I've just had an interesting conversation with someone researching, oh, many things, but including: new media and "place" (London, specifically); the nature of reading and writing with new media; the words we use for describing the experience; how we perceive it. (He's from Sussex University's Urban Mobilities project.)
I've talked about hypertext before, and I've talked about how I communicate, at least in the context of languages not being concept-easy (and the complexity-exchange limit), but this interview made me apply these ideas to the specifics of this homepage, and to Upsideclown. A few interesting things came out of it:
That instant messaging is to email what weblogs are to Real Content pages. That Upsideclown is taking an idea, packaging it, and sending it as a bullet, in much the way print is -- but weblogs are more like sculpture, like a flow, like a [monologue] conversation in that you're attempting to build the idea in the Reader's head by chipping away at it with every single post. That weblogs are the true structure of the www, and they could be taken so much further: navigating sideways in categories of links, and where trails/weblogs cross. That sometimes we talk about visiting, sometimes using, sometimes fetch sites on the www, but don't have that same kind of relationship with books. (In fact, that books are a linear text, and extreme on the scale, they're meme bullets, chinese boxes [or whatever they're called].) That the way I write my weblog is not very personal, does not have much of a sense of "place", only mentions abstract ideas, is a replacement for my notebook that I carry everywhere. That I write in a certain way, not referring back to previous posts over a single day because the reverse chronology makes that unreadable. That a www browser is a portal or a tunnel, and that I can't program if I'm thinking about anything that interferes in the loop between my eyes and my brain and my hands. That, that, that, all kinds of things. (Oh, and also that the "very plain" appearance of my weblog was some kind of statement, before it was realised that the skinning functionality was somehow broken on his computer and he was just getting the black text on white background look.)
Unfortunately my top hot buttons (hypertext, communication) were pushed and I spent an hour and a half in incoherent babbling. Oh well.