2011: The year in preview

So, the New Year is here, time to think about the future, and make plans for what we want to do with this blog over the next twelve months.

Looking back over the last year, there are a few things that I planned to do but never got round to; organising some political activity within SL, delineating the psychological profile of a typical Second Life resident, and posting more general cultural commentary, in the form of book, film and music reviews.

I failed to complete, or even seriously start, the first two of these tasks for more or less the same reason; they are big projects, that would demand an investment of time and attention that couldn’t possibly be justified by the results, and thus seem rather self-indulgent. This is particularly true of the political organisation idea; virtual agitation isn’t going to have any practical effect, whereas spending even a fraction of the time on real-world activity would probably have some positive consequences. (Of course I can do the Second Life work from the comfort of my own home, rather than having to go out and stand on cold street corners, but that’s not quite enough to tip the balance.)

One can make more of a case for the SL psychological investigation plan; not because the final result would be particularly earth-shattering, but rather because there would be some likelihood that I would find the process educational in a generalisable way. Again though, utilising the time to study something more immediately applicable to my day-to-day work is likely to be more profitable.

So I’ll probably quietly forget about the political activity thing, though I do have a vague idea about doing a series of posts on the various political groups that already exist on the grid, and I’ll definitely be commenting on real world politics a bit more. As far as psychological comment goes, I suppose I’ll have to keep that going, since it is the ostensible raison d’être of this blog, but I’ll stick to small scale stuff rather then any more ambitious projects. Sherry Turkle has a new book just out – Alone Together, which “describes new, unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude”; I expect I’ll have something to say about that once I get round to reading it. I may also try to do more about the psychosexual aspects of virtual interaction; I have written a little about this in the past, but mostly in the form of comments on other blogs.

I am going to start writing some more cultural reviews; the problem hitherto has been my rather obsessive nature, and my consequent inability to keep posts down to a manageable length. What I need to do is pick out a couple of aspects of the work in question and restrict myself to a few succinct comments.

I’ll have to do some basic blog housekeeping too; update the links, tidy up the tags, create a custom graphic for the header. The domain is due for renewal soon, and I’m going to pay WordPress a bit extra so they stop putting adverts on my pages, which should make things look a bit neater.

So there we are; a handy list of my aspirations, which will double up as a reminder of my shortcomings come December.

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