Life and Trials of a Social Media Consultant [en]

[fr] Le marché et l'industrie des médias sociaux a beaucoup changé depuis que j'en ai fait ma profession (c'était en 2006, pardi!). Petit regard en arrière sur le chemin parcouru et où je me situe par rapport à la pléthore actuelle de services tournant autour des médias sociaux. Un profil de généraliste avec deux domaines de prédilection, les blogs et les indépendants.

Since I went freelance over six years ago, a lot has changed. We weren’t talking of social media back then. I was a “blogging consultant” and what I told people about was “the living web”. At some point what we did was “social software”. Somewhere along the line “social media” showed up (who still speaks of “web 2.0” nowadays?), and it’s become a pretty well-accepted umbrella term for all sorts of stuff from “viral videos” to “facebook marketing” to blogging to digital strategy to online communities… And all the rest.

At some point here in Switzerland, the social media industry matured. I went from being one of the very few people in the French-speaking part of Switzerland who could come and give a talk on “blogs and the living web” (when I started out) to one of the many fish in a larger and larger pond (including, sadly, some sharks). In other words, there are now people who specialize in creating marketing campaigns for facebook pages, others who are experts at Twitter, yet others who are full-time community managers.

I realized a couple of years ago that there was no point in me trying to compete with marketing/advertising agencies. Or community managers. I’m not a marketing expert. Or a community manager. Or many of the specialized roles that have appeared over the last couple of years. Today there are people who have full-time corporate jobs with “social media” in their job title — good luck finding any of those in 2004-2006.

You might remember my specialist/generalist series of articles. In today’s industry, I have a generalist profile (it’s a question of point of view of course, I’ll always be a “social media specialist” to the outside world). That makes me a great person to bring in during early stages of social media adoption/development (one reason I work with lots of freelancers and small organisations) and in situations where a wider view of the field is necessary to break through what are becoming the social media silos. It also makes me a good social media course director, because I have this global overview 🙂

There are, however, areas that I am specialized in — or have specialized in, over the years. I started out being a web standards advocate ( and the associated mailing-list live on). I gave a whole bunch talks (and wrote some code) around the question of languages and multilingualism online. Until recently (and still sometimes, actually!) another area of expertise of mine was teenagers and the internet (I’ve lost track of the number of talks I’ve given in schools, but it’s probably somewhere around 50).

Today, the two areas I “expertise” in are blogging and freelancers/freelancing. I’ve been doing quite a bit of soul-searching as I prepare the much-needed revamped version of my professional website, which I won’t even link to here, it’s so horribly painfully out of date. Maybe once the new version is up I’ll come back here and add all the relevant links 😉

Blogging: I’ve been blogging since July 2000. Blogging is my thing. It’s in my DNA. I’ll probably never stop, even though I am blogging less than I used to, because there are now other channels of communication and self-expression that were not there in the early days of blogging. I’m a blogger. Professionally, that means it’s a tool I love, and that if you need somebody to get you started in the world of blogging, or help you progress along the way, I’m your person.

I’ve been playing around with WordPress since forever (even written a bunch of plugins). I’ve been the editor of the French-language ebookers travel blog for three and a half years. Last year I helped get the community blog off the ground (not even mentioning the countless others amongst my more “modest” clients). I’ve advised and coached companies as varied as Intel (2007), Fleur de Pains (2008) or Solar Impulse (2010) on their blogging, and developed services in blogger relations for Web 2.0 Expo Europe, LeWeb, Solar Impulse, and now Orange. And how could I forget Bloggy Friday Lausanne!

Enough with the list. I’ve been doing this blogging stuff for a long time, and doing quite a lot of it.

Freelancers/freelancing: the freelance ride has not been smooth for me, though I’ve made it. I’m somebody who self-analyzes a lot, and so I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how to manage one’s life and job when one freelances. The first outcome of this trend was the Going Solo conference (now a group on facebook), and then the eclau coworking space in Lausanne. For many years I have also had lots of freelancers amongst my clients: people who have little or no web presence and want to get started, or learn how to blog, or use social media to make themselves more visible. All this ties together nicely, and I appreciate it goes beyond social media: business strategy, productivity, negotiating and dealing with relationships, work-life balance…

So, there we go. I initially wanted to speak about the wisdom (or not) of specializing in “blogging” nowadays, but the introduction of this post took on a life of its own, so there you are! I’ll keep that question for another post.

Twitter Killed My Blog and Comments Killed Our Links [en]

I hope the provocative title grabbed your attention.

Let me say it straight out: my blog is not dead, neither are our links.

But I still have a point.

Twitter is IRC on steroids, for those of you who have already experienced the irresistable draw of a chatroom full of smart witty people, 24/7. Twitter is my very own IRC channel, where I do not have to hear those I do not care about. It’s less geeky than IRC, which means that many of my “online spaces” collide there.

It’s intoxicating. I love it. I can spend all day there.

But that’s not why I would provocatively say that it has killed my blog. Twitter is a content-sharing space, not just a super IRC channel. Found an interesting link? Five years ago, it would have morphed into a blog post, because that was pretty much the only way to share it. Nowadays, dump it in Twitter. Arrived safely at destination? Again, 5 years ago, blog post. Now, tweet.

New tools have an impact on how we use old tools. Sometimes we abandon them altogether, but most of the time, we just redefine the way we use them. This is what I was trying to explore in the first panel I ever moderated, at BlogTalk 2008 (crappy video).

So, no, Twitter did not kill my blog, but take a group of bloggers and give them Twitter accounts, and the temperature of the blogosphere changes. All the high-speed stuff moves to Twitter.

If you just look at the present, it’s no big deal. People are still connecting. That’s what all this social media/software is about, right? Connecting people. Online. But the problem with us spending all our time swimming in the real-time stream is that it’s just that, a real-time stream. Not much is left of it once it has passed.

Take this short piece about translation I wrote nearly 10 years ago. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s still there, as readable as it was when I wrote it. Had this taken place on Twitter, nothing much would be left of it. Gone with the wind, if I dare say.

Many many years ago when I first started blogging (can you tell I’m on a nostalgic streak?), blogs did not have comments. Hell, I barely even had permalinks when I started. Permalinks were the key, though: they allowed bloggers to link to each other’s writings.

And we did. Conversations would bounce from blog to blog. They weren’t chatty like on IM, IRC, or Twitter. They were blog-post-speed conversations. We would have to think (a little) before we wrote.

Even though comments are a wonderful invention and I would never want to take them back, they did ruin this, in a way. People started leaving comments all over the place and didn’t come back to their blogs to write about the conversations they were participating in. It’s one of the reasons I was so excited about coComment when it came out, or services like BackType (which also seems to have backed out of tracking comments one makes) or Disqus. (Aside: see, I’d love somebody to hire me to do some research and write a memo on the current state of the comment-tracking-sphere and all the players involved. I could totally see myself doing that.)

With comments came less of an incentive to link to each other on our blogs. With Twitter (and Facebook), less of an incentive to share certain things on our blogs, and also, less of an incentive to comment, as it became much easier to just “tweet a quickie” to the post author (therefore making our activity visible to all our followers). And with the death of Technorati tags (I’ll call it that), we bloggers are now connecting to each other on other social networks than the blogosphere.

I think it’s time to actively reclaim the blogosphere as our own, after leaving it for too long at the hands of marketing and PR.

Bloggers, it’s time to wake up! Write blog posts. Link to your fellow bloggers. Leave comments on their posts, or better, respond to them on your blogs.

We don’t have to abandon Twitter and Facebook — just remember that first and foremost, we are writers, and that “conversation” (though ’tis a wonderful thing) is not writing.

Defriending, Keeping Connections Sustainable and Maybe Superficial [en]

Yesterday I read Laurent Haug‘s post Defriendization is the future of social networks. (Laurent organizes the Lift conference, next month in Geneva — are you going? Here’s why you should.) I’m not sure I’m with Laurent about defriending. I guess I’m more of an advocate of being lazy about friending. That’s why I have 200+ people waiting in friend request purgatory on Facebook.

It is true, however, that with an online social network, you keep on dragging your past connections with you unless you defriend. In offline life, connections loosen with time, you stop seeing people, stop calling, stop writing, lose track of where they live… and connect again on Facebook. We have two movements here:

  • the fact that people tend to drift out of each other’s lives, and online social networks do not really have a way to reflect that
  • the fact that in a way, we like “collecting” our contacts, even if they’re not active anymore, as a way of making present or tangible some part of our past lives.

Sometimes, reconnecting with people who have drifted out of your life can be a great thing. I think that’s because in many cases, there is no real reason (like conflict, for example) for having drifted apart. It’s more a combination of circumstances and the absence of a strong incentive to not let the relationship dissolve.

I think that one of the obsessions with defriending has to do with having excessively high expectations about what one owes one’s connections. One of my keys to social media survival is “you can’t read everything”, which as far as relationships go translates to “you can’t have an active relationship with all your connections”.

It sucks, I know. I do believe that there is a psychological limit to the number of people we can handle in our lives (cf. Dunbar’s number). I also believe that social media, in a way, allows us to cheat with this — but it’s only cheating. It makes it easier to keep loose ties alive, and reactivate old relationships, but it doesn’t fundamentally change how many people in our lives we can really care about on a regular basis.

If you try to keep your online social network connections as meaningful as “regular friendships”, you can only fail.

I think this is part of the explanation of what I’d like to call “social media burnout” and that we’re seeing popping up all over the place. The links I’ve collected in relation to this theme are of high-profile social media people, but this happens to “normal” people too. They go wild about Facebook for a few months or a year, and then drop it all because they got sucked into it too much. Now, the people I’ve linked to above are not doing the “all-or-nothing” thing, and they might very well not be properly burned out, but they have in common that at some point, they have realised that their social media “life” was not sustainable as is. This happens outside social media too — but I think there is something specific to social media here, in the way that it dramatically lowers the energy necessary to establish and maintain connections.

Though one must never forget that the people at the end of our social media connections are real people, we must also acknowledge that it does not automatically entitle them to a deep, meaningful relationship with us. It’s OK to keep things superficial. It’s necessary, or your brain will fry.

Coming back to Laurent’s article, he points to three links that I would like to comment upon, in my typical rambly and disjointed blogging style ;-). I initially wrote a huge long post, and then decided to chop it up. Keep reading (after the lunch break):

Les réseaux sociaux ont-ils tué les blogs? [fr]

[en] Another one on the "are blogs dead?" meme. Nope, they're not. Surprise!

Réponse courte: non 🙂

Réponse plus longue: pas plus que les réseaux sociaux ont tué l’e-mail, et pas plus qu’internet a tué la télé (quoique…). Quand un nouveau média débarque, il force les anciens à se transformer. Mais de là à dire qu’il les tue… c’est un pas que je ne franchirai pas.

Une chose par contre est sûre: avec l’apparition de Twitter, de Facebook, et de quantité d’autres espaces qui nous permettent “d’exister en ligne”, nos activités de publication on ligne sont redistribuées sur ces différents canaux. Il y a 8 ans, lorsque je voyageais, je mettais un mot sur mon blog pour dire que j’étais bien arrivée. Aujourd’hui, j’utilise Twitter ou Facebook pour cela.

L’émission nouvo m’a interviewée il y a quelque temps pour “La fin des blogs?“, ce qui m’a donné un peu l’occasion de développer mon point de vue en vidéo (vous devez aller sur le site de nouvo pour la regarder, impossible de faire un embed, dommage). Cette discussion a aussi alimenté mon article Paid vs. Free, sur le coût du contenu et les différentes façons (bonnes et moins bonnes) de le monétiser.

Revenons-en aux blogs et à leur prétendue mort ou fin. D’abord, ça fait des années que le thème fait régulièrement surface. En tous cas quatre ou cinq ans, à vue de pif. Et les blogs sont toujours là. On aimerait bien pouvoir dire que les blogs c’est fini, parce qu’alors cela confirmerait qu’ils n’étaient qu’une mode, et non pas une des manifestations de la transformation fondamentale qu’amène internet en matière de publication et de communication — transformation d’ailleurs très menaçante pour les médias traditionnels confortablement en place (enfin, plus si confortablement, justement).

“Les blogs”, ça couvre une variété de formes d’expression dont on ne peut pas toujours aisément parler, à mon avis, en les mettant dans le même panier. Faut-il le rappeler, le blog est avant tout un format de publication. Côté contenu, on peut en faire un tas de choses (les résultats sont plus ou moins heureux). Un blog-journal n’est pas la même chose qu’un blog-roman ou un blog-réflexion ou un blog-politique ou un blog-veille-technologique ou un blog-essai ou un blog-photos ou un blog-voyage. Vous me suivez? Clairement, le skyblog, blog adolescent francophone typique des années 2004-2006, sur lequel on met photos de soi, des ses amis, de son boguet, poèmes ou autres choses glânées en ligne, est avantageusement remplacé par Facebook, qui a l’avantage de ne pas être autant sur la place publique.

En dix ans, mon blog a évolué. Mais il y a d’autres facteurs que l’apparition des réseaux sociaux qui ont joué là-dedans, que diable! On parle de dix ans, quand même! J’ai passé d’étudiante fraîchement rentrée d’une année en Inde à indépendante-experte au rayonnement international (ça sonne bien ça, je vais oublier une seconde qu’il s’agit de moi et laisser ça), transitant par deux employeurs différents en chemin. J’ai changé! C’est normal que mon blog ait changé aussi, vous ne trouvez pas?

Bon, je vais me taire, parce que je crois que c’est une question relativement peu excitante où la réponse ne fait pas grande surprise. Début 2008, j’avais d’ailleurs proposé (et animé) une table ronde là autour lors de BlogTalk 2008 à Cork, en Irlande: comment l’apparition de nouvelles technologies (Twitter en particulier) change notre façon d’utiliser les anciennes (le blog). Vous pouvez regarder la super mauvaise vidéo de l’histoire (en anglais, sous-exposé, audio pas top, début et fin coupés…) si ça vous chante.

Et là, je vais retourner écrire un autre article pour mon blog moribond :-p

Barcelone: un peu de nostalgie voyageuse [fr]

[en] As the editor for's travel blog, I contribute there regularly. I have cross-posted some of my more personal articles here for safe-keeping.

Cet article a été initialement publié sur le blog de voyage (voir l’original).

Cela fait un bon moment que j’ai envie d’écrire un article sur Barcelone. J’ai visité cette ville une fois, et je l’ai adorée, et j’ai envie de vous faire envie.

Je suis allée fouiller un peu dans mes archives personnelles pour voir si je n’avais pas des photos présentables à vous montrer, ou même un article ou deux sur mon blog. Hélas, non: c’était il y a bien des vies de cela, il y a presque exactement six ans.

Du coup, je vais me permettre un peu de nostalgie voyageuse avant de vous offrir l’article sur Barcelone en personne.

Il y a six ans, si j’avais déjà un blog depuis belle lurette, je n’avais pas d’ordinateur portable, et je découvrais la photographie numérique avec mon révolutionnaire (à l’époque) SPV, généreusement offert par mon employeur d’alors, qui m’envoyait d’ailleurs également à Barcelone participer au Forum Avaya. Comme aujourd’hui encore, je me baladais avec un cahier/carnet en papier dans mon sac, mais à la différence d’aujourd’hui, j’y écrivais parfois des textes avec l’intention de les retaper une fois près d’un clavier.

titre barcelone

Je suis allée déterrer le cahier de l’époque, et j’ai regardé (en frémissant d’horreur) les photos que j’avais prises avec mon fidèle téléphone (terriblement rudimentaire six ans plus tard — non je ne vous les montre pas, si vous avez le lien, tant mieux pour vous!). J’ai relu mes notes gribouillées, et je me suis souvenue…

En 2003, on était bien avant mes années de “terrible voyageuse”, 2006-2008. Oui, j’avais vécu en Inde et fait des vacances ici et là, mais bon. Alors partir à Barcelone quelques jours, c’était une grande aventure. Et j’avais fait ce que font de nombreuses personnes qui ont l’occasion de voyager professionnellement: rajouter quelques jours sur place à ses propres frais, quitte à payer la différence de prix du billet d’avion.

J’étais donc une voyageuse novice (voire débutante) et j’ai commis l’erreur fatale de ne pas réserver d’hôtel pour les nuits qui étaient à ma charge. Couchsurfing n’existait pas encore, et je me suis retrouvée à trimbaler ma valise (à roulettes heureusement) à travers le centre-ville chaque matin à la recherche d’une chambre pour la nuit durant les quatre premiers jours de ma visite. Dans le genre, on fait mieux!

barcelone hotel 1

A me replonger dans ces souvenirs, je réalise combien de chemin j’ai fait entre-temps, en tant que voyageuse. Si je refaisais ce voyage aujourd’hui, qu’est-ce qui serait différent?

  • J’aurais des contact locaux sur place: soit que je connaîtrais des autochtones (mon réseau international est bien plus fourni aujourd’hui qu’alors), soit que j’en trouverais via Twitter, Facebook, ou surtout, Couchsurfing.
  • Couchsurfing, justement: je ne vivrais pas le calvaire de la recherche d’hôtel, parce que j’aurais déniché auparavant un logement chez l’habitant via ce réseau social (si mon réseau ne l’avait pas déjà fourni).
  • J’aurais préparé un peu ma visite grâce à WikiTravel (qui démarrait tout juste en 2003) — voir leur page consacrée à Barcelone. J’aurais aussi fait un tour sur la page Barcelone de Wikipédia, et je me serais renseignée un peu à l’avance sur Gaudí et son oeuvre.
  • Je partirais avec mon MacBook et mon appareil photo numérique (digne de ce nom), je mettrais en ligne mes photos sur mon compte Flickr, et avec un peu de chance je publierais quelques articles durant mon séjour sur mon blog (plus facile avec un ordinateur portable que lorsque l’on est tributaire des cafés internet).
  • Je donnerais régulièrement des nouvelles (à coups de photos aussi) via mon compte Twitter, sans pour autant faire péter la baraque avec les frais de roaming pour les transferts de données.
  • Je stockerais dans Evernote les adresses des bons bistrots que j’aurais trouvés, en photographiant leur carte de visite avec mon iPhone.

Comme vous pouvez le constater, une grande partie de mon “évolution de voyageuse” tient à l’évolution technologique. On pourrait palabrer longtemps là-dessus (mon année en Inde, en 1999-2000, se déroulerait tout autrement si elle avait lieu aujourd’hui, avec téléphones mobiles, ordinateurs portables, et bancomats Maestro à tous les coins de rues).

Est-ce qu’il y a des innovations technologiques qui ont radicalement changé votre expérience de voyageur ou voyageuse au cours des dernières années?

(Oui, promis, je vous parle de Barcelone et de Gaudí tout bientôt. Avec des photos. Mais pas les miennes, promis aussi.)

Pourquoi fait-on du sport? [fr]

“Pourquoi fait-on du sport?”

C’est cette question que posait, lundi soir en début de cours, mon prof de judo. Une question multi-couches et pleine de wagons (d’autant plus que pour lui, si le judo aussi un sport, il est également bien plus que “juste un sport” — j’abonde d’ailleurs dans ce sens) — à laquelle je me permets de donner deux réponses à raz les pâquerettes.

Tout d’abord, je crois qu’on fait du sport (et qu’on en refait) parce qu’on se sent mieux après qu’avant. C’est une réponse un peu axée “plaisir immédiat”, mais soyons honnêtes, beaucoup de nos activités sont motivées par le plaisir qu’on a à les exercer.

Deuxièmement, motivée par ma lecture récente de L’animal moral de Robert Wright (en VO bien entendu) — et cette réponse à mon avis est liée à la première et l’explique — je dirais que l’histoire de l’animal humain, à l’échelle de l’évolution, nous rappelle que nous sommes une espèce de prédateurs. Nous avons passé des dizaines de milliers d’années à chasser le mammouth (je caricature), et ce n’est pas les quelques derniers siècles (ou millénaires) de sédentarisation qui auront changé notre nature profonde. Il est fondamentalement humain d’avoir besoin de bouger.

Les réponses ne s’arrêtent pas là, bien entendu. Suivant la portée que l’on donne au mot “sport”, on pourra donner aussi des réponses d’ordre économique, psychologique, philosophique, existentiel, ou même spirituel.

Mais le raz des pâquerettes reste valable.

A Theory About Freelancers in the Internet Industry [en]

[fr] Une petite théorie à moi qui tente d'expliquer pourquoi l'industrie du web attire tant d'indépendants. En deux mots, c'est une industrie qui bouge très vite, donc les grandes entreprises, plus inertes que les individus, manquent de postes adaptés aux nouvelles compétences qui se développent. (Vous connaissez beaucoup de grandes boîtes qui ont des postes dédiés au "social media", ou qui engagent des "experts en blogs et disciplines associées"?)

De plus, ces indépendants sont souvent autodidactes: la formation, elle aussi, a inévitablement un temps de retard sur les nouveaux développements qui ont lieu au sein de la culture numérique. On se met à son compte non pas parce qu'on a des compétences extraordinaires côté business ou management, mais parce qu'on sait faire des choses pour lesquelles il y a un marché, et qu'on est attiré par la liberté qu'offre une telle "formule".

This is some copy I wrote a while back, and which I wasn’t quite happy about. I’m publishing it here, however, because it contains a little theory of mine about why there are so many soloists in the internet industry. Reactions welcome on the Going Solo blog, where it was initially posted. Reminder: today is the last day of March, and Early Bird prices for Going Solo end at midnight, GMT+1 — that’s in a few hours.

The internet industry generates an important number of freelancing professionals. There are two reasons to this, both related to how fast the world of technology is evolving.

First, formal education inevitably tends to lag behind cutting-edge developments. Though this is true for any industry, it is of particular consequence for a very fast-moving one like the web. The most skillful people in such an industry are often passionate amateurs, who at some point decide to turn their passion into a full-time job.

Second, large companies suffer from the same kind of inertia as education. Many highly competent professionals feel frustrated by the fact that the institution for which they work is not yet ready to take full advantage of what they could offer, and as a result, can be tempted by the more stimulating prospect of going solo and freelancing—or setting up their own business.

The fact that education and corporations move more slowly than pioneers is something which is inherent to their nature. To some extent, it is a problem we must try to act upon, but mainly, it is simply the way things are.

Many freelancers find themselves in this business because of a passion for what they get paid to do. Unfortunately, having great skills in an area there is some demand for is not sufficient to sustain a successful freelancing career. One also needs to be good at dealing with the business side of things: setting rates, finding the right clients, defining what has to offer in the current state of the market, dealing with accounting, taxes, and various laws, as well as managing to find a sense of balance in a life which is very different from a 9-5 with a clear distinction between work and non-work, holidays, and a regular paycheck at the end of the month.

Most freelancers go solo because they are good at doing something that people are willing to pay for, and attracted by the freedom of being one’s own boss and the perspective of possible lucrative earnings. Business skills are not usually paid much attention to until they are suddenly needed, although they are what will determine how successful one can be in the long run. At that point, it’s common for the soloist to feel lost and isolated.

Going Solo is a one-day event that was designed to address this issue. We will gather 150 soloists and small business owners around a core group of speakers who are experienced freelancers and will share their knowledge on a variety of business topics. We also want to give freelancers an occasion to come in direct contact with others like them and build a European community where they can support each other.

Cross-posted from the Going Solo blog.

Teenagers and Spelling [en]

[fr] Pour moi, la dégradation constatée de l'orthographe des jeunes a principalement à voir avec le fait que leur pratique d'écriture a maintenant le plus souvent lieu dans des espaces "non normés" (c'est-à-dire en-dehors du milieu scolaire et "des adultes", où "écrire juste" est important). Les SMS font bien entendu partie de ces pratiques d'écriture, mais son caractère "court" a plutôt comme conséquence l'apparition d'abbréviations très tôt dans l'écriture des jeunes, plus que la "perte" (!) de notions grammaticales ou orthographiques.

Here’s a case of “comment or post?” where I first commented, but now am thinking that I would rather have posted. So I’m reproducing my comment to danah’s post titled dystruktshun of inglesh as we no (I know it’s in my comments page and embedded in the sidebar of the blog, but I need to remember that many of you read this blog through RSS):

As a French teacher, I was asked this question (are blogs destroying our children’s spelling?) a couple of years back. My take on it is that compared to 15-20 years ago, most of the kids’ “writing activity” goes on in uncontrolled environments. When I was at school, if I wrote, it was usually at school. With pressure to have correct spelling, or I’d have to correct it / get a bad mark. Or I’d be writing a letter to my Grandma (better check the spelling there too).

Today’s teen spends most of his/her writing time on IM, in e-mails or text messages, or in blogs/SN. Peer pressure to “write correctly” can’t really be said to exist.

Text messaging has brought to them abbreviations. I remember discovering (stupefied!) that one could abbreviate words when I was in 9th grade (tjs=toujours, bcp=beaucoup). Now, kids know all these — and many more “bastard abbreviations” (jta=je t’adore) that might make our older skin crawl.

I’d say that there are two ways in which teens’ writing today is “modified” by their writing habits:

  • peer spaces (“uncontrolled” regarding “proper writing”) => funky spelling and disregard for “grammatical rules”
  • length limitation (SMS) => abbreviations

One thing I wanted to add, which is “somewhat related”, is that historically, spelling stabilised when the printing press came into use. That explains why in French (and English too, for that matter) written spelling can be so widely different from pronunciation: the oral language has continued to shift, but our spelling has remained frozen. (If I’m saying stupid things here and you know better, let me know — but as far as I remember my linguistic courses from university this is how things happened.)

Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us [en]

[fr] Une vidéo qui vaut vraiment la peine d'être regardée (si vous comprenez l'anglais).

I really enjoyed this video and want to share it with you.

Thanks to Joi for pointing it out on IRC.