Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Of Vooks and Blooks

I offer my apologies in advance for what follows...

I thought I heard a discussion of some weird new kind of "vook" on public radio the other day, and finally ran across a written account of video-book hybrids in this article in Salon.com. I can see the usefulness in such a monster if some kind of complicated process is being taught, but I am less enamoured of the idea if it is going to be a low-cost drama production. I get lots of that on the cable channels.

It reminded me of a discussion I had the other day with someone who doesn't want to be associated with the writing disaster that follows. We were talking about the nomenclature for the project I just finished on the Colorado Plateau. Over a year's time, the series of blogs had grown into a narrative with the length (if not the style) of a small book. What should such a thing be called?

We immediately thought of "blook" and congratulated ourselves on our creativity and originality but a quick google search confirmed the that term has existed since at least 2002. Oh well. Just the same we realized that people who write blooks would have to be called "blookers", and if the authors are German women, they would be "Frau Blookers" (frenzied neighing of horses breaks out*).

Our second choice for the name of a blog-book hybrid would be a "boog". I liked it, but a google search revealed that a boog had all kinds of dark and gross meanings related to nostrils and drugs. So that won't work so well, but so many things could have been right about the word. When we said we needed to "boogie", folks would think we were really cool and all, and not going home to chew on Cheetos and stare at a computer screen. The problem with "boogs", books written as a series of blog posts, is the lack of continuity and style. Such projects need the help of an editor or even an editorial board, a "boogie-board" as it were.

Maybe an interesting idea. It ultimately can't work though, because the authors of boogs would of course have to be called..."boogers".

Ok, back to geology...

*If you don't know this movie reference, you have to go study Mel Brooks and satires of old monster movies