“Digital tusks” enhance “quality writing” reach to thought leaders on politics, economy, arts and tech coverage

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My Media in Canada subscription hit the in-box this a.m., with a lead article cleverly called The Walrus adds digital tusks.” Having taken out a (print) subscription to The Walrus this past fall during the Word on the Street festival in Toronto—and being very pleased indeed with the quality and breadth of the publication and writers, I’m equally happy to hear the publisher is raising the social media bar and general reach, by introducing new multimedia features, such as “podcasts, blog rolls, discussion boards, galleries and a beefed-up newsletter.”

Equally pleasing is that fact that a recent (and favourite) article by John Lorinc, “Driven to Distraction: How our multi-channel, multi-tasking society is making it harder for us to think,” is available online. (I’d actually had a discussion with some very friendly staff members at The Walrus back in March about how this article and many others are perfect for the blogosphere, so I’m delighted to see that a related 10-day-access-trial-offer is now in place.) Yes, “Driven to Distraction” is long (as are most articles in The Walrus), but well worth checking out.

In this instant-and-often-fluffy-news-driven culture, not to mention much-heralded user-generated universe, I find myself increasingly drawn to long, well-researched and thoughtful articles, such as the one written by Lorinc. Perhaps this is my form of silent protest against the sheer enormity of online noise and sometimes unsubstantiated opinions. So it will be interesting to see how The Walrus fares in its digital adventures. Thoughts?

2 COMMENTS

  1. Judy,
    don’t know how The Walrus will fare its digital adventures, but they sure got me! My gratitude for this tip.
    I have been for many years intrigued, to the point of sometime being considered a ‘luddist’ by some of my more geek friends, by the inevitable structural effects this extended, prolonged and increasing period of overload will have on our minds and bodies.
    I can’t forget that we humans once had a tail….
    Some may remember the ‘how much info’ periodic research which was started in the year 2000 (if I recall correctly..) at Berkley which more or less estimated the annual dynamics of the number of bits going in and out of our minds.
    I believe this specific research has now terminated, but there are other astounding figures coming out every year from other sources.
    Of course, the mere fact that I ask myself this question influences the way I observe my grandchildren and how their minds work. Not to say my younger undergraduate students or even my masters one.
    Am I luddist if I say that they jump to conclusions which are often misplaced because they did not follow a rational but an instinctual process?
    Is this naivetè at its worse?
    Am I luddist if I say that their ability to concentrate and their interest in going more in depth are disappearing?
    (see how they write….influenced by instant messaging…).
    Will we be soon carrying around -like one of those horrid things people attach to their ears and speak as they walk… always giving me the impression that they might be disturbed and talking to themselves….- by a robotic brain which, under our (?) orders, will concentrate and go in depth on our behalf, and then transfer summarised capsules of accessible knowledge into our brain with an immediate possibility for us to click and understand more?
    Another face of indexation???

  2. (Enlighten me: what are the *other* faces of indexation?!)

    I’ve said to a few individuals in their late teens/early ’20s that I think the ones that are going to rise to the top in future are the select few that can appreciate well-researched and thoughtful material (and conversations), in addition to the mind-glut of short bytes and self-selection tech toys.

    Some give me hope. Yesterday, walking past the line-up for a Hot Docs screening (All in This Tea, to be exact–a wonderful documentary, with an eloquent director who answered questions afterwards), I noticed a young woman (probably about 20 or 21) in the line-up, reading the current issue of The Walrus. (In print!) So, she is choosing to expand her mind with this print magazine, as well as to explore a part of the world sitting in a darkened theatre on a glorious Saturday afternoon. I also suspect she has the ability to concentrate and view things in more depth.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article (I knew you would). I’m hoping that John Lorinc (a prolific and highly respected journalist, who lives in Toronto) will do a speaking tour about the subject. I’d register in a nano-second….

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