I HAVE BEEN TOLD I DESERVE
“A FULL LIFE THAT ISN’T JUST ABOUT FIGHTING FOR THINGS”

Anil Dash:

Let’s talk about time. How many of you are writing for people who are going to read it in the next day? How many of you are writing for your children? How does it change things when you think about 20–30 years from now?

Danah Boyd (emphasis added):

People want a way to share their stories with their friends and their future. They want to do so in a way where they can control the vulnerabilities that they’re faced with. We can tell people to get over the public/private concern until we’re blue in the face and it’s never going to work. People don’t get that public means persistent/searchable and they don’t get how they’re going to feel about this data in the future… People don’t conceptualize this future, especially not when they’re 15 and trying to figure out their identity by screaming to the world “look at me!” We all regret that. Luckily most of us don’t have it on record.

What makes you think that’s a problem?

I need people online to stop being rubes. We don’t need any more popular-press newspaper articles about how shocked people are to find that what they wrote on some site n years ago still shows up in searches. Everybody knows that.

We also don’t need social-theory intellectuals telling us the same thing. The difference, I guess, is that people who think the Internet is AOL read the newspaper articles, while people who think anyone who’s on AOL isn’t on the Internet in the first place listen to the intellectuals.

I was reading Usenet in 1984 and have been online consistently since 1991. At every step of the way and at all times, I had full conscious realization that everything I wrote could and would be preserved. I don’t see what the problem is. If I’d written it all down on paper, the same would be true; it would simply be harder to cross-reference. I have done a lot of writing on paper.

Now, what if you’re Heather Armstrong and you write about your kids? (To them, in fact!) What if you’re like Heather and me and you actually know what you’re doing?

How many of us have to actually know what they’re doing before people stop acting all surprised that electronic documents have longevity? I specifically write electronic documents to have longevity. You do, too; the only difference is you pretended you didn’t know it. The sooner you cop to that, the better.

Surprisingly, I concur with Jason Calacanis:

This is, simply put, the “Paris Hilton Rule.” If you have sex with someone on video do so only if you are prepared to live with the consequences of everyone seeing it (which she clearly was)…. Now, Danah discussed our negotiating the relationships we have with the world through blogs and I think there is a point there. Kids put up stuff they ostensibly don’t want people to see specifically so people will see. In fact, many times people who are not supposed to see it in fact do and say nothing, making blogs a sort of public therapy session….

So, event planners, please remove this whole self-indulgent, ego-driven discussion of who’s reading your blog from future events. You can always replace it with something more important, like how to get to the top of the Blogdex rankings.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.04.23 13:17. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2004/04/23/longevity/

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