Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I have promised students and friends to look into making a CESL-SIUC group on Facebook, and inviting everyone to join it. This would probably be quite simple and harmless. But I hesitate; I'm not sure why.

One reason is that people I know are basically using Facebook as an entire medium of communication, much like e-mail, or cell phones, or any of the other new media. As a media, it has its own unique features, and people are always inviting me to use new ones; many of them I don't understand, or can't control. I don't know how to take things off of my wall, for example, or just tell someone I'm interested in an application, but don't have time to figure out what it is or does.

I will get to it though. This blog is becoming basically a written record of good ideas that aren't quite coming to fruition, because of lack of time, distractability, pressing family issues, stack of papers or whatever. My intentions are good. If someone were to take the ball and run with it, I would not only get out of the way, but also block, so to speak. Maybe it's not so complicated- like videocams on cellphones. You get used to seeing the other person, and then you can't imagine that you ever communicated without bumping up against their image every couple of minutes. Or without seeing them as they spoke. And someday, all the features of each- e-mail, chat, cell-phone, videocam, facebook, twitter, myspace, second life, blogs- will all be combined in an optimal medium that people can use as they see fit, can use to their own fullest advantage.

So, I sit on the cliff- in awe of the river, knowing it's just a river, yet, hesitant to get wet. Maybe it was growing up near Niagara Falls that draws this kind of analogy out of me.

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