Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lazy Blogger & the Significance in Objects

Yes, it's been weeks, almost a month, something like that, since I've dropped by my own blog. I've become that bane of the bloggerdom, an irregular correspondent. Some of that was due to having a good time: a short trip with friends to the mountains (close to Donner Summit, well before the snow flew), and after that, a longer, more solitary visit to Wellspring (in Philo, CA) for a writer's retreat.

And then some of it's due to the pile-up of work: registration for the Spring 2010 semester started last week and it's been a wang-dang doozie from the get-go. In between was the Thanksgiving holiday, with folks hanging out here, food prep and a day or two of recovery, and so there you have it.

Meanwhile I've been playing around with S.O. (Significant Objects, honey, not Significant Other, this is a family-friendly blog). Significant Objects, as noted in previous post, is a coalition of folks who ran an experiment in the value of desire, as I interpret it.

These folks decided to discover if increasing the significance of an object would increase that object's desirability, as measured by an increase in price on eBay. The set-up was to purchase tchotchkes on eBay for a song or a song-and-a-half, then ask writers to provide a narrative that created and illuminated significance for that particular object. They then reposted the object on eBay, accompanied by the narrative and kicked back to see what happened.

Boy, did it happen. They've completed one such project of 100 objects and you can see the results at the website, as well as checking out the objects, stories, charts and figures.  It definitely shows the power of narrative.

I, of course (you did, too, I bet), thought right away what cool writing prompts these objects would make for a malingering writer, looking for a jump start. But that's the gist of another post.

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