May 05, 2000
Visual vs. Textual literacy

Though I initially passed over technography because it seemed so business-oriented, I think it has a lot to do with what I think and write about - mediating collaboration through technology, etc. "the goal of the meeting to be to create a document. Regardless, it is a visible, tangible product of the meeting. It becomes the central focus of the participants, which subtly alters the relationship dynamic in a manner that makes the facilitator's task easier."

Web Content Won’t Always Be Free: "the Internet is free because it is in its infancy, but it won’t stay that way forever". The reason the internet is free (AFAICS), is because there are so many people who are willing to generate quality stuff for free, and it's really quite cheap to distribute. (This article seems to have become a bit of a whipping post, but what can I say, it's fun).

Slashdot is interviewing Metallica, presumably because they just decided to sue some 300,000 napster users. This could be interesting. This seems to be one of the better uses of the web so far - interfacing real people with public figures, but without the self-censorship.

There has been an interesting weblog and email-mediated debate going on over at Cap'n Cursor. It seems that trying to argue that images can communicate as effectively as text is something of a null argument, since images can never be as good at what text does as text itself.

This is reminiscent of the great debate over whether digital books are better or worse than the dead-tree variety. There isn't a medium out there that can be a better book than a book, because the book itself is the standard to which everything else is compared.

In the same sense, images will never be as effective at doing what text does as text is, but that doesn't mean we can't develop a visual gestalt such that it becomes an effective medium for communication on it's own terms. Such a gestalt, or set of symbols was certainly done to a certain extent by painters in the last few hundred years. Now, if we take a cue from the past, we can similarly cultivate web design, flash animations, and good ole gifs and jpegs to communicate in new and exciting ways, but on their own terms.

posted by dru in blog