[Warning .. this one's a bit personal and a little curmudgeonly. And I quote a verse from the New Testament. Maybe read it with a nice Scotch.]
For a variety of reasons ... wedding planning, death in the family, overwork, general irritation about the echo chamber of marketing blogs and podcasts, dearth of women acknowledged by my industry as speakers/authors/legends/pioneers .... I've become incredibly disillusioned and generally unexcited about blogging. I feel like we're all just saying the same thing over and over and over and over and over.
Mainly to hear ourselves talk.
And to see if the next coolest kid up the chain will think what we said is cool and link to us.
But what if there was no linking?
Nick Wilson (known as 57Miles in Second Life and one of the most interesting thinkers and contributors to virtual worlds that I've read - he's the founder of metaversed and one of the co-founders of metanomics - so smart!!) just started a "personal musings" blog (for lack of a better term). And this is what his about page says ...
This blog is an experiment. It has no navigation, and you'll only ever see one post at a time. When a new post is published, the old one disappears, and unless it's been linked to from somewhere else, for all intents and purposes, it doesn't exist any more.
I'd like to think that this blog acknowledges the throw away media that many blogs really are. Today's thoughts, tomorrows fish wrapper. Or that it's a super clever way of getting noticed, and having people link to posts. After all, if you don't link to them, or bookmark them in someway, they're lost. Forever. It's not though. Not really. It's just an attempt at doing something very, very simple, and reflecting that simplicity in the design.
The mainpage of 57miles.com is so refreshing. One post. No navigation, no clutter, no reciprocal linking, no widgets. Just a few thoughts.
Now Nick is poking a little fun at himself ... and may be encouraging the linking by taking this tact (there's more insight in the first post and in the comments on that post) ... but I still found this idea to be so startling that it bumped me out of my anti-blogging funk, even if just for a moment.
What if we weren't the cumulation of our thoughts? What if my archive list wasn't proudly displayed on every page? What if posts didn't have ridiculous number of technoratic tags? What if we didn't try to game search engines and ego feeds and social bookmarking sites?
What if each of us was only represented by the thought that is NOW uppermost in our minds. And our digital presences were ephemeral. And our cumulated ideas didn't hinder our future thinking. And blogging wasn't destiny.
I know we say we link so that we can have conversations - so we can build this interconnected web of ideas. But are we really doing it to increase our technorati ranking?
I'd like to think that we're on the verge of something, and I think this explains my interest in virtual worlds. We're not wired for this 2D space. We're hardwired for 3D (John Lester, aka Pathfinder Linden, says so. And he has a background in neuro-psychology!!). And these attempts to have rich conversations within 2D constraints are what Paul described in I Corinthians 13 ... "Now I see through a glass darkly, but then I will see face to face. Now I know only in part, then I will know fully."
Virtual worlds give us so much more possibility for knowing than any blog. Because as 3D representations ... we can instantiate ourselves. We have gesture and language and nuance. We have genuine embodied interaction. The perceptual immersion evoked by a 3D space invites an emotional immersion - more complete and complex than any blog or podcast.
I don't know exactly what all this means ... but we are changing. And the next generation even more so. They will think it quaint that I use a keyboard to type my thoughts into a linear online journal that is as flat as a billboard in meat-space.
I'd like us to dream bigger. Really give our imaginations a good workout. The nature of connection is changing. The nature of conversation is changing. We need to be ready.