There Is No Cat

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ficlets

One interesting thing I found out about at SXSW was Ficlets, a site that was just unveiled by AOL a day or two before SXSW. It's a collaborative storytelling site. You have 1024 characters to tell a story, and once it's published, anyone can write a sequel or prequel to the story to help flesh it out. It's a neat idea, the brainchild of AOL's Kevin Lawver, who explained the concept to me and a couple of other people in a brief conversation at 20x2, one of the evening events in Austin on the periphery of SXSW. Cindy Li, who also worked on the site, was pushing it as well, handing out buttons and such. It's a really clever idea. They give you little "inspirations" if you need something to get you started. My first ficlet was inspired by the phrase "The monkeys told me I'd find you here". Given Laura's obsession with monkeys in recent months, it was easy for me to run with this one. I wrote another ficlet today without direct inspiration from the site, this one the beginnings of a spy story. The 1024 character limitation is brilliant, and makes you write economically and allude to things rather than spelling them out. I think it also helps you to leave lots of loose ends for others to follow up on. And it also makes it easy to dash something off pretty quickly. Instead of being intimidated by a whole blank piece of paper, it's like writing on a Post-It note, much more inviting. Neat stuff. Congratulations to the Ficlets team for a really clever idea well executed.

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Posted at 6:35 PM

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Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

thank you for Ficlets! I really like it!

Posted by narik at 1:29 AM, April 10, 2007 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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