Tuesday, 3 February 2009

February's Manchester Social Media Cafe

Tonight was another cracking Social Media Cafe at the Northern. Despite fleeing the scene early due to lurgy and missing the best bit of the boozing and schmoozing, I really enjoyed Adrian Slatcher’s presentation.

Titled “From yahoos to Yahoo - from Ulysses to UGC,” it was a rather enjoyable meander through experimental and innovative literature and the ways it points to our current informational age and future.

As a nineteenth century junky, his talk nicely bookended the period of my obsession, drawing together the fantastical, social commentary of Swift with the queer rantings of Burroughs.

As a pure bread geek, it was refreshing to mingle in the comic vision of Douglas Adams. Once the idea that the Hitchhikers Guide prefiguring Wikipedia was mooted, like all the best observations, seemed stunningly obvious. Sadly, I couldn't show off my geek cred and get a Neal Stephenson discussion in there.

It was nice to have a break from the corporate solutions and down ‘n’ dirty geekery which was on offer in the last Social Media Cafe. ( Not that there's anything wrong with either of those!)

To be frank my slightly fever tinged brain was wandering off on an excursion - wondering whether current browsing habits could be applied to the behaviours see in Poe’s ‘Man of the Crowd.’ I think the internet makes us all flăneurs.

Thanks to Adrian for a refreshing, gently academic and thought provoking presentation.