Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Bards of the Internet" by Philip Elmer-Dewitt

Author Philip Elmer-Dewitt begins by comparing Internet writing to the letter writing we see in our history, before the invention of the telephone, whose wide-spread use over the century or so before the Internet retarded most people's ability to write. He goes on to talk about the ease of 'publishing' writing (in this Internet era) and the "Darwinian survival principle [that] has started to prevail"(2) because of it, explaining that to make any sort of impact what you write has to be good, but how you write it must be just as good. "Crawford Kilian, a writing teacher at Capilano College in Vancouver, British Columbia [adds] 'Short paragraphs, bulleted lists and one-liners are the units of thought here.'"(2) In the end, he makes mention of the opportunity technology has presented us with, and warns readers to not dismiss "or to underestimate the effect a lifetime of dashing off E-mail will have on a generation of young writers."(3) I like how Elmer-Dewitt begins by outlining the development of communication, therefore explaining why it is how it is today. Instead of telling us (like in the two articles I've posted on previous to this one), the readers, how and what to write on the Internet, he tells us how we came to, and why we write on the Internet. Based on that we can build our own ideas of how and what to write.

Elmer-Dewitt, Philip. "Bards of the Internet." Time Magazine. 4 July 1994. 18 Jan. 2007. -,9171,981013,00.html-

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