This is an archive of april 2002 posts from Jill Walker's blog, jill/txt.

currently reading

Annette Markham: Life Online [notes]

all my reading notes

currently writing

3/7: Chapter 2, which is about the ways we think about ourselves. And our machines. Written the disposition which is most unusual for me.


theorising weblogs

politics of links and search engines

research blogs

neighbourhood blogs

adrian miles

torill mortensen

lisbeth klastrup

mark bernstein

jeremy yuille

noah wardrip-fruin

frank schaap

anja rau

anders fagerjord

diane greco

carsten jopp

hilde corneliussen

elin sjursen

gonzalo frasca

katherine parrish

kumquat's musings

UFO breakfast

peter merholz

tom matrullo


brandon barr

jenny sinclair



lars konzack

hypertext kitchen

kairos news

norske blogger


kairos news

kumquat's musings

UFO breakfast







distant sun

hypertext kitchen

norske blogger


2002 july : june : may : april : march : february : january

2001 december : november : october : september : august : july : june : may : february : january

2000 december : november : october

tinderbox logo
version 1.1d4

april 2002


Jeremy Yuille has posted the paper he gave at the symposium last week at his new blog, ~blah.

posted: 1/5/02 13:48

the perfect theory

On the tram last night I saw it, after hours in the office reading. So simple, so powerful: it will explain everything I'm trying to write about. I scribbled down notes with a borrowed pen and shone the whole way home. I fell asleep thinking about the details, my whole body glowing with the beauty of it. I've been writing all morning, in between kids chirping merrily and peering over my shoulder and my partner getting grumpier and grumpier at my asocial behaviour. But what about X? Am I confusing this with that? And how can I think about Y? It's going to take a lot of work to explain it so people can understand both the simplicity and the depth of it. Anxiety: it can't be that good. Thinking it's good is hubris, it'll be hacked apart as punishment, they'll laugh at it. No. They won't, and even if they did: It is good.

I can't tell you about it yet. It might fall apart. Later. If it bears the weight of thought.

posted: 27/4/02 10:16

addiction to brevity

Umberto Eco writes:

In other words, repeated exposure through audiovisual media to the short forms can result in an addiction to their brevity and speed - and can remove the pleasure and gusto of engaging in the complex forms, which require time and mingling with the text and its cultural background. (via Leusche, who provides context)

posted: 26/4/02 15:25

judy horacek's cartoons

Of course she has a website. Judy Horacek is my new favourite cartoonist. We saw an exhibition of her work at the National Museum in Canberra, and since I've spotted her books everywhere. I might have to bring a few home to Norway with me. Maybe get a few extras, too, to stock up for birthday presents. There aren't many cartoons at her website, but you'll start to get an idea. And have a look at Deep Sea Divas; a lovely story. Ooh, and the topic of the month is the net, so there's a string of cartoons about the Internet - looks like they're only online in April, so hurry ;)

posted: 26/4/02 14:20

new macs kinda slow

Wired has an article claiming the new imacs render webpages painstakingly slowly. The culprit is OSX, according to Explorer's Mac developers, or perhaps it's making proper use of OSX's system architecture, if you listen to Opera's Mac developers. Then again, maybe it's the satanism.

posted: 26/4/02 14:11


Our postmaster at the University of Bergen is absolutely brilliant. He hates spam with a vengeance. In the last couple of weeks my email's been looking different:

X-Spam-Flag: NO UIB: -19.5 hits, 8 required;
X-Spam-Report: spamassassin found:
* 1.3 -- From: ends in numbers
* 2.0 -- Subject is all capitals
* 4.5 -- BODY: Nigerian scam key phrase
* -30.0 -- Asked for it

I assume the only reason I still actually got the email is because the new spamassassin tool is still being tested. Or perhaps the idea is that I can use these labels to filter my mail in the way I want, rather than as the postmaster thinks I might want. I wish I had a bot to chuck out my physical junk mail too.

posted: 26/4/02 10:04

glass ceilings

87% of the professors at the University of Bergen are still men. It's taking a while, isn't it?

posted: 26/4/02 10:03

games make you suicidal?

Thank you Torill, for writing such a lucid response to the "he was a gamer and it made him kill himself" story. I agree completely.

posted: 25/4/02 13:56

reading referrers for emergent narratives

Someone found this blog by searching google for "microsoft word help paperclip suicide", which is an intriguing search. Replicating it, it isn't obvious exactly what they were searching for, though the search returns these suggestive extracts of my blog which make an interesting alternative (emergent, generative) narrative, automatically sampled by Google:

might read every word of a blog ... who committed suicide in desparation at ... keen to help out you ... aliasing the Microsoft logo! How ... winking Office paperclip thing in

The search also helped me find an amusing and critical essay I think I've seen before but had forgotten about: Matthew Fuller's "It looks like you're writing a letter: Microsoft Word". Which reminds me of Word Perhect, a gorgeous handdrawn parody of a wordprocessor.

posted: 25/4/02 11:49

hotel rooms for women

Hilde stayed in one of those hotel rooms marketed as being specially for women, but "The only sign of a 'feminine touch' was four tampons and one panty liner." I've wondered about those rooms and am glad to read a first hand report. After hearing about them and never staying in one I've felt slightly slighted to always be relegated to a regular room instead of one of these special "feminine" rooms. Strange, huh?

Talking of gender differences - I was carrying the box of vegies to the car, Adrian having offered his assistence, gentleman as he is, and me having thanked him but said no, viking-feminist that I am (if it had been heavy I might have said yes please), and this woman passing by exclaimed "Goodness! Make the man carry that!"

So now I'm wondering whether This Would Never Have Happened in Norway or if I'm deluding myself and The World Is Like That.

Not that other people carrying stuff for me is a huge problem.

[update: Torill has researched this issue further]

posted: 24/4/02 15:47

call for definitions

Gonzalo ponders the meanings of ludology and is requesting defintions. I'm curious too. I'm probably a narratologist, I'm realising, but definitely not in the cultist sense Gonzalo mentions where a narratologist believes that games and such are primarily narrative, in opposition to the competing cult, the ludologists, who believe games are non-narrative. I'm a narratologist in the old-fashioned sense of someone who likes thinking about the narrative aspects of stuff. I don't think narrative is the main point of games but I think there's a bit of narrativity in lots of games.

I'm treating the term as though it has a great deal to do with identity, aren't I?

posted: 24/4/02 15:20

the half-life of link rot

There is reason, or at least measure, to the ways in which links die, the newspaper informed me today:

[T]he rate of link rot is similar to that of the decay of radioactive substances. The links [in the sample] had a half-life of 55 months: half of the links would be expected to have died in 55 months, half of the remaining links would be expected to have died in another 55 months, and so forth. Vincent Kiernan, "Online Course Material Plagued by Link Rot", syndicated and published among other places in The Australian, 23 April 2001, p 36.

posted: 24/4/02 14:47

more deictics and diegetics

Today has been a reading day. David Carrier seems to have been the first person to talk about deictic narrative (Bal quotes him). I've been reading Mark Amerika's Filmtext, and an article about search engines and politics too. A satisfying day.

posted: 23/4/02 15:34


I'm in the State Library of Victoria. Unfortunately the Domed Reading Room is being renovated, but the Temporary Reading Room isn't bad at all. This library is not a lending library. It's the sort of library where you have to ask for a book and half an hour later you'll find it sitting waiting in a shelf under your surname. You take it to read in a lovely comfy red chair. At the end of the day you hand in your books, go out through the security point, fetch your bag from the luggage room and go home. So far I'm enjoying it. It's kind of exotic. And I'm guaranteed not to end up with piles of unread library books at home.

posted: 22/4/02 16:23

poetry, ads, google

Brandon at Texturl has interesting links to a project to put poetry in the textad space at Google. Google stopped it, for some reason.

posted: 22/4/02 12:01

private and popular weblogs

Lisbeth comments a site that ranks the most-visited (registered) Danish weblogs. I've never seen a ranking based on actual hits before - though I suppose if there's one there'll be others. Somehow it feels like - like seeing someone naked when you weren't really supposed to to see each blogs average hits. Hm. Lisbeth's note that weblogs are still categorised as personal is important too.

posted: 22/4/02 11:26


Canberra was excellent. The drive was pleasant, the city is fascinating in its design, though to me the scale feels more than human - I prefer cluttered, dense, busy cities where you see more people and life. I did a bit of work while Adrian was at the conference, and I got to tag along to the conference dinner too, which was nice. Canberra is full of museums and exhibitions and I'm now full up on Burke and Wills disastrous expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria (I've read Wills' diary and even seen the hoof of the horse that the sole survivor ate!), I've seen lots of Australian art in the National Gallery, I've been emotionally pummelled and laden with lots of trivia knowledge at the National Museum (an amazing museum, wonderfully designed, glorious architecture, engrossing exhibitions, intensely emotional, intent on nationhood and stories and emotions and with a large section on aboriginal culture though nothing on immigration). We also toured the embassies - the Norwegian embassy is terribly boring, I'm afraid, it looks like a school camp, whereas the others exhibit their national architectures - and drove past the National Rose Gardens (!) on several occassions. Using google to link these museums up I'm astonished to see there's even a National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra! Everything's national in Canberra...

Today I'm writing. This is good.

This evening we're going to get to see the VR cave at I-cubed!

posted: 22/4/02 10:42

new blogs i'm reading

Texturl is a promising new blog, have a look at the post on Googlewhacking as minimalist poetry, for instance. Or check out LoobyLu, a Melbourne blogger whose posts are accompanied by charming drawings of every situation described and who wants to illustrate childrens' books. I read some of her blog to Jasper (3) and Sophie (7) and they wanted more. I never even thought of reading a blog to kids before.

posted: 18/4/02 12:43

social networking

Torill's going to an art and technology soire in NY where

A cocktail party will follow the discussion, where guests wear wireless badges called meme tags that track and analyze social interaction in real time.

Please, please, please, Torill, blog this! Wish I could go too. Btw, there's an interesting discussion of that paper on identifying web communities through linking patterns at webmasterworld, quite critical in places, and relating it to Google's penalising of closed link circles.

posted: 18/4/02 12:34


Proofs of my not-Australianness appear in the most un-expected places. Take introductions for instance. Australians are good at introducing people, which I really like, but the next bit mystifies me. At first, I would hold out my hand, without thinking about it, but most of the people I was meeting would look confused, staring at my hand as though I was offering them a dead fish, and then anxiously shaking it while I, embarrassed by now, muttered some "nice to meet you", which never seemed appropriate either. Was I supposed to just stand still and smile? Was the there a magic formula to say, like the "How are you?" that is clearly meant to start every phone call or greeting on the street? (The answer, btw, is "good" if you're OK or "not bad" if you're feeling lousy or uncertain, quickly followed by "and you?" after which you can get on to the real business at hand. "How do you do?" is never uttered and apparently belongs to Britain. Or to the Olden Days.) So after countless embarrassing moments I decided to curb my automatic desire to hold out my hand, only to find that people kept holding out their hands to me instead. What on earth was going on? I couldn't crack the code. I couldn't even work out what my own code might be: some Norwegian code of handshaking so ingrained in me I couldn't even formulate it. I'm Norwegian in ways I'm not even aware of.

Over drinks I complained about my difficulties and ensuing identity crisis to Adrian and Jeremy. Ah! It's a gender thing, they explained. Men shake hands with men. Men and women sometimes shake hands with each other. Women never shake hands with other women.

I have to tell you, in many ways, Australia is stuck in this weird medieval gender dualism. Heaps of educated women stay home till their kids start school! Debates in the media about childcare are always about mothers and never mention fathers! Meetings are constantly scheduled for 5.30 with the apparent assumption that you either don't have kids or you have a wife at home who'll pick them up from daycare or school. They don't even have publicly funded parental leave here! If you're lucky and have generous employers you might get 13 weeks (13 measly weeks!) maternity leave. Most men have no paternity leave at all! Things may be changing though, slowly. At lunchtime in the city the women don't all wear short-skirted white cleaners' or chemists' or supermarket uniforms as they did twelve years ago. Or perhaps they only ever did in Perth. Melbourne, after all, is the city of style and culture and sophistication.

So I added the handshake thing to my list of Weird Stuff in Australia, decided to be an exotic and self-secure European doing my own thing about handshakes, and got another drink. Soon after Jeremy's partner Jane came in. "Jill, Jane; Jane, this is Jill." And then she held out her hand! I was amazed. I stared at it as if she was offering me a dead fish and then shook it after a moment's embarrassment.

I'm going to Canberra this afternoon. Adrian's got a conference and I'm tagging along for the drive (600 km but not on those windy mountainous Norwegian roads). Tomorrow I'm planning on carefully not going to the conference, which isn't particularly in my area, finding a caf, and sitting writing, a latte comfortably sitting beside the powerbook. Perhaps I'll have the opportunity to do some further research on handshaking rituals.

posted: 18/4/02 11:59

report from elo

Report from another symposium, the Electronic Literature Organisation's, in California last week, by Ravi Shankar. (via Mark)

posted: 17/4/02 20:18


Yesterday was the symposium, organised by Adrian and starring Mark Amerika and with other excellent contributions from Darren Tofts, Pia Ednie-Brown, Jeremy Yuille, Jenny Weight and Adrian Miles. If I blog it, will that make it real?

Mark talked about blogs. He talked outrageously about blogs. Adrian got him to keep a blog of his stay here as a visiting fellow but after two weeks of fairly obediently following the rules of the genre (short posts, frequent, datestamped, leave them more or less alone once published) he rebelled and started antiblogging. Mark's antiblogmanifesto (if that's what it is) isn't online but he's promised to email me what he read at the symposium and I'll definitely blog it. Blog about it. Sample it, perhaps. Mark talked about sampling too, you see. Let's leave that till I have the text to sample.

Darren speaks wonderfully. Somehow he manages to read his paper word for word and yet be completely engaging. Usually I crave more colour and movement, here we are now, entertain us, but I was perfectly happy to listen to Darren's voice for half an hour. He suggested an undoing of hypertext theory that concentrates on the singularity of a point rather than the whole or the connections. Using the example of the epigram to a book, which can be seen to contain the whole, he wanted to concentrate on the beginnings, the potentiality, rather than the link, which he said was usually seen as reciprocal and symbiotic.

Pia is an architect, and she read a short creative piece she'd written about living in the midst of digital signals (the company of our machines and the enjoyment when they take notice of us, when the garage light turns itself on sensing us walking past, the delight of "it felt me!") and a cheeky piece on form and men and women and architects. Jeremy demonstrated ways in which the net is spatial, Adrian talked about his vogs and finding the ways in which the medium can and can't be used (with a great example: You don't control your tools. You never control your tools. You can learn your tool's constraints, for instance knowing that a pencil won't write on glass, and so you work within those constraints.) Jenny showed us some of her artwork after pretending to be an information ornithologist, investigating the taxonomy of information based on its habitat and plumage and starting to see new media art as information.

Six students documented everything with cameras and microphones, and they're going to use this material and the full papers and powerpoints and web presentations to build an online publication that will be pushing the boundaries of what a peer-reviewed publication can be. Susana and me might be editing it for JoDI, which will be a challenge. It will have to be peer-reviewed, of course, and accepted by the reviewers and editors to be published in JoDI - but I realise that peer-reviewing a complex multi-medial artefact such as this might is something we're going to have to invent as we go. What a fascinating thing to work on though.

I particularly enjoyed the arrangement of the talks: two then a break, another then a panel with all the presenters. The panels were really interesting, letting out much more of the similarities and tensions between the presentations than is usually apparent in seminars and conferences. And I just as particularly enjoyed chatting with Djoymi and Antoanetta and Jeremy and Lisa and Mark. And the brownies. The brownies were yummy.

posted: 17/4/02 14:31

ask google

Google answers any question. Here are the hits for a search for the phrase "currency of the web" ordered as per Google algorithms (including PageRank which values links to each site as peer endorsment and therefore can be taken as representative of Truth, as Webbers See It). Links to sources are hidden in the stars. Irrelevant hits (the currency of your links is important because readers want fresh content) are not included.

  • Data is fast becoming the currency of the Web*
  • Links are the only true currency of the web *
  • Text is the currency of the Web *
  • The true currency of the web is "visitor attention span". *
  • Linking is the true currency of the web. *
  • CPM [Cost-Per-Click] is still the currency of the Web *
  • E-cash was supposed to be the currency of the web. *
  • The currency of the web isn't green bar printouts of facts and stats. It's pages. *
  • The currency of the Web is, well, currency. *
  • Links are the only true currency of the web. *
  • links are the true currency of the Web *
  • Information Is the Currency of the Web *

I conclude that though many have suggested alternative currencies, the consensus is clearly that links are the currency of the web. This is a useful conclusion since it is also my claim in my (accepted!) short paper for Hypertext 2002.

posted: 12/4/02 16:01

melbourne bits and pieces

Did I mention the symposium next week? I link therefore I am, with Mark Amerika and the crowd. I get to moderate the panel discussion :) Oh, and I just got email from Frank Schaap and we're having coffee! Yes, he is usually in Amsterdam, but he's on holiday and dropping by Melbourne. And there was something else too: oh yes, we were at the opening of an exhibition last night showing Mark's Filmtext, and there was another piece there which was simply a rather static video of a window filmed from inside and outside and projected from two sides of the room against a single opaque screen so you could see the outside of the window on one side and the inside on the other. Interesting discussion over dinner with Mark, Tim and Adrian, about whether or not this is narrative. Answer: probably not an ordinary narrative but possibly a deictic narrative, though no real consensus was acheived. Fancy being able to discuss deictic narrative and digital art over dinner. Such luxury :)

posted: 12/4/02 14:30

weblog reports on conferences

Mark about how blogging of a conference matters:

Weblog reports after conferences have become terribly important as well. Nobody else seems to be writing about last weekend's ELO meeting, but a simultaneous conference in Oslo is being talked about by Torill, Jill, Anders, and probably others. This tends to convince me that the conference I attended didn't really happen, that the real meeting was elsewhere.

posted: 12/4/02 14:20

cfp: about hypertext criticism

Susana and I are preparing a special issue of JoDI on hypertext criticism - it's going to be about how people write reviews of hypertexts and other electronic literature, and about how they don't write reviews, about whether criticism of hypertext work is too meek or too harsh, about what one writes about when one writes about a hypertext and so on. We're doing it as a collaborative hypertext where each writer contributes one or more nodes (of between 250 and 1500 words). Susana and I will have the nodes peer-reviewed and we'll link up the accepted nodes. Then in a second round, contributors will be asked to add any comments and context they may have in response to the other contributors' work. Some great people have already said they'll contribute; if you'd like to submit a node, please do! Read the full CFP for more details.

posted: 12/4/02 13:28

all about the seminar

Torill's written about the seminar we were at on Monday, which was excellent, down to the after-dinner speeches. Anders upped us all though, by blogging Torill and my talk as it happened (no permalinks, scroll down through April 8). This must be ultimate meta, reading a blogged version of a talk I gave! And with the personal point of view of the blogger, I get to read things that I didn't hear, though I was there:

We're at the end of Jill's and Torill's presentation.
"Unless we have voices online --- we're castrated!"
"No, we're not", the academic at my side murmurs.
"Yes you are." I reply. "I'm not."

We had such fun presenting our paper! Torill and I work brilliantly together, probably mostly because we always laugh so much. I was a bit worried that we hadn't scripted our presentation properly; we hadn't even agreed completely on which bits who would say, though we had a rough sketch and we sure know the subject matter. Wonderfully enough, people took our not-quite-planned chatting, laughing and interruptions as a carefully choreographed dialogic performance of research that parallelled the nature of blogs. Which I suppose it was, though we didn't quite know it. Oh, you can read our presentation notes at blogonblog, but they're probably kind of sketchy without the talking. The links are there though.

It was a great conference. I met lots of great people, some for the first time, some I'd met before. There are so many fascinating projects and ideas out there, I'm all inspired! More notes later.

posted: 11/4/02 9:58

way too early to be awake

I'm still in transit though by all appearances I've arrived: lying awake not being able to fall back to sleep although it's 3 am and this is my first bed in 36 hours. Constantly checking the clock, calculating the hours and the minutes till my destination (sunrise or Melbourne, I'm not sure). I didn't travel through Oslo, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, but Gardermoen, Schiphol, KLIA, climate-controlled nowheres, all identical. Not even time makes sense. Which time should my watch and my body obey: the time I left behind, the time I'm going to, or the night I can see outside?

posted: 11/4/02 5:21


I'll be offline for a few days - I'm going to be at the Researching ICT in Context conference in Oslo tomorrow (presenting the blogs in research paper with Torill, and then I'm flying straight on to Melbourne, where I'll be a visiting scholar at RMIT, and (conveniently) staying with my partner, Adrian. I'll be working (and blogging) there till mid-May.

posted: 7/4/02 17:32

review of ~unsettled~

How do you review a blog? You could read every post in it, going through the archives from start to finish. You'd have read everything, as a reviewer of a novel is expected to do, but though that's how novels are read it's not how blogs are read. Blogs are read in bits and pieces. I might read every word of a blog I like, but certainly not all at once. Ideally, then, you should follow a blog for a good while before presuming to review it. That would make blog reviews an awesome task. No wonder there aren't that many around...

The Peer-to-Peer Review Project is going to put a lot more blog reviews out there though. I was assigned a blog by Kathleen called ~unsettled~ I've been reading it for a week, trying to both read some of the archives and get a bit of a feel for the day-to-day experience of following the blog.

Starting to read a blog is a chancey matter. Posts vary, and the day you first turn up might show a brilliant post or a dull one. I saw some very run-of-the-mill posts the first time I was there, Kathleen sounded like the most ordinary person imaginable and at first I couldn't find any hooks of interest. The layout is more or less a standard from Blogger, perfectly alright but nothing terribly exciting. There's a photo of her that's reassuring in its unpretensiousness, no photoshopping or glamourous makeup here. Nice, and I can certainly feel like her peer, but there was nothing special to catch my attention.

Then I saw something about a wedding and something about being woken up to get to the airport and suddenly I was reading through archives gaping at this girl, trying to piece together who she is and what she does and what she's like from unsorted fragments of information. She's a make-up artist (I think; she does or did make-up for a living) and a singer who must have had a part in a fairly fancy show because she recently was in LA to do the soundtrack for a movie or televised version of the show. Reading about the boredom and amusement of such a very different life to my own was fascinating, and Kathleen often writes very engagingly as well.

Perhaps some more hooks around the blog, like an "about me", would help random visitors get interested, but then again, once I got started, the lack of context actually spurred me on to fabulating about who this person was. I'm still not quite sure. And that'll probably make me go back and read more. Plus her tagline's good: "As important as I want to be."

posted: 6/4/02 19:52

games studies

Hey, I'm the editor for the brand new game studies category in the Open Directory Project! This is cool. It ultimately means that everyone on the web will find game research more easily, that the world will be a better place, &c. You know I signed up as an editor just - oh, five days ago. And started building a game theory cat (short for category) in my bookmarks. Well, yesterday a (the?) chief editor read about a guy who committed suicide in desparation at a computer game and when he went to add links, he realised there wasn't a category that would cover the research studies he was wanting to add. So he created one, as one does, if one's kind of an editor in chief. And adding sites, he discovered that lots of them were already in my bookmarks - so he asked me to edit the new category :) Talk about brilliant timing. I'm starting to add and sort stuff now. (Note: starting, this is just the beginning here, OK?)

Please, games researchers, help out here? Have a look at the category now and then, and click the addurl button if you know about a brilliant site that should be in there? If anyone's keen to help out you can join by finding a subcategory that doesn't have an editor. There are a couple that belong to the game studies category already. Suggestions, comments and criticism accepted with the greatest pleasure. I'm thinking of adding a subcategory for researchers' homepages and blogs too. And what about themed subcategories? Violence, obviously, but what to call it? Ludology a separate theme? The Narrative Debate? Or not?

Oh, the ideology of names. And categories.

posted: 4/4/02 22:43

torill and my blog paper is online

The paper Torill and I wrote about blogs in research is online now. You can download it as a PDF from the website for the conference we're presenting it at on Monday: Researching ICTs in Context. The book version's still at the printer's so I won't get to see that until Monday.

posted: 4/4/02 12:01

sex in the city by a boy

Astrid sent me an email the other day with links to more on Joel, who dated Stacey, didn't get a handjob and blogged it and then had a rather funny article written about it all by Tod. She dumped him though. I've finally had a look at the links and my god, it's HUGE. Metafilterists did heaps of research, digging up Joel's blog, Tod and his wife's wedding registry, wondering about conspiracies, whether it was fake or an attempt at PR for a book Tod the journalist was writing etc, and finally, letting Joel know about it all. Joel is actually a really funny blogger, if you can get past the handjobs and the sometimes rather inane references to toilets, squirting, penises etc. It's rather like reading a more embarrassing version of Sex in the City (I love watching that) by a boy. He's frighteningly honest. But it's sort of endearing.

Interesting suggestion by a metafilterist: "Someone should try to write a biography about a person they've never met, using Google." If not a topic for a biography it'd be a great topic for a story. It's already almost the topic for a game, that there Cloudmakers thing worked kind of like this (I posted about that last year), and looking at the Metafilter thread about Joel I'd say people love hunting down a story like this...

posted: 4/4/02 11:13

google's PigeonRank technology

More April first... Google actually uses pigeons to get us those speedy, accurate results! couple days late, but ya know, I was busy... (thanks Diane)

posted: 3/4/02 21:11

press about blogs

Did I link to Eirik Newth's critical article about blogs a while ago? Yes, I did. And I remembered to note that he thinks my and Torill's blogs are good ;) Hkon Styri writes in today that though lots of people think blogs have become so trendy they're on their way out, people who care about usefulness rather than trendiness don't care.

Hkon Styri is also an editall in ODP and one of the bosses of the World/norsk category (nice feeling, that, recognising people online). I've just dived totally into ODP. It's such a brilliant concept. I've always wanted to contribute to open source projects but I'm no programmer and not that hot on documenting stuff I don't understand, but this, well, it's something I care about and something I can do well. And you, know, I can improve the world. A bit. I like that.

I'm happily perfecting "my" Norwegian blogs category (blogs in Norwegian, English-language blogs aren't allowed in) and I've made a suggestion for a category on email narratives. What next?

posted: 2/4/02 21:20

the WHAT directory?

On Saturday I signed up as an editor for the Open Directory Project (ODP), at ODP is an open source directory of the web, which can be used freely according to an open source style licence. The idea is that instead of fighting the sprawling growth of the web, people who use the web can "each organize a small portion of the web and present it back to the rest of the population, culling out the bad and useless and keeping only the best content". Google, AOL, Netscape and numerous other search engines use the Open Directory data to make their searches better, so it has a real effect. And the tagline, humans are better, is great. I'm finding that I'm really enthusiastic about helping map the web like this. Last night I actually dreamed about how I'd like to restructure the hypertext category (once I've got enough editing experience to be approved as an editor for it) so that hypertext research will be a brightly shining star in cyberspace and always be easily found.

Today I went to check the site (and see if any of my newbie questions have been answered in the forums) and noticed for the first time that it's COPYRIGHT BILL GATES! Wtf? The DMOZ logo at the top has gone. Overnight, it's become the Microsoft directory! I don't want to work for Microsoft! And no one even ANNOUNCED it! Jesus, they've even done such a lousy job of anti-aliasing the Microsoft logo! How COULD they!!!!?!???

Then it dawned on me. April first! Ha, got me there ;)

[Ooh, and that sneaky little winking Office paperclip thing in a horrid popup window and after about 10 minutes it goes "if only I could post to the forums.." - "me, me, me! ask me!" Brilliant.]

[[second update: a nice press release has appeared - "Researchers believe that once the Gates OpenDirectory had been fully integrated into Clippy, it will become sentient."

posted: 1/4/02 11:15


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Links and Power: The Political Economy of Linking on the Web. Short paper presented at Hypertext 2002. In Proceedings of Hypertext 2002, Baltimore: ACM Press. 78-79. PDF.

Blogging Thoughts: Personal Publication as an Online Research Tool. With Torill Mortensen. In Researching ICTs in Context, ed. Andrew Morrison, InterMedia Report, 3/2002, Oslo 2002. Buy the book at

Reisebrev fra NIC2001, publisert i Kunstnett Norges nettkunstmagasin. November 2001.

email narratives
an annotated bibliography.

Do you think you're part of this? Digital texts and the second person address
(or pdf) Cybertext Yearbook, Jyvskyl University.
You can order the whole anthology from

A Child's Game Confused
a hypertextual riff against (or with?) some netpoems. JoDI 1.7, 2000.
local mirror.

Men er det litteratur?
en introduksjon til skjermtekster. Bob nr. 7-8, 2000.

Men hvorfor virker ikke musen?
en anmeldelse av nettkunsten på hstutstillingen. Kunstnett Norge,okt 2000.

How to learn MOO programming Annotated links for non-programmers, 1999.

Jeg taster, derfor er jeg
en kronikk om webspeoperaer. Studvest, 18/1999.

Piecing together and tearing apart: reading afternoon, a story.
about Michael Joyce's classic hypertext fiction.
Won The Ted Nelson Newcomer Award, Hypertext '99.

Tripp trapp tresko i cyberspace
en hypertekstuell anmeldelse av Juliet Ann Martins elektroniske diktsyklus xxxoooxxx.,1998.

Hypertextual Criticism. Comparative Readings of Three Web Hypertexts about Literature and Film
my MA thesis on non-fiction web hypertexts. Dept of Comparative Literature, University of Bergen, 1998.

Jernaldervev: lesefragmenter
en hypertekst om min lesning av Steinar Ldings papirroman Jernalderdrm. 1998. (Dette er ikke en hypertekstuell versjon av romanen men en anmeldelse av den.)