Back to the Internet’s Eden

kinnon —  August 16, 2009 — 2 Comments

The Net is Eden. Blogging is native there. Microblogging is native there. Non-substitutable walled corporate gardens are not. ” – Doc Searls (in the comments on Dave Winer’s Post)

How many of us noted that Friend Feed was purchased by Facebook recently? How many of us even care? Yet we, the users, are the ones who gave FF our musings and conversations – we are the ones who gave it, its ultimate value. (Those of us who used it, of course.)

I’ve written over two thousand posts here at this humble node on the pushed pixel universe. Some of them have lasting value – at least to me. Though sits on the TypePad platform, the posts are mine – as Doc Searls notes in his post on social media, Geology vs Weather,

…blogging is an independent category. You can move your blog from one platform to another, archives intact. Not easy, but it can be done. More importantly, your blog is yours.

I Tweet Therefore I Am

My rule of thumb for Twitter is that I only follow people who tweet things of interest. (Make yourself useful, and I may follow you.) I’m interested in ideas, arguments, things noteworthy. I don’t care what you had for lunch – but I might like to know about a great restaurant. You get the drift.


The trouble with Twitter is that it is ultimately fleeting – which may not be a bad thing but, if you Tweet things you hope to be able to find later, you may be out of luck. Doc uses the analogy of geology vs weather – in terms of blogging versus other social media like Twitter, Facebook, Tweetstalk and MySpace – the companies in the Venn Diagram that Doc refers to in the folowing quote,

…there is a difference between the social media in the Venn diagram and blogging, and that difference is akin to that between weather and geology. The former have an evanescent quality. I’m still haunted by hearing that users get a maximum number Twitter postings (tweets) before the old ones scroll off. If true, it means Twitter is a whiteboard, made to be erased after awhile.

Building a Mystery

The interwebs as we know them are barely 15 years old. They have become a vast library of the collective intelligence of us all, as any one of us adds content to them. (And yes, some folk who add content do reduce the collective IQ.) The problem occurs when content is added to corporate entities that can disappear in a heartbeat – along with your thoughts, art, ideas, etc. – the library is diminished – sometimes significantly. Dave Winer says,

…it’s time to use the web again to store our ideas, and instead of relying on Silicon Valley companies to link our stuff together, let’s just use the Internet. That’s what it was designed for.

Smoke Gathering

The mistake has been to refer to Twitter as micro-blogging when it is more like text messaging, with only a slightly longer half-life. And it’s important to realize that data on places like Facebook, Flickr, MySpace et al exist at the whims of these corporate entities. (You may want to read their Terms of Service again.) Whereas the thoughts, ideas, arguments, memories that exist as data on your blog are your own – to do with as you please.

Back to the Garden

So let me repeat web pioneer Dave Winer’s sentiments in his blog post, Scoble, your blog still loves you.

Our blogs are still there, as is the web and the Internet. They never went away just because we foolishly flirted with something fast and easy and seductive. Our blogs never went away, they’re still ready to share our ideas and connect us with others.  We’ll go back to basics now, take what we learned from this round of innovation, and build it for real this time.

And let me give the last word to another of the true Internet heroes, the good Doc Searls,

…blogging is geology. A blog’s posts may be current and timely, and constitute one person’s contribution to conversation around a subject or two, but each post is built to last. It has a “permalink”. Over time posts accumulate like soil deposits. You can dig down through layers of time and find them. What do tweets have? Temp-o-links?

Should I tweet this post?

UPDATE: You should read Jonathan Brink’s post on Social Media. (But do note he blogged it – and also note the corporate social media entities featured in the video.) This is a great line from Jonathan,

We’re so disconnected in our normal lives that social media is giving us a perspective and experience of something our traditional tools for connection have failed to deliver.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

2 responses to Back to the Internet’s Eden

  1. I prefer to look at Twitter as one tool in a toolbox of options. It may be a tool in fashion right now and wane in importance, but it (or something like) it will always be good to have in the kit. I think we make a mistake when we compare these mediums to each other than in relationship with each other.

    Another thing to consider is personality and communication mediums. I have been really intrigued at how many introverts have engaged meaningfully using creative mediums of all kinds where (for some) they stayed largely silent.

    Saying all this, what medium isn’t at risky of the whims of empty, meaningless idiocy? I think of a great blog post lately about publishing…

    As usual, Bill, great post!


  2. Well said, Jamie. And thanks for the props.


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