Friday, June 03, 2005

VP and Ransoming Poetry

My love affair with RSS is starting to blossom. My copy of FeedDemon has brought my attention to a couple of interesting postings today and I am beginning to get a warm fuzzy feeling about the whole blogosphere thing.

Firstly, a really nice posting from Geof Huth at dbqp: visualizing poetics. Geof has been writing a series of Rilke-esque letters to a Young, Imaginary Visual Poet. Today, I lucked onto to his seventh in which he offers advice about networking. One of the nicest thing about blogs is of course, that having found the 7th , it was easy for me to backtrack and book-mark the first six for future reading.

Huth has a number of sage words about how to go about being a visual poet which are both poetic and pragmatic. In particular, he points links to a number of excellent sites such as spider tangle. However, I don't delude myself that I am the ‘young visual poet’ of Huth imagination. Nevertheless his words to speak to my aesthetic interests which seem to be on an intercept course with visual poetry at the moment. What seems to be happening is that as I get more into aesthetics of participation I am also getting more into the aesthetics of concrete and visual poetry. Working with flash and photoshop (and flash and photoshop users) I find myself producing work that has a strong visual interest. I still would not describe what I do as visual poetry – that is poetry that needs to be seen - but it has some vispo interests in the mix.

Should I broaden my network horizons? I’ll let you know.

Another interesting post came from Clive Thompson’s Collision Detection Blog. Thompson drew my attention to the "ransom" model of publishing. Game-maker, Greg Stolze, has developed a ‘ransoming’ model to find a market for the board game Meatbot Massacre. Stolze’s idea is to use a digital format to beat the problem of tight margins that hinder the development of new games in the traditional board game sector. However, he has gone one better by keeping the game out of the public digital domain (so that it could not be copied and file shared) until a ransom had been raised. Having received the ransom the game was then put out there in .pdf format (and spread about by the punters like muck on a field).

I can’t see this form of marketing working as a general model in the world of poetry as the idea of ransoming an unfinished poem is ..well..unlikely ( I can imagine a number of poets I know clubbing together to come up with some money to stop their brethren foisting their work on to the general public). Nevertheless it is another interesting marketing approach that might work with longer, serial forms of work. It is all a question of your ethics, I guess!

Imagine, you are writing a digital soap which acquires a following and then you ransom the next episode. Nice return for the writer or a slap in the face for your friendly gift-culture vultures? Similarly, the digital format could be used/abused to ransom a print-on-demand hard copy of a novel which has been developed but not completed in a blog form. Hooray for royalty payments or shame on you for killing all those trees!


Blogger Geof Huth said...


A weird coincidence here. I was carrying out a search for the term "visual poetry" in weblogs and chanced upon an interesting posting of yours, which made me want to take a look at the top page of the blog, where I see you have found my blog as well.



4:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home