An experiment on the end of cyberspace
For a long time, I've been working on an article on the end of cyberspace-- the demise of the concept of "cyberspace" as a separate dimension in which information resides-- and its implications for the future of technology. (Though I've been talking publicly about it for over a year, thinking about this issue for a lot longer, it seems.)
A friend of mine and I have an article coming out in a popular magazine builds on this work: we asked a bunch of people what term they would use to describe the coming world of always-on, pervasive, interactive, mobile devices. We got some terrific responses, but because of space constraints, couldn't use them all.
I didn't want them to all go to waste, and feel like this project is taking on a bit of a life of it's own-- it's at least several articles, and maybe a short book. So I grabbed the domain name www.endofcyberspace.com, and started a blog with the same name. It's going to be part research notebook-- perfectly sensible, given how much of the primary material actually IS online-- and part sensor, picking up quivers on the subject elsewhere in the blogosphere.
Two interesting things to report on the experiment.
First of all, it's attracted a lot of attention: I've got a couple hundred visitors a day, after only a few days, and the site's been tagged by a number of del.icio.us and Technorati users. I'm actually not talking about anything that I haven't discussed at length in my personal blog; but having the domain name and greater focus on this specific subject has concentrated attention, and draw attention, in a way that surprises me.
Second, I started out by having a lot of myself on the blog-- copying things that are on my personal blog, having feed from my other blogs show up pretty prominently-- but over the last few days I've been stripping that stuff down. I've still got my name on the posts, and a link at the bottom of the blog to other places I blog (including here), but I've quickly come to feel that 1) the blog ought to be about the subject, not about me; and 2) there are a lot of other people who are interested in and writing something about this subject, and it would be more interesting to create a space that tracks and synthesizes-- and perhaps advances-- that conversation than to try to claim it for myself.
There are some interesting questions about the relationship between research, self-fashioning and collective work here, but I've got to go to a meeting. More anon.