The cry from the unemployed these days is that employers are looking for transliterate people to work for them - even though many people are not really sure what "transliterate" is.
Sue Thomas, professor of new media at De Montfort University, defines transliteracy as "the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and films, to digital social networks."
In case we think being transliterate is as easy as finding friends on Facebook, or tweeting on Twitter, Thomas clarifies the concept as "a unifying ecology of not just media, but of all literacies relevant to reading, writing, interaction and culture."
The digital age has changed the way I communicate, and also with whom I communicate. I used to write letters and mail them to school friends, my Aunties in Milwaukee; it was also the form of communication I used in business. I still write letters to my Aunties, but with my friends and business associates I use email, Facebook, Twitter, and text messages on a regular basis.
Last week I hadn't answered an email from a buiness associate and so he went to Facebook and sent me his cell number to ask that I call or send him a text message with the answer to his question. Thank goodness he doesn't know I'm on Twitter!
Welcome to the age of transliteracy.
I used to use FB more for entertainment, but now I have 597 close friends, followers and business contacts to attend to everyday. It's a wonder I can get anything done. On Twitter I follow 1,945 fellow tweeps, and have 864 followers. I personally know less than 10 of the people I connect with on Twitter, and this group is totally different from my FB community. If I'm not transliterate yet, I better find out how to be pretty quick.
Here's the latest wisdom from one of the readings on our MOOC:
What does it mean to academic libraries?
by Tom Iprihttp://crln.acrl.org/content/71/10/532.full