Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Myspace And Poetry Technology.

Now, the poet Barbara Jane Reyes and I often trade quips over myspace and most of these social networking sites from friendster, and any number of other up-and-comers who swear they're the next big thing.

If enough people sign onto it.

Having tried it for about a year now, I'm left of the opinion that Myspace probably works best for musicians, movies, visual artists, and would-be models and people writing within niche markets.
There's opportunities for poets, but at a smaller scale.

My myspace brought me into good contact with some new friends, but not so many I feel I couldn't have met them on my own.
This week, Myspace deleted my account under as-yet undertermined causes: technical glitch, hacker, or some nutter with a crazy-mad hate-on for Bryan Thao Worra, etc.
This left me reconstructing a rudimentary build of the old site, but also confirms my overall *$!#! with the place.

Losing a year's worth of good blog posts because of the idiotic technical infrastructure there just leaves me... p!$$ed.
Posts covering everything from good soup recipes to Giacometti and Rodin, the meaning of ancient chinese texts to the famous Nak Roll... all gone, poof, no backup. %^$#!
So, while we'll keep doing things over at myspace for a little while longer, I'm going to say: You can expect far more of my regular content to be appearing here, where things are a lot more stable. *knock on wood.
Still, this is where BJR would wheedle me and we must ask: What does this technology mean for poets?
Is it really on opportunity, or a distraction?
Can it help poets realize or recognize the possibility of becoming 'rock dieties' at last within our culture? Will we become the new Bonos thanks to myspace and youtube-style technologies? :P

And should that even be a goal of poets?

I hear some who more or less argue for a deeper intimacy, less flash and flamboyance, that we are more or less monks in our craft working at a more discrete level.
Who needs audiences of thousands or millions in the world?

And then again, for better or worse, mass media culture is creating zones of poetry, such as Def Poetry Jam, and the question is, if 'serious' poets don't take advantage or participate in the technology emerging around them, can they expect serious longevity?
Which of course, presupposes that 'serious poets' should be concerned with 'serious longevity...' and that there are 'unserious poets' in the world who aren't concerned with such issues. But that's probably a discussion for another time.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bryan, sorry to hear about your ‘myspace’, maybe it’s for the best, I hate ‘myspace’ and think it’s a waste of time for poets and writers to be writing their valuable thoughts and feeling and feel like some of the stuff might just get lost in the myspace traffic jams, and in your case, not just a jam, but an accident; most traffic of blogs and things on the www come from search engine, I believe almost 75-80% (correct me if I’m wrong), and your blog rate at 4/10 which is not bad at all, considering most Laotian site might rate from1/10, 2/10, and 3/10 at most, but there’re some that’s 4/10 just like yours, and that’s a lot of hard work put in, which means updating their site, and writing good topics on a regular basis, you can say almost daily.

I visit your site on a regular basis, and would love to read more about current events, your opinion and perspective in life and other issues; we all have different angle in our writing, and sharing is what poets, bloggers, and writers do best, right? I’m not much of a poet and can’t relate well to it, but I love to read just about anything and everything, yes, including poetry. What you say, please write more?

bjanepr said...

And there you have it! I am glad I don't have to go into my myspace thing here. Anonymous's point is a very good one, and I will add that I believe it's on you to decide whether or not it's important, and what are "legitimate" poetry venues as a poet and now as an author with a first collection forthcoming.

As I've just written, blog is already a muddy or muddied public space for authors, but I see it gradually gain "legitimacy" as more established authors set up blogs for various purposes. I think of Francisco Aragon, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Marianne Villanueva, Luisa Igloria, Nick Carbo in blogworld, a generation of authors (of color) who precede us, and how valuable it is for us to be able to access their discussions on process, their insights on the publishing climate in the USA, showing us their "new" work, experiments, teaching experience. I could go on.

Bryan Thao Worra said...

Oh, come on, B. do go on. :)
That's the whole point of this blog- to go on.

(Hmm. Hearing the tinges of Samuel Beckett... but never mind.)

Looking over the last 17 years I've been writing, I'll say the evidence suggests I always explore what different technologies will mean for poets.

From photocopiers, personal digital assistants and LCD projectors and web 2.0 tech like myspace, youtube, and & print on demand technology, I like to see what these can bring to the poetic process.

I think it's helpful to consider what's merely "a flash in the pan," what's under-used, and what's an essential tool.

Just as the typewriter and computer radically changed the poetic process as surely as the library or the Oxford English Dictionary, what is coming up ahead that can really assist our craft?

I think there ARE some really exciting things emerging. And some that should just be burned as virtual dead-ends. :/