I’ve witnessed a few friends take sabbaticals from social media in recent months, some of them originally swearing off the entire FB/Twitter thing forever and ever and ever and never again… only to see them sheepishly return a few months later. I’m not that naive to think that I could completely disavow all on-line activity connecting me with various individuals, groups and communities, connections for the most part for which I actually feel genuinely privileged in the first instance. Connections seemingly superficial often prove moving on occasion.
Apologies for the time lapse folks but I have just endured more than half an 'Annus Horribilis'. My whole right shoulder was in knots of physical pain just over six months ago so I took lots of painkillers during and between conference visits to Madrid and Edinburgh last year. I was under that cloud of physical pain until it became utterly unbearable and excruciating, totally debilitating really.
“ I must create a cistern or become enslaved by another man’s. ”
– Billy Blake
Above exhibit 01: A mobile phone photo of a cistern in the gents toilets in the Edinburgh Collage of Art.. just one of the many inanimate objects I chose to photograph in that bastion of creative endeavour while attending the ‘Remediating the Social’ Conference last month.
I’m sort of bound to a new format here for a short wee while. As a writer we get advice from everywhere and everyone, specifically if those giving the advice are in some way deemed successful. It’s also now true for Digital spaces and all manner of creative /commercial activity. I have recently found myself in the situation of offering best practise writing tips to those seeking to use the www.
So I tell them: write short paragraphs containing keywords, craft sentences that are generally succinct, stick to a few simple rules for communicating ideas in the context of SEO and SEM.
I wrote a little bit about some initial experiences with Ireland's first tranche of 'digital humanists' back in 2009: http://www.michaeljmaguire.com/index.php?q=node/33 Coming from a twenty five year writing and technology background, I almost argued, without intentionally offending anyone I trust, that essentially many in Ireland venturing into the emerging discipline at that time were not theoretically equipped to actually comprehend it's true creative potential.
I have never entered a poetry competition in my thirty years of writing. Recently, perhaps due to my involvement with the study of digital literature and digital poetics etc, I have begun to receive a lot of emails and messages about various such competitions. Me being me, I decided to write a short sort of traditional poem about that this evening.. it's first draft is below:
The internet is for the most part utterly fabulous; it is my technologically imaginative window on a world that might otherwise entirely pass me by. The amount of conversation, discussion, information, entertainment, stimulation etc, available to me is literally, mind-bogglingly, a phenomena simply beyond any combinational conceptual compartmental comprehension or to phrase it with just a little less alliterative awkwardness….. Doahhhhhhh.
Conference @UCD later this year.. http://beckettucd2011.wordpress.com/.. my lickle image of said.. or unsaid..