Author Archives: Bill Wren

About Bill Wren

Writer, editor, social media practitioner and observer of how and where people connect and engage online.

Summer Canticle (July 18, 1971)

Ragweed and yarrow, Byzantine tall grass thrumming with the acolytes of pollen. A single shoe from a half-shod man missing the laces. Rusted railway tracks last used in 1958. Procession tightrope-walking. Destination? Anywhere but church. Squatted and smoking cigarettes on greyed and sunbaked ties. Somewhere a priest drones sermons my cousins and I don’t want […]

Creativity Can Obscure Your Message

In an age of digital this and that, when many of us live large parts of our lives online, creativity often obfuscates our message. Obfuscate means to “render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible,” as my dictionary defines it. It’s not that the creativity we bring to something isn’t imaginative. It’s often very imaginative; very clever and […]

Bots Mean Change

I grew tired of the comments telling me, in awkwardly worded fashion, how wonderful my posts were and how I had really nailed it (the subject matter rarely specified). With over 4,000 comments labelled spam in the last few days, I decided to make a change. No more comments. Comments have been disabled on Writelife. […]

Informing Ourselves to Death — by Neil Postman

(From a speech made October 11, 1990) The great English playwright and social philosopher George Bernard Shaw once remarked that all professions are conspiracies against the common folk. He meant that those who belong to elite trades – physicians, lawyers, teachers, and scientists – protect their special status by creating vocabularies that are incomprehensible to […]

Odd, Uneven, Unsatisfying – The King in Yellow

An uneven collection of ten stories, The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (1865 – 1933) is the author’s best known work (today) and largely due to its first four stories which have a weird, supernatural quality to them. All the stories in the collection are wonderfully atmospheric, be it of a horror or romantic […]

How Often and for Whom Should You Post?

With social media, we have followers from around the neighbourhood, around the city, the province, the country and the world. So for whom are we tweeting or status updating or posting? What are we posting and how often are two more questions, ones that always trouble me. In my part of the world, Fredericton, New […]