Out on the Internet

I was going to try a “blank page” approach to this article.

Th Editors Note Out 01
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by Mark Hartley
markh@pennwell.com

www.myspace.com/MarkhRDH
www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706112064
www.linkedin.com/pub/4/52/872

I was going to try a “blank page” approach to this article. You would open up the magazine. Start flipping through pages. And then there’s this blank page containing nothing but my photo and the headline above. While scratching your head in befuddlement, you might have noticed the little bitty text underneath it. You would have read, “Click on www.den tistryiq.com. Then click on Hygiene Department to read the August 2009 Editor’s Note.”

DentistryIQ™ is a new Web site that is a compilation of information from RDH, Dental Economics, and a variety of other sources. Although the information is primarily from PennWell, the parent company for RDH, it’s not limited to those sources. I was going to devote this entire page to describing it to you. But you should just go look. A handy resource that is not just an “archive,” DentistryIQ™ has plenty of articles that are just exclusive to the Web site.

The “blank page” idea, I thought, was just unsociable of me — sort of like me offering the guidance that the restroom is “over yonder” instead of the “first door on the right down the hall.” Plus, two other factors prompt me to write the Editor’s Note in the usual way:

• I would need to remember to actually write the Editor’s Note on Den- tistryIQ™ to coincide with the arrival of your copy of this issue.

“Yoohoo, Mark, I found everything under the sun at DentistryIQ™ except your Editor’s Note.”

• Talking about Web sites and being sociable makes me think about being sociable on the Internet. Mr. Sociable may not be my nickname.

I have a Twitter account too. But it’s not listed in my Internet networking addresses above. I developed a dislike for Twitter in recent months. Anyone can “follow” you. Yes, you can “block” them. First, though, you generally have to make a determination on whether to block someone, and that can lead you to some unwanted discoveries about other humans.

But even with the fellow “Tweeters” with whom I am sociable, I don’t have enough time to view every Web site they like (submitted through TinyURL.com). I am content to devoting a slice of my time to the Web sites that I like to peruse. In addition, I don’t want to know what you ate for breakfast via a Tweet. Even in face-to-face conversations, I will seldom ask you if you like your eggs scrambled or poached.

Yes, strangeness also occurs among my friends at the MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn addresses above. My-Space, which allows you more personal control of designing your profile, can lead to some graphic images that dental hygienists might want to reconsider, particularly if they list their occupation. The Facebook “Wall” can also contain some rather mundane updates on the activites of our friends, and there’s no character limit such as Twitter’s limit of 140. So your pal’s breakfast menu can be described in a whole paragraph. LinkedIn is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

A humorous blog was recently distributed all over the Internet. I could not find the original source. I think it may have been from a retired pastor by the name of Ed Decker, who titled his blog, “My Twitter Won’t Tweet.”

He wrote, “I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and two great-grandkids could communicate with me in the modern way. … My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. … I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.”

I know the feeling.

Consider this to be a full-page beep to visit DentistryIQ™. No Tweets or blank page gimmicks. Just a gentle suggestion to click on dentistryiq.com.

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