Talk time: William Gibson

William Gibson's new book Pattern Recognition is out now from Penguin

Read Toby Litt's review of Pattern Recognition
Is there an art to blogging? I think there is and I don't think I've necessarily mastered it yet! I have got that feeling of when you're working in a new form and you start to feel the edges of it and it's really intuitive. However, if I'm ever going to write another book, I'm going to have to quit doing my blog as I have a hunch it interferes with the ecology of being a novelist.

What constitutes a good blog? I haven't really had that much experience of them as a reader. I wasn't looking at them much prior to starting my own blog. I saw a few more after that and then, I think during the first week of the war in Iraq, I feel as if I saw blogging go mainstream. On a Monday, I'd mentioned to a friend in Vancouver that there was a guy in Baghdad who was blogging and my friend asked me "what the fuck is blogging?" By the Friday, blogging was being discussed on the evening news.

Do you follow many weblogs? The one I've been looking at most frequently since the war started is The Agonist. The guy in San Antonio who runs it, Sean-Paul Kelley, seems to do nothing but sit filtering and chopping the news down, so you can go CNN, Reuters, etc. He also has the $600 a year subscription to a service called Stratfor (, which gives corporate intelligence.

Is brevity the key to good internet communication? It's hard to say whether it actually is brevity when it involves a hyperlink. If what you're presenting is a customised node, then the node is the message and you don't want a lengthy node!

So is Google officially a verb now?
When I wrote Pattern Recognition, it occurred to me that I could use it as a verb and it also occurred to me that someone might already have done so. I thought it didn't matter too much. If I'm first that's great, but if I'm not, then it's just good reportage in a way. Sites like Wiktionary track new usages and neologisms. The page on Google as a verb went back almost two years!

Has it usurped all other search engines for you? Actually it has and I hadn't really thought about that. Unless I get into a situation where I'm really, really stuck for something, then I start trying other things. Before I started using Google, I used DogPile for a long time. I use Google as the universal spell-checker.

Any other favourite sites? I do CNN, BBC and eBay. Obviously I Google fairly frequently.

Do you see the net as becoming more corporate? It hasn't seemed to me like the romantic idea of "anything goes" on the net has made much sense for quite a while. What I see more is an attempt to find a way to make money on the net. No one's managed to catch up with the pornographers yet!


Hamish Mackintosh

The GuardianTramp

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