A Worm’s Eye View: Some site updates and more

Some brief site updates: thanks to Blogharbor support, I’ve fixed the site’s URL so that www.thewiredjester.co.uk works properly (i.e. it no longer just does a simple re-direct). This was done using a CNAME setting at 1 and 1, where I bought the domain from, and a quick e-mail to Blog Harbor’s support department to sort things at their end. Blog Harbor users who’ve bought their domain from a 3rd party registry might like to take a look here for the precise details of how to get it all working.

I’ve also been updating the links on the right-hand side, cleaning out some old ones that pointed to sites which are no longer active, and expanding the tech ones. Some of these new links point to sites I refer to a lot for work (Tech Report, Ars Technica), while others are blogs that I’ve been reading lately, including Wil’s (he runs Bit-Tech a site which I contribute to and greatly enjoy reading), and Helmintholog, which is the weblog of Andrew Brown, a journalist and writer. I started reading it after coming across the column he writes for the Guardian, Worm’s Eye View. Last week’s piece was like a piercingly cold drink on a hot day; I really *felt* it. It’s very much written from a writer’s perspective and the central comparison struck me as being true and clear:

“I am coming to suspect that the internet will be to my generation of journalists, and to any younger ones, what alcohol was to our predecessors’: a destroyer first of thought and then of productivity, destructive both of the capacity to reflect, and to react, blurring everything into a haze of talk and endlessly repeated variations on the same experience. Just like alcohol, and even cigarettes once were, it seems an inevitable part of the job, one of the things that distinguishes it from all others. Stories are chased and found on the net just as they once were in bars.”

Annoyingly, the Guardian don’t seem to keep copies of previous week’s columns, so the best I can do to guide you to the whole article is this, the Google cache of the page (no longer works, I’m afraid).

It’s been over a week since I originally read it and was so instantly taken that I jabbered on about it out to all and sundry; seven days on, I still think it’s exceptionally well written and crafted, with lots of rich little asides and a real sense of life running through it. And though I find the idea appealing, I do think there’s a lot for writers to gain from the internet; a sense of community, the ability to easily research ideas, and of course, stories: there’s nothing out there if not an absolute torrent of stories… As my good friend Phil has written in his most recent article for Bit-Tech, ‘The Age of The Web Hermit‘:

“Some might say that playing World Of Warcraft or Counter-Strike is not the most active of pastimes. This is true, but it’s not as if, in the event of the Blizzard servers suddenly all crashing and wiping themselves, the six million players of World of Warcraft would suddenly pick up footballs, hop on bicycles and head off to the park for some fresh air and a kick about. Do games make people inactive, or do inactive people flock to games?”

This is very much the case with writers, I feel: sure, the internet is a great distraction, but if I am ever without the internet, and have something to write, there’s always a cup of tea to be made, washing to be done, or, as Brown points out, windows to be stared out of…..

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