Thursday, April 14, 2011

Are you a hyperlemming?: Reflections on the ERPA: Next Gen Hypermedia Debate

You have to blog. You have to be on Twitter. You have to get friends on Facebook. Now.

No you don't. You are not a lemming. You have free will. Think about it and make strategic choices.

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT HYPERMEDIA (or how not to be a lemming):

1. From the effervescent and salty-throated Matthew Heggem: hypermedia is not new! Just like so many things that "we" think "we" discovered. Hypermedia was coined in 1965 by Ted Nelson. 1965!!! Where were you in 1965? The real question is: what are we going to do with hypermedia now? The debaters pushed for conscious and strategic choices about blogging, tweeting, etc-ing. Who are you and why are you doing what you are doing? Is all that work impacting your goals? What are your goals? Think about it. Don't be a lemming.

2. From the articulate and sage Eva Yaa Asantewaa: “you can use the "I" without writing from the "I"”. Both Eva and Wendy Perron brought their years of writing experience to the debate. They encouraged (uh, demanded?) that young writers NOT use the first person when writing a review. It takes a rigor and a muscularity to write from the wider perspective. (And yet it seems most blog journalism is all about the I—as I am demonstrating here!)

3. From the assertive and sassy Brian McCormick: he is an early adapter (adopter?) of social media tools BECAUSE he is innately and organically a network kind of guy! He's a teacher. He likes to connect the dots. Social media is all about networks. So it works for him without struggle and pain. But many of his artists/clients are struggling because it isn't innate for them! So he has to work around that: even if the artist isn't into Facebook or Twitter etc., can they use these tools to their advantage? Does it help them achieve their goals? (Don't be a lemming part three!)

4. From the self-identified maximalist Sarah A.O. Rosner: creating a dance and writing her blog posts and Facebook updates and marketing her work is all the same decision-making process! It is all part of her choreographic and aesthetic development. (Wendy Perron and Ms. Rosner have had some heat on this matter in the past and it sizzled at Abrons!)

5. And from the cool and astute moderator, Kay Takeda (of the LMCC): strategy strategy strategy. She told me later that the paradigm is shifting for her! Hypermedia is shifting it! She didn't think it was! But it is!

Now, watch out for that cliff!

...But you saw that coming. You're not a lemming.

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