Friday, 29 May 2009

finished Catch 22 and declared it a masterpiece (but then realised that many other people have already done just that...) Next: Barthelme!

Facebook Status Update Update

May has been a quiet month for me blog-wise. I've been using as mentioned previously to update my Twitter, Facebook and Blogger accounts simultaneously and it's either made me a more frequent micro-blogger or... just a very lazy blogger.

Anyway, I'm back here because I realised it's been a month since I posted anything properly and because Language Log seem to have picked up on status update pronoun issues similar to the annoyances I'd found myself getting unduly worked up about back in the frantic days of April.

Eric Baković, who wrote the post, also noted the increasing prevalence, since Twitter, of users' tendency to "brain-dump" on Facebook. (I thought that was a nice phrase for it.) He puts this down to the Facebook facelift which changed the status area from a "Username is" style format to the present and more evocative question: "What's on your mind?"

So perhaps I missed the point of this status update feature or perhaps I've just failed to keep up with the times... It's not so much what you're doing but what you're thinking that counts. This gives my friend's admission that he feels all this Tweeting and FBing and blogging feels more like group therapy than communication some credence. It also makes sense as there are surely only a limited number of things you can do while updating your status.

I digress. Point is, that status updates in Facebook are still preceded by your username.

Eric goes on to explore the grammatical implications of this:
Among those who conceive of the username prefix as part of the status update, a couple of patterns are distinguishable. (Again, this may have been true before the facelift, but it's certainly more noticeable now.) On the one hand, there are those who consistently refer to themselves in the third person; e.g., "Username can't wait for the weekend so that she can sit on the couch and watch TV." On the other hand, there are those who start out in the third person but then switch to the first; e.g., "Username is ecstatic that it's the weekend. I'm going to sit on the couch and watch TV!"
If this is something that people do frequently without stopping to consider the grammatical inconsistencies I wonder what it means for self-perception, identity, narrative, etc... I'm not losing sleep over this (yet) but I do wonder if and how it's reshaping our culture and our perceptions of ourselves and what we do or think. To be switched on and constantly reporting on your actions/thoughts, announcing what you do, to a world full of people doing/thinking much the same...

As with my previous post, this may all seem trivial to some but I wonder what someone like Orwell would have thought about this technology and the kind of mangling of language that seems inherent to its use...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

got tired and would like a beer and burrito.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

probably should've read Catch 22 years ago but only started at the weekend.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

could get used to the weekend.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

will be playing an acoustic set with Galapagos tomorrow night, at Deja Vu. Please no jokes about the venue; I've heard them all before...

Monday, 11 May 2009

so very nearly finished reading Promethea this weekend but didn't realise the final issue would be so trippy...

Friday, 8 May 2009

will be seeing the new Star Trek film shortly... Expecting dodgy revisionist plotholes, healthy explosions and some cheese thrown in for good measure.
would like to wish Thomas Pynchon a happy birthday but can't seem to find out where he lives or what he looks like... Strange that.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

A Short (But True) Story...

...about one man's attempts to defy apathy and slightly improve the tools he uses every day.

It's the 'Sent from my iPod' but that gets me

got stuff done this weekend. Finally.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Bb World Europe (Back-Posts #2)

I promised I'd be staggering the release of my notes from the the Bb World Europe Conference - today, I've finally uploaded a couple more after being reminded that I hadn't yet made all the notes available.

First up (ie. oldest) is a talk on The Google Generation, Podcasting and Peer Review which I saw on Tuesday 8th. It was a very interesting talk, I made lots of notes and consequently the post is quite long! If you're keen on reading (and I hope the post itself is interesting) it might be best to make yourself a coffee, tea or cocktail of some sort before you begin.

The second post to be uploaded today is much shorter, mainly as the session was a demonstration of a nice toolkit that the University of Nottingham have developed linking into WebCT. I say mainly because I was also feeling very ill that day and had my own talk to plan, so note-taking was much more minimal to say the least. However, I'm contact with the people who gave the talk and will post more details as, if and when I get them!

Also, any corrections or amendments need making? Let me know. More about some other talks I saw, plus the one I delivered myself, coming up soon!