March 1st, 2009


Words we need for the internet age...

Because this has come up twice in conversation in two days, I'm now convinced we need an elegant way of expressing the difference between "I don't know" and "I don't have that information in active memory, but I know that I can find it in my email/on my Google calendar/on the web the moment I can get to an internet-connected device."

I think I'd also like to propose the term "anxiety of audience" to describe the strange self-consciousness that grips one when one's friends/followers/network on a social networking site change in unexpected ways. See, over on twitter, ever since I joined the "Technical Communications" twitter group just to see what it was about*, I've gained a couple of followers whom I don't know. All I can determine from their profiles is that they're tech writers and that they live overseas.

So, I see this, and I think, "Gosh, I should twitter some stuff about tech writing, because that must be what those people are interested in, as opposed to my usual natterings about science fiction and BBC radio and tea." There are two problems with this argument: First, I'm not sure that I have any profound thoughts about tech writing that can fit in 140 characters or less. Second, there's a fair probability it's actually my natterings about science fiction and BBC radio and tea that interest these folks, and the fact that we share a profession is much less important.

*Right now it seems mostly to be about people twittering that they've joined the group. Hmmm.
talent, pencil

A bunch of webcomics from the Potlatch graphic novels panel

The first panel I attended at this year's Potlatch convention was the graphic novels panel, moderated by Ursula LeGuin.

I went partly because I was curious about what Ursual LeGuin thought about graphic novels, and it turns out that Ursula LeGuin wanted to know what we all thought about graphic novels. We had a great big round of recommending titles, starting with the panelists and moving on to the audience.

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That's far from a complete list, but those were the ones that most caught my eye. I think someone compiled a more comprehensive list - I'll post a link if I can find it online.