Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meeting in Comillas

We have arrived in Comillas to participate in a two day working conference hosted by the Fundacion Comillas. The opening plenary, by Franciso (Paco) Yus of the University of Alicante has just begun. It's 3am in Mexico City right now, which seems like a good time to be trying to attune our ears to Spanish spanish. Paco is working his way through a comparative analysis of written discourse across analogue and electronic media.

This time tomorrow we'll be presenting -- that's a lot of attuning to do in a hurry ...

The Fundacion, located in a huge ex seminary on the top of a hill overlooking the small picturesque town of Comillas and overlooking the Cantabrian Sea, is a premier Spanish language learning institution. It also hosts events like the current one, that run alongside the day to day bread and butter work of the Fundacion, designed to inform its practice. The focus here is on online communication across different languages. Francisco has introduced the concept of "infoxificacion", defined as "intoxificacion por exceso de informacion", and is opening up his dicussion into a focus on genre.

Meanwhile, capturing the nano-generational change rate upon us, Michele is tweeting (on her Kindle Fire) as I blog (on a netbook). So it goes. Most of the audience are making notes in the conference notes books provided in the conference pack. Meanwhile, I'm blown away by the media environment in this small auditorium. The internet connection is lightning fast, and the sound is stunning -- seemingly augmented by the aged limewashed stone walls.

Working his way through the experiences of reading online and keeping going, following interests, Paco is marking out what he sees as key distinguishing characteristics of electronic genres.

1.Los generos electronicos se transfieren de, se apartan, y se generan en la Red.

2. Los generos electronicos se torcan, se enlazan, se dispersan.

3. Los generos electronicos diluyen la autoria y enfatizan al usuario.

4. Los generos electronicos comparten la atencion del usuario. (I thought Paco's slide for this represented Michele's practices pretty well .....)

5. Los generos electronicos compiten por la atencion del usuario.

6. Los generos electronicos buscan a sus lectores.

7. Los generos electronicos se personalizan automaticamente.

Paco has interspersed during his talk illuminating sidebar discussion of viewpoints by people like Nicholas Carr (on information overload) and Eli Pariser (on the narrowing of worldview through personalised search).

A great start to what looks like being a very interesting two days.

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