Transience and Permanence: Online and Written

The internet changes constantly. Sites rise and fall. I can close the browser and PFFT! the webpage is gone. I turn away, and pick up a magazine from the table. Ahh, the permanence of the printed word. How reassuring.

Yet it’s the other way around. What I type here can be accessed by all of you at any time. Even if I deleted it, Google may have cached it. I close the browser and shut down my computer and do something else… but you may still be reading.

I write for magazines frequently. Publication day approaches and I still get excited. I hang around in the newsagents’, getting funny looks from the staff. Sometimes, people comment on Facebook that they’ve seen me in print, and I get a warm fuzzy glow.

And then it’s passed. It’s gone. Last month’s article is this month’s well-thumbed waiting-room copy. You can’t go and see what I wrote about in Classic Bike Guide last year. Transient. Fleeting. Already passed over for something newer, better and fresher.

If you’re a writer, or an aspiring writer, do be careful what you write online. It persists. This is one reason I would urge all writers to ensure they strive to use the best grammar and spelling that they can, because everything you write online reflects on your skills and qualities as a writer.

It’s not only the editors of magazines you’ve submitted to that may check up online. This blog post is mostly to say hello to my dad, who revealed he’s been cyber stalking me. I knew that laptop was a bad idea.

 

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  1. #1 by Phil on December 8, 2012 - 9:32 am

    Oh, and magazine columns can re-appear. There are some excellent compilation bookazines out there. Perhaps a “Best of Autumn” cycling book? If you’ve sold First serial rights, you could self-publish if the orioinal publishers are too short-sighted to go with the idea.

  2. #2 by Phil on December 8, 2012 - 9:28 am

    Actually, on-line isn’t forever. Rcently, I was interviewed for a webmaster job and hit a problem that none of the big sites I ran exist in the way they were when I was in charge of them. Magazines can be kept in a portfolio. Web stuff is harder.

    (Yes I know about the Wayback machine but it’s not infalable)

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