“Rhymes with Crisco” — Really?

Someone dropped me an email and called me to task for using “Rhymes with Crisco” in my note yesterday announcing my new job. The email could be boiled down to “Dude, really?”

They have a point. It’s trite, silly and rather 12 year old. That was, in fact, the point. Let me explain.

First, I’ll admin: guilty as charged. It’s silly, and supposed to be. I get to have a bit of fun here if I want to.

But it also serves a more serious purpose. I used it for the same reason I use “Mama Fruit” when talking about one of my former employers. And I do that not just because it’s silly — and we all take this stuff way too seriously some days, especially when talking about the tech industry — but because it prevents my comments from being easily found in the search engines.

When I write here I write on a personal basis and not as a formal representative of my employer or any organization that I’m writing about. I learned — the hard way — that you can load your stuff with disclaimers all you want, all it takes is one troll with an axe to grind to choose to ignore that to make your life miserable.

You learn to watch what you say. But I’ve also found you can limit the chances of what you say ending up in the hands of random idiots looking for a fight by managing how you say things to stay away from hot button terms. Like using “Mama Fruit” and “Rhymes with Crisco” instead blah and blah. I’m not pretending this is more than it is — it’s like talking quietly at a party about a topic instead of grabbing the mike from the DJ — but it makes it easier to talk about some aspects of some organizations with less risk of those discussions getting hauled into larger discussions  I want to stay out of by someone trolling specific keywords for content to start fights with.

Effectively, it’s a way to make it easier to talk about some things with you all, the people who normally read this blog without a lot of risk of those comments ending up in some troll fight that I’m not interested in getting dragged into. That’s what this blog is primarily about — sharing and interacting with the people interested in what I say and do. This is just one way of managing the audience that sees some of the comments I make and limiting that audience to people who understand the context.

It serves a useful purpose. It’s a tool I’ve adopted in cases where I specifically don’t want to try to attract a large audience and instead talk more quietly to people already involved with me and this site at some level.

So yeah, it’s silly. But to date, it’s worked pretty well…