Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mingling Made Easier With Web 2.0

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Meeting People On No One's Turf

Web 2.0 is a fine way to connect with other human beings. Three semesters ago, a curmudgeonly classmate vomited on all things virtual, suggesting that people, who connect online definitely connect more superficially than they do when face-to-face. I'm fairly confident that he won't be reading my blog, but if he does, I'm also ready to repeat to him face-to-face my original response:

I'd rather connect with someone far across the world, or who could not otherwise connect with me, say, due to a disability than not to connect with him or her at all. Maybe Web 2.0 appeals to me so much, since I might be becoming disabled myself, God forbid. If my otosclerosis advances and makes me deaf, there will be no hearing aid for my sort, which is in the inner-ear, not the middle-ear, and so I guess the notion of still being able to communicate with and connect with people appeals to me especially, whereas learning American Sign Language at this stage of life does not.

I really like what I read at "The Belonging Initiative" blog:
...we can be surprised by the abilities that people with developmental disabilities often reveal - their keen sensitivity to interpersonal situations, the depth of their empathy, their willingness to overlook and to forgive, their faithfulness, their acceptance of difference, their originality, their capacity to be present and to cut through pretense, their resilience, the creativity of what they produce, and their gift for celebration.
From: More Than Inclusion, L'Arche Canada, 2005

If I hadn't been googling for how to connect with people via Web 2.0, I would not have found the blog, which appeared among the first results of my search, and would not have felt connected to the constituents of it -- would have felt more isolated in the lurking potential of total deafness onset.

Writing Made Easier When Digital, but Not Necessarily Better

Seeing a Web 2.0 video that a colleague recommended earlier this week validated my belief in social networking, though it reminded me of an Op-Ed by Nora Ephron in "The New York Times" last Sunday, which among other things concluded that writing these days is easier due to computers, but not necessarily better:
It’s much easier to write a screenplay on a computer than on a typewriter. Years ago, when you wrote a screenplay on a typewriter, you had to retype the entire page just to make the smallest change; now, on the computer, you can make large and small changes effortlessly, you can fiddle with dialogue, you can change names and places with a keystroke. And yet movies are nowhere near as good as they used to be. In 1939, when screenwriters were practically still using quill pens, the following movies were among those nominated for best picture: “Gone With the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Wuthering Heights” and “Stagecoach,” and that’s not even the whole list.

It has struck me that I'm relatively prolific due to the ease of typing, and that I always feel more feelings when I'm writing in long-hand, with a pen -- my left hand inking up on the side from pinkie to wrist while the pen presses on.

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