Click me crazy Lygon Street Limbo

I’ve been wondering a lot about how new media works. Partly this the consequence of trends in the Centre at Goldsmiths, where our recent hires have set a blistering pace in buzz, concepts, light and heat… academia more interesting than the material it examines for once [I went to ZKM and was more interested in the museum having a Pacman game than any of the history of ‘new’ media – I still think television is new. Before then the world was black and white, right?].

Anyway, the internet and blogging are topics I normally steer wide away. But a discussion with Ulki in Kolkata has renewed old interests in how writing and style is formed, conformed and malformed. Ulki – wonderfully sharp graduate of Jadavpur – presently works for a web portal that gives instructions on how to write articles – say on cats – in a way that generates the most hits from search engines and catapults said article to the top spot on google etc. Of course the game is all about guessing what people might enter as search parameters. That this shapes writing is going to shape writing… In an article on cats one should ensure mention of all of the following: Cheshire cats, Siamese cats, cat’s cradle, sick cat, Fatcats, Felix, Topcat and kittens, and so on. More no doubt, but you get the idea. In an article on Foucault and Order you would expect camels, flies, water-pitchers and all of the above. On Marx’s 18th Brumaire I guess Napoleon, organ-grinders and peasantry… and so on.
So how pleased was I to get from the wonderful Ceridwen a gift copy of the News Limited (evil media empire inc) publication “Style: the essential guide for journalists and professional writers”. This is an amazing volume, which tells all the dos and don’ts of contemporary ideological mass management… Conveniently, it is very instructive on how to address people in a text. For example, in the section on the honorific ‘Mr, Mrs, Ms’, we are advised that this is used for all people except “sportsmen/women, artists, actors, authors, musicians, convicted criminals, journalists and the long dead” (p 45). I so agree that we should list journalists in between criminals and the deceased. Certainly separated by at least three words from actual authors since journos would all sell their siblings for a story…
So the News Limited Style book does not give the current code for optimal hit webpage verbiage, but its glossary of acceptable language could readily be adapted I think. I will devour it and you watch as my language transforms, the hit count rises, the readership dumbs down, and all will be well with the world. Inshallah.

Cross reference to a little more on writing here. And a diametrical street tramtracking of projects other than writing here.

Thanks Ceridwen, in membrance of the Lygon Street blackout, March

2 thoughts on “Click me crazy Lygon Street Limbo

  1. This is a general call for submissions to Convergence: The
    International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.
    Convergence is published by Sage Publications, and is one of the
    longest-standing journals in new media studies.

    Regular readers and subscribers will know that, apart from two annual
    special issues, Convergence publishes two numbers a year which are
    open to any submissions that fall within our remit. This is an open
    call for papers for Volume 14, number 2, which will appear in May
    2008. For this issue, papers would need to be submitted by 30th May

    Papers in areas including the following are welcome
    Video games
    Cable and telecomms,
    Mobile media/content
    Internet studies
    Digital/new media art
    Digital photography
    Control and censorship of the media
    Copyright/intellectual property
    New media policy
    New media industries/institutions
    New media history
    New media in cross-cultural/international contexts
    new media products
    Digital TV
    Digital music ? recording, production, distribution, file formats/
    file sharing
    gender and technology

    Submission details: Electronic submissions are preferred via email
    (Macintosh Word98 compatible) These should be sent to the editors
    with the following information attached separately: name, institution
    and address for correspondence, telephone, fax and email address.
    Papers should be typed on one side of the sheet with endnotes in
    accordance with Sage referencing style (see our website at http:// Refereed articles should be between
    5000-8000 words, ?Debates ? pieces should be between 1000-3000 words
    and Feature Reports should be approximately 4000 words, Authors
    should also enclose a 50 word biography and an abstract.

    Proposals for articles or completed papers should be sent to:

    ***Please note NEW author-date style for Convergence**

    Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
    Editors: Julia Knight and Alexis Weedon
    Editorial assistant: Jason Wilson
    Associate editors: Jeanette Steemers (Europe), Rebecca Coyle (Western
    Pacific), Amy Bruckman and Jane Singer (North America)
    Published quarterley. ISSN 1354-8564
    Copyright of Convergence articles rests with the publisher
    Editorial e-mail:
    Editorial website:

    Jason Wilson

    Reviews Editor – Convergence

    Research Institute for Media, Art and Design
    University of Bedfordshire
    Park Square
    LU1 3JU
    United Kingdom


  2. Subject: Call for Contributions
    Dear Readers,

    Thanks again for your comments about the last issue of Stimulus, Stories. The issue has proven to be our most successful to date and we are now seeking material for both the next issue and for an exciting project due to happen in the following months.

    Firstly – the next issue is called Animals. The deadline for synopses is 18 April.

    In what ways do animals act as symbols for other people?
    How are western relationships with animals mirrored by those in different cultures?
    Why are certain types of animals considered dirty by some and clean by others?
    Is there a relationship between animals and sexuality?

    If you would like to contribute, then please email the editorial team at the bottom of this email.

    Secondly – we are planning an exhibition of photographic material to be displayed in Edinburgh at the end of May. There is no set theme although the photographic material must explore urban life in some way. If you would like to take part, then please email the Editor in Chief, Jack, at

    For more information on Stimulus or to subscribe for free, please visit

    The editorial team are:

    Editor in Chief
    Editor – Photography
    Jack Boulton

    Editor – Literature
    Tara Blake Wilson

    Editor – Arts
    Editor – Poetry
    Yannis Tsitsovits

    Editor – Fashion
    Melina Nicolaide

    Editor – Music
    Amin Samman

    Thanks very much, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


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