Of the numerous weird yet useful yet interesting things I’ve been exploring on Twitter is the potential for collaborative projects/thinking. Especially in the realm of libraries/books, there seems to be ample innovation for imaginative brainstorming. Here are two projects that I’ve come across.
Jeff VanderMeer (@jeffvandermeer), extraordinary author of le nouveau weird, has come up with an interesting project based on the World Cup. His World Cup of Fiction is a chance to display your hysteria for the tournament by reviewing works from those countries that are participating. So far I’ve chosen Brasil’s Rubem Fonseca and his work The Taker and Other Stories, which certainly made an impression. Hopefully I’ll make another submission soon enough. At any rate, it’s a good way to generate more interest in what we consider ‘the foreign’ and reading in general.
Another interesting project is Lee Barnett’s Fast Fiction Challenge. Budgie (@budgie) asks his troupe of followers for a title, consisting of a maximum of four words, and if he’s keen on your idea he’ll compose a 200 word virtual scribble of literary frenzy. Anything to keep the creative juices flowing. See, it’s not just a virtual vuvuzela, though there are sites for that.
I’ve finally been sucked into the supermassive vortex of Twitter. I suppose it was inevitable, but I’ve actually become intrigued by its potential, rather than simply skeptical and fearsome of the thing. There’s a bit of a learning curve in terms of familiarizing oneself with what replies actually are, retweets, hash tags and the like, but it is an enchanting RSS type of device.
One reason I see for its popularity is how personal it can make the user feel. Receiving updates to your device directly from types like Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself), Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) or Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) or whomever else you follow is beyond cool, almost as if the messages were sent with you in mind (which often can be).
Downsides can include the uberspam if you follow too many users and the certain time suck if you continually carry and monitor your device. The main realization I’m getting is that it’s useful if you have specific people you’d like follow, but takes more effort to build a following with a consistent stream of updates.
Came across a disconcerting tweet about the rise and acceptance of ghostwriting. Makes me wonder whether it’s a product of sheer laziness and the digital age we live in:
It is possible to argue with that sentiment, but there’s no denying its broad appeal and growing acceptance. In such a fluid climate – and in a culture that’s pie-eyed drunk on celebrity in its glitziest and tawdriest forms – it’s not surprising that ghostwriting has won acceptance as just one of many legitimate ways to produce books. Including novels. Brand-name author James Patterson has a stable of writers helping him churn out his best-selling thrillers. The rapper 50 Cent, who must be a very busy man, pays someone to ghostwrite his 140-character tweets for Twitter. A reading public inured to fabricated journalism, fake memoirs and bald acts of plagiarism barely shrugged when word got out that Ted Kennedy had quietly worked with a ghostwriter whose name did not appear on the cover of his posthumous memoir, True Compass. The publisher insisted that the late senator was deeply involved in the writing. Such is not always the case. Some subjects’ brazen lack of involvement in their own books has become the source of loopy publishing lore. When Ronald Reagan’s memoir, An American Life, appeared, the Gipper gave high praise to his ghostwriter, Robert Lindsey. “I hear it’s a terrific book,” Reagan said. “One of these days I’m going to read it myself.” Long gone are the days when the likes of Ulysses S. Grant, Charles de Gaulle and John F. Kennedy shouted down any suggestion that they’d relied on ghostwriters to help them produce their memoirs. Such authorial integrity now seems so 19th- and 20th-century, so quaintly pre-digital.
(emphasis from article)
I understand that there are those among us who are both wildly popular and need assistance in all areas of their selof-important lives, but I’m not sure what makes me want to virtually vomit more, the cult of celebrity morons in this country or the publishing industry that caters to them and with a shit-eating grin markets to equally moronic readers, likely to spend money on books they’ll never read.