What If

As I write this, Twitter is experiencing an issue processing outbound links through its UTL shortening service. Many people have moved their behaviors to Twitter to make up for the soon-coming loss of the regular reading from Google Reader (which will be shut down on July 1). There’s a disturbance in the balance of power for attentions, and its disrupting those folks who usually consider themselves disrupters. What if this was by design?

Back when I moved my blogging here to WordPress, I had this feeling that I was losing control of the one place that I felt I could create and control the messges that were relevant to me – the blog and content on my mobile web server. I felt that handing over this to WordPress, even with their ability to give me an XML output of my posts and content, was still too much. I would be beholden to their terms of how I’m promoted. I’d have to walk by their ways of conversation…

…that is, unless I gained the skills to build my own.

I’ve been feeling that renewed sense of confidence with the RSS reader that I’ve been hacking at. No, I don’t have the skills to do all with it that I want. I’ll need to finish those classes at Codeacademy plus a few dozen other lessons in order to do that. But, I do have a sense that with that RSS reader that I control what I read and no one else does.

[yes, its hosted on Dropbox, but I also keep a local version on my two devices as a just-in case measure on my end]

What if that’s the kind of web that’s being designed away. What if these are the kinds of problems that we should have long since seen the web design away for us, but now are being told – those of us with the social and technical competence to hear this – go make something better than the broken systems we inhabit. What if, in the mildest of waves, we are being shaken to consider that the web as we’ve been doing it could be better built for the advanage of all – not just those with large marketing budgets and scores of server farms.

I believe that the best of the web will be exposed when p2p networking is normal for the majority of people. I believe that hyperlinking documents is easy, but hyperlinking sounds and images is where the meat of these connections lie. What if in doing that we find the relevance of being connected to one another and create something that’s truly worth bending over someone’s shoulder for.

What if the web is broken and we are now being asked to do something about it.