Sunday, January 07, 2007

Readers: Your Stories Needed

Woo hey yeah (as we thirtysomethings say when we wish to appear hip), I have commandeered the blue cat iBook while its unsuspecting owner is in the bath.

Today I was thinking about my book, and then I remembered that I don't agree with books, as they are simply products of the capitalist machine, designed to manipulate the masses into handing their money over to evil publishing corporations that are probably all ultimately owned by Rupert Murdoch, only disguised as something rewarding and cultural, even though most of them are by 'Sophie Kinsella' and therefore not rewarding and cultural at all, but rather just a list of other products of the capitalist machine designed to manipulate the masses into handing over their money for things that are even less rewarding and cultural, and then I came round and found that I was walking very fast towards Chiswick, mouthing the words to that acid house remix of 'Personal Jesus', and scattering old ladies and infants in buggies in my haste.

Then I persuaded myself that if I did get a book published, it would probably be morally OK if I also serialised it online for free, and that's when I thought I could really do with enlisting the help of my blog readers.

If you've read this far, you shall now reap your reward, because this is where we get to the audience participation bit.

My book (should it be published, or indeed written), is about how the 'participatory internet' has changed life in Britain. And for this, I need your stories and anecdotes about how it has changed things for you.

By 'the participatory internet', I mean anything that's online in which you actively participate, rather than just looking or reading. So, if you write a blog, or take part in chat forums, or put your own music or videos (original or 'mashed-up') online, or post reviews of things on websites, or even email or instant message people, can you think about how this has changed your life, and either let me know in the comments, or send me an email at quadrireme at googlemail dot com?

It doesn't have to be a massive, earth-shattering kind of change; trivial stuff will be just as interesting, if not more so. And although I said I'm interested in how things have changed in Britain, I might change that, so even if you don't live in Britain, please do still let me know.

If this comes to any sort of fruition, I will of course solicit your proper permission before anything is published.

Gentle readers, I thank you in advance, and look forward to receiving your stories.

26 comments:

BiB said...

Does being a porn-widower count?

Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is what you want?
OK then, I'll get emailing.

Annie said...

'how this has changed your life' sounds very momentous and makes me feel strangely anxious. the only life-changing thing I can think of is that before I didn't have a blog or a flickr account, and now I do, but I'm guessing this is not really what you're looking for... still will have a think and email you.

Anonymous said...

off-topic, but i thought of you when i read this article - http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2007-01-02-lovink-en.html - and thought you would find it interesting

GreatSheElephant said...

I shall think about it. In the meantime, how about self publishing on Lulu, then if you want to serialise free online, you will not fall foul of the minions of Murdoch. Or whoever.

Or perhaps we could start our own publishing house. That would be fun.

Billy said...

Harper Collins are part of the sinister Murdoch empire I think.

Smat said...

I know an independent publisher you could use if you like.
Will email long rambling stories about how the internet has changed my life which you are free to ignore.
Also fascinated by the glimpses into the private lives of one of the internet's premier couples - Mr BC having a bath at 5.45 on a Sunday.... "Hello" magazine deal here we come....

Spinsterella said...

Gave me something to do at my boring old job.

Now is a terrible distraction when I work from home. Which generally involves fannying around on blogs all day, then panicking and having to work at the evenings and weekends to catch up.

Anonymous said...

...so the book will itself be full of user-generated-content?

Marsha Klein said...

I will have a think about this and email you. (Gosh, I bet you can't wait now!)

rockmother said...

ooh - I'm putting together a tv doc which covers this...exciting

I'll get e mailing then.

DavetheF said...

I am English, so can I join in? In fact blog life has allowed me to buy a nice little imaginary house in virtual north London (also my amcestral stamping ground) and meet cool and interesting friends. I'd say it has changed my life by giving it a broad social dimension.(I tend to be rather antisocial in the "real" world. My avatar is much more at ease hobnobbing.) Oh, and put me on to great music, books and esoteric subjects.

As to your remarks about books, min is coming out shortly and I won't hear a word against it.

violetforthemoment said...

I have some Thoughts and will email them once I have put them into Sentences... incidentally, I have just learned what a quinquireme is (I was unable to get to this from my knowledge of what a trireme is, dunce that I am), from Mr Violet looking over my shoulder and getting all excited because he thought I was developing an interest in Roman naval warfare, giving us new and exciting topics of conversation and multiplayer Rome Total War games over a local network. It was like kicking a puppy. A really geeky one.

belladona said...

I've suddenly realised that though I work in a roman-oriented museum and I have known you for years I have no idea what Quinquireme is. Or indeed who. Whatever else the internet promotes, it doesn't appear to be the gaining of knowledge (in my case at least). I shall email you with a full case history of my interweb life. You may regret it.

Anonymous said...

Patroclus is definitely going to regret this solicitation. I bet she regrets my contribution the most. And I'm not even British. But I bludgeoned her with 24 years of personal Internet history, yi.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, I just tried to get to your blonk via Surly's and ended up here. Which panicked me greatly about spammers taking over our blonks and our whole worlds shattering before our eyes etc.

patroclus said...

Ooh blimey, loads of comments, thank you everyone, and thanks to everyone who's emailed so far. I like the way every email starts 'You're going to find this very boring, but...'. For the record I find it all fascinating, otherwise I wouldn't be thinking of writing a book about it!

Laptop is now cured, hurrah. Let the mindless blog-surfing recommence!

patroclus said...

Annie: Ah yes, lots of people's links still point to the old URL, which was taken over by evil lingerie louts one dark night in October. It was my own fault, though.

GreatSheElephant said...

*stamps*

Let's start our own publishing house. Please?

I assume you will cover the sad (?) story of girl with a one track mind.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know how t'internet changed my life, so I won't say anything more, except that I no longer trust people I haven't previously met online (how can you possibly be friends with someone if you don't already know everything about them?)

GreatSheElephant said...

Anyhow, here are mine. Participation has produced:
several friends
some work
new work horizons
short relationship followed by lengthy nervous breakdown and much misery and loss of self respect (mind you, that could have happened without the Internet too)

Anonymous said...

oh dear. my mental block has not only stretched to my ability to blog, but i cannot think how it has changed my life for the life of me.
actually, i think i can come up with something suitably cringey...watch that inbox of yours!

Betty said...

I'm a very quiet, introvert person, so blogging is the one outlet where I can show off. I can also "communicate" with people in the comments section without having to go through the intimidating process of actually meeting them (well, very intimidating for someone who has social phobia!).

People sometimes actually compliment me because of my writing - even though the compliments are misplaced, it's nice to get positive feedback for something I've done (for the first time in my life, possibly).

There are good and bad sides to blogging (or any other communication on the internet). As with the "real" world there are bullies on the internet, but they have the advantage of anonymity, which gives them the courage to be nasty to people in a way that they wouldn't if they were face to face with them. Abusive commenters, trolls, other bloggers who freeze you out: still, it means you end up with a thicker skin, which is another positive change, even though it might not feel like it at the time!

Through blogging I've "met" people from different backgrounds with different outlooks to mine. I would probably never have encountered them in real life. It's definitely broadened my tolerance. Now the chip on my shoulder is only about a foot high rather than the size of Mount Everest, heh heh.

*waffles on in same tedious vein for several hours*

Billy said...

My contribution.

Spinsterella said...

>>>I no longer trust people I haven't previously met online (how can you possibly be friends with someone if you don't already know everything about them?)>>

Ooh, what a great way of looking at it.

Anonymous said...

I've made a few good friends through the internet - not earth-shattering or especially original I know, but they have made my life that little bit nicer.