Richard Ries
All content copyright 2017 by R Ries Corporation. All rights reserved.

Backslash backlash

When the announcer included the term “backslash” in his recitation of the URL, I knew it was wrong. The direction of the slash tells an operating system where a resource can be found. A slash, aka forward slash (/) tells the operating system the file is outside the system, usually somewhere on the Internet. A backslash (\) says the file is within the system, typically on that system’s hard drive or other internal storage. The commentator couldn’t know what was on viewers’ hard drives and there was a zero-percent probability the resource would be found on the hard drives owned by every viewer. The error didn’t make the URL unusable; simply entering the correct slash when keying the address would solve the problem. And it didn’t greatly diminish the announcer’s credibility. He was covering a BMX event, not the functioning of the Large Hadron Collider. How technically accurate did he have to be? Still, the error pushed out everything else he said and while the rest of the URL didn’t even make it into my short-term memory, the backslash error skated through my short-term memory and is safely embedded in my long-term memory.
Words. Images. Information. Just for you.

Blogs, periodicals

Posted: 8/16/17

Video: YouTube

Risks of going live

Going live enhances immediacy and

intimacy in our message. It also

increases the odds we’ll screw up.

I was watching the 2017 summer X Games from Minneapolis when the announcer shared a URL with viewers. I don’t recall the full address or even any part of it except that he said it included a backslash. For technical reasons, that could not have been true. See the explanation elsewhere on this page. The particulars in this example don’t matter. What does matter is that with so many opportunities to go live, we have an equal number of opportunities to make errors while live. Few of us will be on national TV, as the X Games commentator was. Few of us will get on regional or local broadcasts, either. But with so many options to go live on social media, more of us are spending more time interacting with our audiences in real time. Going live is a good thing. It helps us connect with our audience in a way print and other static media cannot. We have an immediate relationship with our viewers. As with any relationship, this one comes with the risk of criticism and because it’s an immediate relationship, criticism occurs immediately, too, even if it just stays in the viewer’s mind. There is no editing process, no filter. Depending on the platform there may be a few seconds’ delay so clearly objectionable material can be thwarted.* But this is not an editing process and our errors sail through unaltered. Going live has lots of benefits but it comes with potential pitfalls. The point is not to shun live coverage. The point is to be as perfect as possible when we go live. And how do we keep this mindfulness of perfection from making us self- conscious and awkward on camera? A public speaking course will help. But that’s a topic for another day. *This isn’t foolproof and abuse of live social media has prompted at least one major police department to issue guidelines for dealing with it, as explained in this article in USA Today. Images In order of appearance; titles are my reference terms, not titles supplied by the photographers. BMX — Duc Viet Hoang, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. TV — Tina Rataj-Berard, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. Critic — Meghan Duthu, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. In the YouTube video, the above images are used plus Magazine — The Fifth, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. Music: A Hoot, partnersinrhyme.com.
Richard Ries
All content, including images, copyright R Ries Corporation. All rights reserved.

Backslash backlash

When the announcer included the term “backslash” in his recitation of the URL, I knew it was wrong. The direction of the slash tells an operating system where a resource can be found. A slash, aka forward slash (/) tells the operating system the file is outside the system, usually somewhere on the Internet. A backslash (\) says the file is within the system, typically on that system’s hard drive or other internal storage. The commentator couldn’t know what was on viewers’ hard drives and there was a zero-percent probability the resource would be found on the hard drives owned by every viewer. The error didn’t make the URL unusable; simply entering the correct slash when keying the address would solve the problem. And it didn’t greatly diminish the announcer’s credibility. He was covering a BMX event, not the functioning of the Large Hadron Collider. How technically accurate did he have to be? Still, the error pushed out everything else he said and while the rest of the URL didn’t even make it into my short-term memory, the backslash error skated through my short-term memory and is safely embedded in my long-term memory.

Blogs, periodicals

Posted: 8/16/17

Video: YouTube

Risks of going live

Going live enhances immediacy and

intimacy in our message. It also

increases the odds we’ll screw up.

I was watching the 2017 summer X Games from Minneapolis when the announcer shared a URL with viewers. I don’t recall the full address or even any part of it except that he said it included a backslash. For technical reasons, that could not have been true. See the explanation elsewhere on this page. The particulars in this example don’t matter. What does matter is that with so many opportunities to go live, we have an equal number of opportunities to make errors while live. Few of us will be on national TV, as the X Games commentator was. Few of us will get on regional or local broadcasts, either. But with so many options to go live on social media, more of us are spending more time interacting with our audiences in real time. Going live is a good thing. It helps us connect with our audience in a way print and other static media cannot. We have an immediate relationship with our viewers. As with any relationship, this one comes with the risk of criticism and because it’s an immediate relationship, criticism occurs immediately, too, even if it just stays in the viewer’s mind. There is no editing process, no filter. Depending on the platform there may be a few seconds’ delay so clearly objectionable material can be thwarted.* But this is not an editing process and our errors sail through unaltered. Going live has lots of benefits but it comes with potential pitfalls. The point is not to shun live coverage. The point is to be as perfect as possible when we go live. And how do we keep this mindfulness of perfection from making us self- conscious and awkward on camera? A public speaking course will help. But that’s a topic for another day. *This isn’t foolproof and abuse of live social media has prompted at least one major police department to issue guidelines for dealing with it, as explained in this article in USA Today. Images In order of appearance; titles are my reference terms, not titles supplied by the photographers. BMX — Duc Viet Hoang, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. TV — Tina Rataj-Berard, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. Critic — Meghan Duthu, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. In the YouTube video, the above images are used plus Magazine — The Fifth, licensed under Creative Commons, sourced from Unsplash. Music: A Hoot, partnersinrhyme.com.
Words. Images. Information. Just for you.