Look, it’s only been twenty-five years we’ve had this thing, it takes time to understand how it works over longer time periods.
I know that for some people the web is over, blogs are over, because FB is where everyone’s talking. And I do know a lot of people who seem to spend a lot of time posting stuff there. And every now and then I’m one of those people, but even if it’s a walled garden bit of the web, a machine that tries desperately to convince you that there’s nothing better than feeding the innocent little machine, it’s still part of the web and it relies on there being a web. OK that’s not a good reason to keep building the web, but that’s what blogging’s like, you start off making one argument and find you’re mildly contradicting yourself by the end of the second paragraph.
I feel the pull of FB, the desire for company and recognition and the admiration of my peers, the opportunity to make a fool of myself and make fun of some of the things that I take too seriously, the connection with members of my family and old old friends whom I couldn’t bear to talk to on the phone this often, but whose clunky little copypasta warms my heart a little, because it shows they care.
Resistance to the machine means building the web, the organic, flexible, super-linky web. It doesn’t have to be full-on indieweb but I think that hypertext is what I’m missing most. It’s the links that matter, that’s why it’s really anti the FB experience to have more than one link per post. The links send people away and as a wise old creator of RSS once said “People come back to places that send them away.”
So for now I’m going to try practicing something new. Every time I feel like sticking something on FB or even Twitter, I will try to put that something here instead. Except when I forget – I’m still not perfect but I intend to keep adding value to this network.
How do you add value to a network? You build new nodes and create links between existing nodes. A link on my blog is a node and a link to another, that’s how the web survives.
Here’s a little example that predates my new resolution by a matter of minutes:
Or as we say around here in slimmed-down, minimalist hypertext land: