Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging During Times of Twitter

Funny to return after some months away from this space only to learn that, according to the NYT, we now live in the time of Twitter. I'd been away finishing a film script and supporting the release of another movie, a truly ancient medium apparently, and suddenly now everything has changed. Frankly, I'm not buying it, and so we blog on...

The other day I was discussing electronic media with a manuscript archivist from Yale's Beinecke Library. When I assembled Paris Review's archives for sale to a research library in 1999 there were an array of artifacts: handwritten postcards and manuscripts, typed manuscripts, international cables between the NY and Paris offices, heavy-bound books recording notes from business phone calls, corrected printers' galleys, reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes and so forth. At the last moment, I copied two of the hard drives form the office computers and threw those in as well. The libraries who examined the archives said it was the first time they'd had to consider handling digital archives and they had no idea how best to preserve them. Last week I asked the Beinecke curator about this and she said, "We have all sorts of files composed on processing programs that aren't available anymore. Word Star?"

Friends, in the long term the odds are on objects. In the meantime, we discourse in prose on electronic media.

Stacy McCain refutes the NYT's claim that blogging has died. (The NYT, by the way, attempt to use terms of art in suggesting that blogging on Facebook is not blogging.)

Certainly I've found some useful links on twitter, and some have been composing "six word novels" but by and large it's a river of gibberish, designed to induce ADD. Consider this twitter from a Twitterer considered by the Independent to be one of the top in the UK:

There are many leads to good information here, but there is less information here than a old fashioned news ticker would provide, and what has happened to the voice of this fine novelist? Nowhere.

Give us the blog.


marcicco said...

Welcome back, dear blogger from outer space :)
I am amused at the choice of Hari's twitter (I don't do twitter, but I am curious to see if he will ever write a twitter novel!)
Missed you in the real world too - but baby has his priorities and so far it's wonderful to be a father rather than a blogger - :D

James Scott Linville said...

Ah, this sounds like a person I know, but am not sure who that is. A father? Congratulations! Meanwhile it's nice to be back on this screen.