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Here’s the deal.  One of these days, I need to find an employer who values higher education so I can go back to school for my master’s and doctorate.  I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of how the Internet has the ability to form and strengthen communities, bring people together, and allow us to interact in ways we would have never dreamed of a few years ago.

Even more of a work in progress than Warhol’s Phone, more of a dumping ground for some of my thoughts and ideas.  I’ll be looking at a lot of ideas stemming from The Cluetrain Manifesto, Web 2.0, JoHo and all things related.  It will be a strange journey, but we’ll see where it goes.

Things won’t be thought out, I may post things with very little explanation.  It will be my own little sandbox to flesh out some ideas, even without the guidance of direction.  It’s going to be a  bumpy ride, but I’m excited.

The title comes from one of my favorite books, Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show.  One of the ideas in the novel is how the world can be manipulated and changed, and how that power is dealt with by seemingly ordinary people.  It's the first book of a trilogy that was never finished, but I still have hope he'll write the third book yet.  Very fitting all around.

Slate put up an editorial, by one of my favorite writers no less, about single versus double spaces after the terminal punctuation in a sentence.

He wrote, very passionately (which is why I like his writing), about the fact that we should never use the double space.  He has no evidence however, just his own preference.  In fact, even this sentence is included:

Typographers can point to no studies or any other evidence proving that single spaces improve readability.

That's fine if that is your preference, many copy editors and manuals of style will have their own preference.  I always say that it's better to consistent. than anything else really.

My preference is a double space, but I've written for organizations that used single space, and changed my typing accordingly.  I feel that a double space after a sentence lends itself better when reading text out loud, cuing the speaker to breath and leave a longer pause than after a comma.  I also find it easier when skimming a book, usually for the third or fourth time, looking for a specific quote, a double space helps me search faster.

But again, just go for consistency, let the professional typographers sort it out when you get a book published.  Otherwise, just listen to your current editor.

Slog weighs in here and the original article can be found here.

h/t Joe My God

So, as much as it pains me to write, if you read something in Comic-Sans, you're more prone to comprehend and remember.  Because it is harder to read, people concentrate more, therefore retaining more information:

What this means is that Comic Sans may be hideous, but it has its place in the world besides angry screeds by the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. If you’re a student and your professor starts to put material in funky fonts, you’ll know why.

Second item, is the Westboro Baptist Church, the group that everyone can get together to despise, was given air time on the radio in Tuscon for agreeing not to picket the funeral of the nine year old that died in the shooting.

On one hand, I like that they won't be at the funeral, and I doubt that very many people will listen to their broadcast.  It was a smart move by the radio station.  If people do listen, they get the ratings.  If people don't, no one hears their hateful message.

However, giving airtime to those wackos is never good, so that is saddening.

I'm not saying I have a better solution (although I do like how they bring communities to together to find new and interesting ways to counter protest them), of course it would be better if they just weren't around.

I found a link from a while ago for Metagames and Containers, it's an essay put together, almost like a "Choose your Own Adventure," but in an interactive way that is faster, more responsive and really only able to be made online.  I'll have a read later when I have some more time to really dig into it.

Update: I read it, it was a good, quick read, if a little confusing which order to sometimes read the boxes in (not that it mattered much though).  I was hoping for more, but it was good, and gave a good explanation of some of the current trends in video games, which I think can be very useful tools in story telling.

Couple things to talk about.  First up, what happens to you online after you die (in real life).  Well, it takes a little bit of preplanning.  But Lifehacker has you covered.

Philly takes the wrong side in social media, trying to tax bloggers, including taxing some more than they made from blogging.  Also, people get paid to blog?! I jest, I jest.  I do it for the sport of it all!

And Sullivan picks up this story:

The Internet is the real revolution, as important as electricity; what we do with it is still evolving. As it moved from your desktop to your pocket, the nature of the Net changed.

Those first clause is powerful, and true.  The Internet is still changing, and more importantly, changing us.

And in response to the second block quote that Sullivan pulled out: ThinkGeek has shirts that detect WiFi, are instruments and can do all kinds of things, so we're pretty much in the future right now!

Google and Verizon had a proposed contract of some sort, and while both companies state that it will not affect net neutrality at all, EFF is still worried:

On Monday, Google and Verizon proposed a new legislative framework for net neutrality. Reaction to the proposal has been swift and, for the most part, highly critical. While we agree with many aspects of that criticism, we are interested in the framework's attempt to grapple with the Trojan Horse problem. The proposed solution: a narrow grant of power to the FCC to enforce neutrality within carefully specified parameters. While this solution is not without its own substantial dangers, we think it deserves to be considered further if Congress decides to legislate.

Unfortunately, the same document that proposed this intriguing idea also included some really terrible ideas. It carves out exemptions from neutrality requirements for so-called "unlawful" content, for wireless services, and for very vaguely-defined "additional online services." The definition of "reasonable network management" is also problematically vague. As many, many, many have already pointed out, these exemptions threaten to completely undermine the stated goal of neutrality.

The FCC had been trying to move forward, but was not fast enough, and this is what's happening:

Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.

Wired covers it here, and Slog does here.

I haven't heard anything about this really since I've been back, so I'm thinking that the deal fell through.  But I'll try to keep updated.


The Myers-Briggs test is a way to classify your personality.  A similar test has popped up but in regards to the Internet:

1. Exceptionalist (E) vs. Ordinarist (O). Exceptionalists believe that the Internet is exceptional, extraordinary, and disruptive, the way, say, the printing press was. Ordinarists believe that the Internet is just another new medium, no more revolutionary than, say, CB radio.

2. Technodeterminist (T) vs. Contextualist (C). Technodeterminists believe that the Net by itself brings about transformations against which it is futile to struggle. Contextualists believe that technology by itself does nothing and changes nothing; other factos determine the effects of technology.

3. Optimist (H) vs. Pessimist (P). Optimists believe that the Net is, or brings about, good things. Pessimists believe otherwise. (Note: Since everyone believes their beliefs are true, everyone thinks they are a realist. When someone actively asserts s/he is a realist, s/he is actually asserting a form of counter-optimism, i.e., pessimism.) (Note: The “H” stands for Happiness or Hope.

I think I'm an ECH (but it's a weak C).

Check out the classification here.

Some fun things to muse about from JOHO:

First, the idea that no matter what we are experiencing, we are framing it for others consumption.  I find myself doing that a lot, and especially how I choose my words (although I think that is me being more of a writer than a speaker, so I constantly rewrite as I think about speaking, but anyway):

but I now find myself shaping experience according to how I might present that experience in public: finding the words, deciding what might be interesting in the experience to someone other than me. Blogging has given the public yet more of a grip on the shape of my private experience.

He continues:

Is that good? I dunno. I don’t even know if it’s generally true. I’ve worried before that the little homunculus in my brain that is always scribbling away is a personal mental disorder. (Shut up, homunculus! I don’t care what you say, I’m posting this anyway!)

Which is all followed up the next day by this:

in the age of broadcast, we fashioned experience so that we were stars of an imaginary broadcast; in the age of the Web, we fashion experience so that we are bloggers with a non-massive, semi-social, potentially interactive readership. Under this fact-free analysis, the Web’s fashioning of our experience should be understand in _contrast_ to the celebrity-based stories we made of our lives during the Age of Broadcast.

Interesting stuff all around.

Is is possible to create and air your own ad?  Well, it's now a lot easier thanks to Google.  Interesting  Now with the correct video and everything!  Oops: