On the written word…   3 comments

Elegance.

For me, the Internet has always been a medium of the written word.  No amount of flashy graphics, high-definition sound, or technological widgetry replaces the power and expressiveness of the written word.  Maybe, in some way, I’m a throwback to previous generations, who could (or can, in some cases) scarcely comprehend the new frontier that we now inhabit. But for me, and others, the written word is still what it’s all about – not podcasts, or YouTube streams.  Yes, they can enhance the experience.  Indeed, I listen a fair amount to podcasts, or occasionally watch the YouTube “mixtapes” published by jwz.  But I joined the Internet in an era before all of that – an era in which the written word was almost all there WAS on the Internet for expression.

It seems to me that, in a lot of ways, communication on the Internet is packaged into tiny pieces.  140-character tweets, usually with some pithy comment and a link to someone else’s content.  On Facebook, you may see a sentence or two more — but not usually that much more…  and a link to someone else’s content.  On and on it goes…  And “someone else’s content?”  It’s often as not a picture of a cat with some text (occasionally hilarious, more often just amusing) superimposed on the image.  Most people on the Internet, and maybe in real life, seem to be writing less, not more.  And with what they are writing, they seem to be saying nothing.

So now I will try and reverse that small trend in my corner of the universe.  Will I be good at it?  I don’t know.  Andy Rooney was a writer, although all I ever “read” of his writing so far were his commentaries at the end of 60 Minutes.  Another writer who I’m getting to know only after his death is Gene Amole, a columnist for the (now defunct) Rocky Mountain News, who used his column to write about his last days before passing.  Those columns were collected in a book I own but have yet to read completely — but even reading certain selections from them, they read well.  And there are others I read, who are still alive — I’ll mention them at times as well.   I know that as I go forth, my voice will occasionally sound like others.  I am still finding my way, and they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

So imitate I may – maybe sometimes I can improve upon a method, sometimes not.  But hopefully, my content will regularly be more than some cat asking for a “cheezburger.”

Posted February 26, 2012 by mec in Uncategorized

3 responses to On the written word…

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  1. I have the same “problem”… I get tired of links within links within links, and start to find the internet is boring. When it gets to be too much, I just create my own content.

    In the beginning was the command prompt and all that.

    • Which reminds me, I need to read that essay again. Thanks!

      Content creation is going to be an interesting experiment and experience. Some friends have commented that I should do some photography as well. Maybe I will, and include it here. But yes — at the heart of it, I think you’re right. The Internet HAS gotten boring in a lot of ways — and while the technical underpinnings still excite me, the content doesn’t as much any more. Hopefully, I can try to help change that.

      • I was just thinking about that essay the other day, so it was on my mind. The world has changed from where I started with a dial-up and access to a couple of BBSs. In some ways it’s gotten better, but not in every way.

        And I still find the little games on social networking sites a waste of time.

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