Sunday profundities

I went to a wedding last Saturday. The bride (a native of North Carolina) and the groom (a long-time resident of Massachusetts) met in an online discussion group. I had met & had become friends with the groom through a different online group. Before and after the wedding, Dear Wife Betty and I stayed at the home of another friend, whom I also had met through an online discussion group. And at the wedding reception were other friends that I knew from Kuro5hin (or the K5 spinoff site HuSi). As a technoskeptic with strong technoparanoidish tendencies I find it odd that so many of my best friends are people that I met online, and I also note with raised eyebrow that the bride and groom, who were married in an ultra-traditional High Spook Episcopalian mass, are both introverted people. One is a fifty year old astrophysicist and the other is a thirty year old (former) instructor of English. It’s hard to imagine they would have found each other had it not been for teh Intarweb.

Some other time I will write about the notion of community as it relates to “online community.” I used to think that this subject was played out enough that there was little new to say about it. I’ve changed my mind about that, so Stay Tuned, as Harold says.

Wetmachine has not developed much of a community, although our readership continues to rise monotonically by month. I had originally imagined that Wetmachine might become something of a community site, but the software we use is of course bloggish, as opposed to Scoopish, so I have not done anything to actually encourage community formation. But then again I had imagined that the main theme that I would write about here would be technoparanoia and Borgification into the Overmind and that has not happened either. These things kinda tend to meander where they will, I guess.

(Although I am working on a big borgification article, back burner, for whatever that may be worth. . .)

(I also note that when I ask Google for links on “borgification”, Google kindly asks me, “Did you mean purification?” I’m going to try not to think about that . . .)

The Wetmachine referrer log shows (as far as I can tell) that about 20% of our readers come from software-themed blogs that link to Howard Stearns’s Inventing the Future, 20% come from media-related blogs that link to Harold Feld’s Tales of the Susage Factory and 20% are related to my novels or articles in some way, and 10% relate to my work at Laszlo. The balance are random links from here and there. I’m curious as to how many “regular” repeat readers we have, and I’m also curious as to whether Harold’s and Howard’s readerships will fractionate over time, now that their blogs have separate URLs. I don’t know how to figure that out (unless you, dear reader, leave a comment for me.) (Or unless Tenacious G, our webmaster Gary, can parse the logs for me better than I can. . .)

One Comment

  1. Hey, were we debating? I didn’t know! (It sounds like maybe John and reader Christian think John and I are on different sides of something.) Well if you want to play that up, I’m game. Maybe it’ll help me clarify what I really believe.

    I’m not sure where there’s a real point of contention. I think valuing individual identity is my country’s single greatest contribution to civilization. And I think we want to provide as much different opportunity as possible for person to person and person to people communication. But we have to be careful ’cause it’s real easy to screw that up, or to pretend we’re being more open when we’re really not.

    So toward that end, John, I think providing the opportunity for different communities to come together is a good thing. The more disparate, and the more interaction, the better. I think it would be good if there’s any technological switches we can throw to promote actual dialog. If you want to lead a community, ya gotta put some time into it, and I happen to know you’ve got talent for editing.

    Anyway, I think of Wetmachine as a diary for sharing and exploring ideas, not as a referreed journal of arts and letters. Just tell us what you’re thinking on Borgification, even if it isn’t a completed essay ready for Salon. Let’s talk…

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