I Have Nothing To Say (a.k.a. the nonpretentious Reaction to Obama’s Inauguration)

January 21, 2009

I find it relevant to point out that not one contributor – on the left or the right – weighed in on the momentous day that was yesterday.¹

Does this mean that we’re burnt out?  We needed a breather after the raucousness that was our twitterized Vice Presidential debate.  Or, we’re we too busy to tweet our experience because we were actually IN D.C. (for our first – and, probably, last – presidential inauguration)?  Did we even watch it on TV?  on CNN.com?  Youtube?

Were we paying attention by this point?

Did we hear about the “flubs” via the Huffington Post?  More importantly, did we care?

As a diverse group of contributors, is our reaction representative of the whole population or is our reaction representative of how we feel about our relationship to nonpretentious.

I’m going to think positively.  My conclusion is that our reaction was that January 20, 2009, as momentous as it was, was nothing more than a boring, antiquated ceremony in its climax.  (*controversial comment alert!*)

Here are a few announcements to show you that we will see CHANGES in 2009 (from Obama & nonpretentious).²

Upcoming Features

  • On the 23rd day of every calendar month – we’ll open up the site to allow new contributors to login and start posting under whatever type of character they want to be so long as they properly introduce themselves and write content that you think readers of nonpretentious will like.  (and, while we are a skeptical bunch, we’ll always give you a chance to rub it in our faces when you show how you dominate.)
  • We are not afraid to kick contributors out if we don’t like their writing style and/or if we are getting too many complaints about their writing from our readership (note: too many complaints is a pretty reasonable five (5)).
  • If you weren’t afraid to read to #3, I promise that despite our feeble attempts to sound despotic, we are a fair and peace-loving bunch.  If we start to see signs that nonpretentious.com and a contributor are not the best match, however, we’ll try to intervene.  First, we’ll try to figure out why the contributor and nonpretentious are not the best fits (are we on the same page?  is this a simply misunderstanding?  would having a coach or a mentor within nonpretentious help?).  If any of these solutions don’t work, we’ll then try to give the contributor ideas on where his or her contributing would work.  The point is: we’re laid-back & hippieish until you’re just a total loser and you need to get a clue.

As for the original bunch of 2008 – here are some special announcements for you for 2009.  (I will repost this post to your e-mail boxes so that you get this in there too.)

2009 Announcements for Original Contributors:

  • I quit my job to work on this full-time.  Therefore, you’ll see much more of me…which means, I may become an annoying Jewish mother or a mentor who changes your life.  [There are no in-betweens.]
  • For each contributors first 5 posts in 2009 (including the ones already posted), I will give you a feedback form on what I think is good – what I think your talents are, your improvement areas.  You can take my comments or leave them.  After you’ve read my comments, you can choose whether you’d like to post them to hear even more feedback to your writing.
  • I will continue this for any contributor who opts in.
  • I am always around for feedback & demands.  Tell me what you want from nonpretentious & I will try to make it happen.


On the 23rd day of every month you can register for the site whether you already contribute or not.  What that means:  any contributor who wants to experiment to see whether they can successfully create different characters/personalities – like on SNL – or see if personality is constant even through a medium like writing.


The easiest way for you to sign up anonymously is to create a google account with the user name you would like to contribute under. When the login page is open for general access, make your login name the same as your google account name.


  • i create google account – simplehat
  • when nonpretentious opens for the week of the 23rd, i register at nonpretentious with the user name: simplehat and the e-mail address simplehat at gmail dot com.
  • then you only share your identity when you want …unless our social experiment proves that you are always sharing your identity.
  • [NOTE: this is different than how the original contributors signed up. at the beginning, there was only one of us who knew the identity of every contributor - me - the rest only knew what the contributors cared to share. Some were more secretive than others]

I know I just bombarded you with a lot of announcements so I will probably repeat bits & pieces of this over the next few days. In the meantime, I opened the registration up today (January 21)…so a few days early. It will stay open until midnight on the 29th. (Just in time to celebrate tough_love’s 20s!)

¹As some of our faithful readers may know, nonpretentious is almost a social experiment.  As our footnote used to say:

nonpretentious.com is created by and made for (non)pretentious people who love:

culture, music, art, films, technology, magazines, politics, writing, science, comics, reading, organization, health, business, design, creativity, literature, sports, philosophy, mating rituals, & far too many other (non)obscure topics to list here.

unlike some of our role models, nonpretentious.com is NOT subject specific (c.f. any of the individual Gawker Media blogs, IGN network sites, etc.).

it has the “staged” quality of the LonelyGirl15 phenomenon – contributors pick a character and consistently write under that anonymous name. without faces, a contributor’s identity is DEFINED by his or her writing.

think: part magazine, part personal diary, part virtual reality.

Questions? Feedback? Ideas? E-mail: editor at nonpretentious dot com.

² Unfortunately, we’re not privy to any of the tricks Obama has up his sleeve so we can only bombard you with our announcements.

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