Cheese Me,” Debra Dickerson of the American Cheese Society . Lucky for me, she is apparently “a sweetheart” (who recently had a birthday and got interviewed at a yummy-sounding ice cream joint). Since not even my mom would describe me thusly, I shudder to think what Cheese Debra thinks of me after receiving the hate mail that predominates from my readers (to summarize, I’m a self-hating Uncle Tom who craves white folks’ approval. I am also insane).

OK, this niche is off-point from Orlean’s insightful taxonomy, but it does go to show just how weird a hang-out the Internet truly is.

And Happy Birthday, Debra Dickerson!