March 15, 2003 14:54 | WebBlogging / WebTech

Le Web c'est des humains

"The Web is humans"
Indeed, when one considers the Web as a force for expression and communication, especially in the context of Weblogging, we can begin to not only see the truly biological characteristics of the Web, but also gain insight into the human mind.

I feel fairly confident to say that, in some cases – not all – weblogs are a sort of extension of one's mind: a memory offload, a place to store thoughts and experiences and share them with the community at large. The ability to comment and "trackback" (off-site commenting essentially) creates a conversation: 2-way communication.

A conversation between weblogs? No. A conversation between people: humans, human minds.

David Weinberger, in his keynote at SxSW, said: "The web reminds us of ourselves". Of course it does: it IS ourselves, more and more.

(Quick note: we aren't talking about commercial websites or media outlets et al; we are talking about weblogs and their ilk.)
(And when I say we, I mean WE, collectively; I am NOT referring to myself in the third person. ;)

During the "Because We Can: Web Publishing for the Hell of It" panel, Adam Greenfield asked: "Do you feel writing on the web has made you smarter?" The question was posed in the context of the panel of course: they were discussing essentially webzine writing and not webblogging. Looking back I realise I was out of context then when I "corrected" him and said the question should have been: "Do you feel your web experience has had a positive impact/influence on your life?"

However, the question stands. John Halcyon Styn, earlier in the day, presented a session titled "People Whose Lives Have Been Changed by the Web". Unfortunately I missed that one, but I can imagine what stories surfaced. I know my life has changed dramatically in the last 6 months, in no small part due to weblogging and the realisation of the profound effect Instant Messaging has had on me.

Back to the topic.

I keep refering to Tantek's admonition that "Your URI is your identity". There are tech considerations in his statement, but web-existentially it applies grandly! Most of you "know" "me" from my Weblog: your entire experience of who I am is from here. Without getting into the limitations of this view – which are temporary I assure you, seeing as the technology involved here is nascent – let us consider the other side of this. People who "know" "me" in "real life" AND who read my weblog regularly have a deeper experience of "me" than those who don't.

This raises so many juicy topics my heads spins! (Should I tell my mother about my weblog? Do I want her to see inside my head? etc...)

If we consider weblogs as parts of our identity (made up of our experiences and thoughts et al), then we can surely say that the web is humans. Psychic humans. I know what you are thinking because I read it in your weblog...


"Should I tell my mother about my weblog? Do I want her to see inside my head? etc..."

I think the question should be as follows ...

"Do I want my mother leaving comments on my blog?"

2- Boris Anthony

No, that is the question that follows the others naturally.
It also raises issues which I did not want to delve into in this particular posting... ;)

The danger here is that I'd have a weblog where every entry had a comment saying "that's my sonny!", or "don't blame me for the fact that you are so messed up!"

Gah.. I rather not discuss this... ;)

Mein Lieblingskind!