A Post

web 2.0 is job 2.0

Activity on this blog had ceased almost entirely during December, January February. I should’ve posted a warning or something. Instead this blog appeared to succumb to the fate of so many others. First a trickle of activity, then a flood of posts and eventually, tumbleweeds. How long has it been since the last substantial post? What!? 3 months?

Web 2.0 is a harsh mistress. She rewards daily posting discipline, but taking a break is akin to doomsday. The blog acquires layers of dust… Your Technorati ranking falls, rss subscribers start to unsubscribe… are those cobwebs in the corner of the page? Why does anyone bother coming back here at all?

But, a few things did happen during those information dark ages. The blog converted from a creaky Movable Type installation on an old server to a shiny new Word Press engine on a new host. Is this the equivalent of a religious conversion in the world of blogs? I now have more megabytes, more bandwidth and more features than I know what to do with.

The slick new skin (K2) and the new guts look impressive, but a degenerative disease has seized the old posts imported from the previous install. Strange character artifacts have sprouted up. Images have gone mysteriously missing. Should I leave them alone? Leave them as a reminder of the relentless pace of Web 2.0? Should I let a patina of data rot slowly devour the old posts… Or should I fix them? Clean up the artifacts, re-link the misplaces images, add missing keywords to build up an impressive Tag Cloud?

I can’t help it. When I review the old posts it’s hard to resist hitting the ‘edit’ button and fix the problem. The old (expired?) posts are getting burnished, spit-shined and prepared for new data search paradigms. At the same time this kind of activity is self-reflective. Why did I ever post this? Or that? Should I practice a little revisionist history and delete those unwanted posts? But can they ever be completely deleted? Or will they keep leading a ghostly existence in search engine caches, or in some Wayback Machine?

The super-malleability makes this medium fragile. It screams for constant editing, constant updating and constant feedback. Perpetual flux. Swim or sink. But, the flux is it’s power. That’s how we keep coming back, to read, to post, to update, to comment… if we don’t do it now, it maybe too late. No one may notice or care a few days from now. Web 2.0 really is Job 2.0.

Notes on Will Eisner

Will Eisner, A Contract With God

I was asked to contribute an essay on the work of Will Eisner as part of this year’s (2010) Will Eisner Week celebrations. I decided to take a closer look at Eisner’s Contract With God Trilogy. The essay (well… really a series of notes) just got posted. Here’s a short excerpt:

All the stories in A Contract with God take place on Dropsie Avenue. Eisner fills this fictional Bronx street with multiethnic (especially Jewish) immigrants, desperate criminals and ragged tramps. Sudden wealth is as possible as instant ruin. Throughout the book it becomes obvious that the real protagonist of the book is the street itself. Eisner lavishes attention on its dilapidated buildings, rain drenched stoops and moody street-scapes. He’s clearly enamored of the urban patina of the place. With each subsequent story, Eisner increasingly begins to use the architecture of the street as a substitute for the panel border. In effect he trades the comic-book gutters for the gutters of the street.

Read the whole thing here.