The Future of Language: y bovr w grmr & wrds wen txt spk=ez

xpstd @ frontline books
If the first part of my title piques your curiosity and the latter part leaves you in convulsions, chances are you're not (yet) au fait with txt spk. You might wonder if there is any need to bother developing any adeptness with a language that refuses vowels, apostrophes and spreads exclamation marks willy nilly (I mean, really!!!).

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PART/Flickr mashup with Yahoo Pipes

You may have seen some mention recently of Yahoo Pipes. As Bill Thompson describes it, Pipes "lets you take a data feed such as the result of a web search, or an RSS feed from a blog or news site, or a set of tagged photos on Flickr, and transform it to produce the outcome you want."
I've been having a little play with the system, and it is remarkably easy to use. Here's a PART/Flickr mashup that reworks this blog through related Flickr images –
Not sure if this transliteracy, but it's certainly fun.

Digital natives don’t blog?

There's an interesting post over on jill/txt where she wonders if students are losing interesting in blogging due to the novelty having worn off. She writes "Basically they just ignore it all. And they're smart interested students. Who are bizarrely enough writing papers about blogging while saying they don't really understand blogging." Conversely, it seems her students are much enthused by Facebook.
What I am wondering about are the discussions we've been having about digital immigrants vs digital natives. The discussion was sparked by Jess's post on Frontline where she adopts some terminology from Mark Prensky.

Marc Prensky says digital natives are born into technology and thus are native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. Prensky also has a term for those of the Luddite persuasion; digital immigrants might adopt most aspects of the techy environment but will always retain their accent.

One could argue that contemporary graduate students might well be blog natives; blogging is nothing new to them. Yet, ironically, if so, they are less interested in blogging than those who have come to it new. Research into the "real world" tends to reveal that immigrants vary between those who try to completely embrace the culture of the host land and those who try to retain the "old world" culture. Perhaps the interest in blogging over the last few years has been driven by those "immigrants" who wanted to adopt this new technology; the 'Luddites' simply didn't engage with it. As we enter an era in which, perhaps, blogging is seen as normal then what me might see is the occasional surge of interest as new groups of "digital immigrants" discover it. E.g. elder bloggers, perhaps even Aibo bloggers.
One of the things we may notice about transliteracy is that it may routinely disappear. What I mean by that is that examples of transliteracy may be more noticeable among digital immigrants as they start to experiment with new media. Once we become digital natives, the use of the new media may become second nature and the transliterate use of this new media may become normalised and in becoming normalised become invisible.

Duelling powerpoints

Yesterday, Chris and I presented some slides to kickstart a discussion about transliteracy for the PaRT group plus guest. It engendered some good discussion – much of which revolved around about whether elephants existed. I'll blog about it properly in a little while (rather busy with the TNN experiment right now) but have embedded our two slideshows next to each other.
Chris focused on the production side which I focused on ways in which we might research transliteracy.

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Transliteracy in the Long Now

I subscribe to Stewart Brand's Long Now mailing list in which he summarises talks by various luminaries which always seem to happen in San Francisco which always means I cannot go… his notes (below) on Vernor Vinge's talk prompts some interesting questions about how transliteracy could develop in the far far future – what Brand calls the Long Now.
(Note: Vinge's detailed notes for this talk, and the graphs, may be found online )
Vinge began by declaring that he still believes that a Singularity event in the next few decades is the most likely outcome— meaning that self-accelerating technologies will speed up to the point of so profound a transformation that the other side of it is unknowable. And this transformation will be driven by Artifical Intelligences (AIs) that, once they become self-educating and self-empowering, soar beyond human capacity with shocking suddeness.

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FavoUrites: Social Bookmarking

xposted at frontline books:

After another busy week and weekend, I'm happy to spend Sunday evening winding down. If I could knit, I'd probably do that. (This video will probably help me get started)Instead, I feel an urge (beyond my years I'm sure) to organise. Organise what you might ask. Well, I am not going to rearrange my own shelves of books.

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The Machine is Us/ing us again

Over on Writing & The Digital Life I embedded Michael Wesch's YouTube video about web 2.0 – The Machine is Us/ing Us. It's been a phenomenally successful video; You Tube has over 3000 comments as of writing this.
Beneath the fold there is a new development.

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The sound of transliteracy

Never mind one hand clapping – what's the sound of one surfer browsing?
The Sound of Traffic is a Java "application" which converts TCP/IP header information into midi notes via the Java Synthesizer.

The purpose is to listen in on network traffic in ordered time, via a tempo, rather than realtime, which could be more chaotic. In this sense it becomes closer to music than noise.

Listen in on the network. As this Wired review says "I'd be curious to hear what a DOS attack sounds like'"

Participatory Media Literacy

I've updated the Transliteracy entry on Howard Rheingold's Participatory Media Literacy site. This is a useful place to look for examples.

Wagging the dog

Something I've been mulling over but not really formalising yet is the role of the link in transliteracy. There is both a social role to linking but also a textual role. For example, Chris Joseph (one of the partites) recently blogged about how just one link from Writing & The Digital Life moved him a million places up Technorati's charts.
Via social networking the link is a social relationship. Links are also, however, meaningful as texts. They bring items together among other things. Links are both content and context. Maybe transliteracy in this respect is in part about link literacy; how do we read links? what is the grammar of linking? what are the social norms? when can we not link?