Moving Target

When my Google news alert ticker started spitting out reports of a bill to block access to Myspace, I put my eyes back in my head and thought: man is it ever hard to write about a moving target.

During the three or four months I spent working on an article about Facebook (which is now out and off and gone and done—for now), the site changed in about a dozen ways, as many students were expelled around the country because of their postings on Facebook, and facebook.com expanded to include corporate employees. Moving target.

Moving targets make writing like way, way difficult for the obvious reason that (for the sake of accuracy and "remaining current") you're always having to add, delete, and revise what you've just written. But the other thing that makes Moving Target Composition vertiginous is knowing that there is no way, when I think I'm done, I will really be done.

This is in part why, at the moment, I'm thoroughly enjoying starting to work on a chapter about the visual rhetoric of taxonomic discourse in the 19th century. The target, it does not move.

Look! There it is just waiting to be made sense of.


  1. You'd have to be the rhet/comp version of Annie Oakley to hit that baby.

    Just so you know it's happened to people other than those working with digital writing/communication media, think about what a prof. I had back at U of Missouri must have been dealing with: she was teaching a poli sci class on "The Eastern Bloc" while communisim in Eastern Europe was crumbling. One of my all time favorite UG classes, btw.

  2. And then, when you uncover new documents when doing historical research, things seem move ... Target Jiggle is all around us! :)

  3. Great term, target jiggle. Do try to work that into the official vocab of the profession.