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Jerk

I feel like a jerk. Airing my trials and tribulations out on the open Internet. It feels undignified.

“Nobody cares about your problems” they say.

“We have to maintain appearances” they say.

Well, maybe it’s time to say “screw that”. As Greg put it recently, we’re losing the web we once knew. The one that was personal, casual, and authentic. Sure, people post all over Facegram and Instabook and Tweeternet, but it’s just not the same. It’s too homogenized. Yuck.

Maybe I’m just succumbing to my inevitable inner curmudgeon, but like Greg, I miss the days when people posted authentic thoughts and commentary on a site of their own design (or at least their own domain). Going to someone’s site felt friendlier, more real, like visiting their home. You could easily see the other things they said and did. It was one-on-one, like a conversation.

Seeing their post on [insert social site here] feels like a passing comment in a crowded room. And who knows how the bots decide what to show you? Meh.

Maybe we, the people who helped build this thing, have failed. We should have seen this coming. Maybe we did and couldn’t act fast enough. Maybe our collective hubris clouded our vision.

What goes around…

Life — and everything in it — is cyclical. Computing was once done in a hub and spoke system where distributed weakling terminals connected to powerful centralized mainframes. Then the personal computer decentralized the world and put all that power on our desk, and later in the palms of our hands. Now we’re putting everything in the cloud and in the hands of a few giant companies, centralized again. Who knows what they’ll do with it all.

Our Internet lives used to be decentralized, too. Personal websites and blogs were the norm. Now we’re centralized on social networks and blogging is a dying art. My hope is that like everything else, we see the cycle come around. That a renaissance of thoughtfully designed personal websites will make the web fun and entertaining again.

Just think of it. At the very least we’ll be in control of our thoughts and photos. We’ll be producers again instead of a commodity being sold to advertisers.

There’s still hope. At least I’d like to think there is.