Having always lived near the ocean, I know that things flow and ebb and flow. And so it goes with writing and the Deaf community.
It’s interesting, this relationship that Deaf people have with writing, with journalism. Protracted love affairs with the written word are, for us, more like fits of fancy. Newsletters, magazines, the written Deaf publication, they all come and go. As bimodal bilinguals, technology and social change pulls us into different directions. Towards vlogs and video mails and FaceTme, and towards writing more text messages, Facebook status updates, and tweets than ever. Towards magazines based on the eye and academic journals written entirely in ASL. And with a blink of the eye or a flick of the finger it all changes again.
Fifteen years ago, people declared the death of community-supported Deaf newspapers and newsletters thanks to e-mail lists. Five years ago, people questioned the relevancy of magazines as the time of blogs met its apogee. Now people find blogs far too long to read in the age of 140-character tweets. Ten-minute vlogs are reviled unless expertly produced and enjoyably viewed. Flickr limits videos to a Twitteresque 90 seconds but this has not caught on. Nevertheless, the trend seems clear: Get to the point, people say.
Good trend, bad trend, who knows. What I do know is that I miss reading good Deaf writing.
Whatever is old is new again, and whatever flows, ebbs, and flows again. As much as I loved managing and writing for DeafDC.com, its time came and then went. I’ve headed to Sri Lanka, San Francisco, San Diego, and now Manhattan beckons. All locations by the ocean. The water rushes in, DeafEcho flows forth.
So. Hello, Deaf people. Blogs are back. We may not get to the point in 140 characters or 90 seconds, but it’ll be a damn good read along the way.