1. Less information-sharing, more shouting at each other. That’s the big one. I could and probably should write a book on the subject. But I’d have to call it something like “A$$holes: How Special Interests Are Hijacking Your Freedom” to get anyone to read it.
2. When I do a Technorati search on my work blog, I get a bunch of automated aggregators pulling in anything that mentions a keyword — soccer, Andy Roddick, HGH, etc. I think I’ll work in the word “nudity” tomorrow just to see what happens. (Because I mention a lot of Olympic athletes, I do get the occasional search for “gretchen bleiler nude” and so forth.)
If you go by sheer readership, I write a very successful blog, but I get far less feedback on it and have far less impact than I did when I was scratching out a column for a mid-sized paper almost 15 years ago.
3. The waves of the future are (A) blogs that harness all the shouting and (B) multimedia projects that will undoubtedly win all sorts of awards but tell me nothing and give me no narrative cues.
If you could go back in time and tell the 14-year-old computer geek I once was that the future would revolve around a giant information-sharing network in which skill with words and programming would be highly valued, I would have been thrilled. “Geek” as a compliment? That’ll be great!
I’m venting a little here, but the optimist in me has a question. What can we do to reclaim the Web? Should we just hang out in outposts of sanity like the music blogs I’m frequenting more and more these days? Or do we need some sort of grass-roots movement to change the whole bloody thing?