Since the dawning of the millennium, the technology of writing has changed very little in the offline world, the various tools (read: pens and pencils) changing only in brand, perhaps, and the materials on which we write (read: paper) changing only minutely in the elements of its composition. In terms of the Internet, however, there are constant, ever-changing technological "advances", and the craft of writing -- in particular, the blogcraft -- has become a cat-and-mouse chase of getting accustomed to the latest technological changes as newer improvements are constantly being introduced.
Take Blogger, for example, the blogging tool I've been using for years to post to something that happened
. Blogger began as a relatively simple application -- and still is, in comparison to many of the other tools available for publishing to blogs -- yet as it has developed over the years, with more and more features being introduced to the service, many bloggers have desired to go "back to the basics". That is, many bloggers prefer to use even simpler applications to post to their blogs.
Thing is, Blogger is about as simple as it gets (when it comes to posting to a blog using a web app). Yet because of the very nature of the tool (because it is a web app, that is), Blogger depends upon the reliability of your Internet connection, and if you're attempting to use the application from a public WiFi access point, where your wireless 'Net access may come and go depending upon how many of your fellow caffeine addicts are sharing the connection, you may find yourself wishing for a more simple solution.
Enter Google Docs
, a set of writing applications I am using for the first time today. The applications are web apps, similar to Blogger (and owned by the same company, Google), but they seem -- at least, upon first glance -- more intended for the task of writing, rather than blogging. That is, they seem -- and perhaps this is wishful thinking, on my part -- more simply able to handle the task of rightly writing. (I realize that last phrase probably doesn't make much sense, at least in a legitimate classic use of the English language, but it does makes sense when you consider that the word processing feature we now use in Google Docs was once known as a service called Writely. That is, before it was acquired by Google. Alright? Right...onword, then!) The Google Docs word processing application I'm using to type this sentence seems, for example, more equipped at handling the task of simply writing your thoughts out and having them automatically saved as you plunge forward with your writing of that Great American Novel (or Blog).
Still, there's the 'Net reliability thing again. Since Google Docs are web apps, they count on your Internet connection, and perhaps just as much as Blogger does. (Maybe more so, even -- I don't know yet.) So only time will tell whether my use of Google Docs proves simpler to use than Blogger. If a flaky WiFi connection disrupts the saving of the documents I compose using the service, then I may have to resume the cat-and-mouse chase sooner than I'm hoping. Yet if it turns out that the service works well, continuing to perform more reliably (and in a simpler manner) than Blogger, than perhaps I'll be able to rest with my cheese for awhile.
Technorati Tags: Harold, Google Docs, blogging, writing, technology
Labels: Blogger, blogging, commentary, Google Docs, observations, technology, web services, writing
One thing I've learned over the past year or two: In most cases, it is quite difficult to offer little more than the most watered-down criticism of an Internet artist's work, especially if they are membered within a community of craftspersons of a similar bent. Take the case of videobloggers, for example: No matter how well-intentioned you may think
you are being, offering an honest perspective that you
would personally prefer over half-considered ego-stroking -- no matter how much you'd like to benefit the state of the art by compelling its craftspersons to consider raising their ambitions -- the moment you state your opinion of a vlogger's work, the vlang* will surely arrive on the scene with a virtual artillery of devices in which they intend to destroy
I haven't offered much honest commentary regarding online video in at least a year -- in fact, I don't believe I have ever
actually offered criticism of any particular
vlogger's work -- because to do so would be to invite harassment. Instead, I look to collaborate and exchange ideas with those who are desirous of honesty, who wish to better their craft rather than settle for mediocrity. I keep away from the time-wasters -- those who attempt to devalue your opinions through self-indulgent mockery -- looking instead to find strong-willed artists looking for improvement. No matter how big your ego, there is always
room for improvement. I mean, if you were already The Absolute Best At Your Art, what fun would there be in continuing to practice the craft? It would seem (to me) much more interesting to begin the journey of mastering another craft, one more challenging.
Within the vlogosphere, I've encountered an abundance of friendly and kind people who I respect and admire. The folks who put on last weekend's Pixelodeon festival
are of that group; most of them seem kind and ambitious fellows. Yet within that group -- though the number is few -- there are those who simply seem to be of the gang mentality
, not taking kindly to the slightest suggestion of criticism to their work. This troubles me, because I sense an overwhelming lack of dishonesty prevailing -- perhaps due to the perception that we all need to be patting each other's backs and stroking each other's hoo-haws at every possible opportunity. Though it is certainly healthly to recognize greatness, we also need to welcome honesty about our craft, less we become like that other formerly-great artform of moving images: Hollywood filmmaking.
: "vlog" + "gang"