Stephen Fry + Gadgets + The Guardian = Refreshing!
Fans of Stephen Fry will likely appreciate his new weekly column in the Guardian on Saturdays, especially those who have more than a modicum of interest in the latest gizmos and gadgets. This week’s column, the first of the series and very much an introductory piece, can be found at:
Reading the article, I found it refreshing that Fry manages to maintain a very open and honest dialog with the reader throughout. His Windows machines, for example, do get a mention even though he isn’t terribly proud to own them, and he is also quite happy to discuss his second, ‘private,’ Facebook account.
Honesty and openness, in my opinion, form a large part of Fry’s appeal (in recent times perhaps you could even argue more so than his wit?) and, boy, I do hope other tech writers here on the Internet find this to be inspiration. That’s not to say I think the blogosphere is full of liars, rather I find it refreshing to read a technical article that is genuinely an expression of the author’s own thoughts. I would estimate that Engadget, for example, painstakingly create just 1.5 lines of original content per post, and yet it is these very few lines that their readers keep coming back for (gadget news is hardly in short supply on the Internet).
Of course it was Fry’s openness that made The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive the success it was — interestingly, during the second part of the series he declared his love of gadgets to be a manic depressive symptom! And true to one of the themes of the show, he is now putting this symptom to good use thanks to the Guardian.
Stylistically, the article reads in very much the same manner as Fry speaks; it is superficially somewhat of a monotonous ramble, and yet is brimming with nuggets of wisdom and frank insights. I must admit I do think Clive James still has the slight edge in this space however, his recent column for the BBC News for example contained some of the most outstanding ramblings you will ever read!
Still, I will be very much looking forward to reading Stephen’s column in the coming weeks, I’m certain it will bring a few precious moments of Zen-like calm on an Internet now so often dominated by the likes of Engadget, and worse.