Damn You People Write a Lot

Turn my back and overnight 130 new blog posts have appeared. This is my first go at catch up. And just a heads up, if you are now blogging about readings and classes from any of weeks one, two, three, four, they won’t appear here.

Kevin writes about technoanxiety, and disagrees with Douglas’ claim about book sales. Though to be fair to Douglas things have changed a lot since she wrote the book, particularly with the rise of the franchised novel/film model which, will cinematically artless, is economically very powerful. The refusal to link out, bad idea, it is treated your blog as the internet version of a gated community, kiss of death for the network which is defined by and as its ability to connect (link). One reason some news sites collapse is because of their anxiety about ‘losing’ traffic. Except it is an economy that is about connecting, not funnelling. Boglarka wants to mourn books and notes that “I for one hat readings that are excerpts from a textbook online”. Absolutely, but Douglas et al are arguing for what these days media people like to call born digital works. Things that are made digital not scans, with all the bells and whistles that provides (lines that can stretch automatically to let you write notes between the lines, highlighters in different colours and the ability to automatically export all that you have highlighted, and so on).

Denham has notes on symposium 0.3 and also on books and the pleasure of the physicality. If only to know where you’re up to. However, an ereader like Marvin, for example has a very elegant interface element that automatically visualises where you are in the book, including where the current chapter is, where you are in the chapter, and how big the chapter is relation to the whole book. Even a print book can’t do this so elegantly. Brittany has some takeaways from the symposium too, picking up how books need to become beautiful things that provide very specific experiences to matter now. Lauren has another excellent summary, and yes Lauren, ‘automagically’ is a word we use in this space. Sophie also has notes, and loves books and her e-reader (me too, personally, and I’m serious, if you love what books do, rather than what they are as things, then how could you not enjoy some of the qualities digitisation brings?). And now I bring down the count to below 300 with Christopher thinking also about books, their physicality and the digital. For the fetishists out there, it was, oh, about five years ago when people still insisted that digital video would not replace film in high end production, or projection in cinemas. That argument is now over. Don’t even mention photography (because most of us aren’t professional photographers and are happy with our phones’ cameras, yet to a photographer this is a shocking as us as wannabe tv makers thinking using your phone for video is OK – personally I do – and so it is with books, we’re humanities people, books are our thing, but it doesn’t follow that it is everyone else’s, or that it will stay this way).