on rebuilding public spaces

Anil Dash’s recent post on the web we lost, and a follow-up post on rebuilding it, got me thinking about my own little corner of the web. In his follow-up post, he talks about creating public spaces:

Create public spaces. Right now, all of the places we can assemble on the web in any kind of numbers are privately owned. And privately-owned public spaces aren’t real public spaces. They don’t allow for the play and the chaos and the creativity and brilliance that only arise in spaces that don’t exist purely to generate profit.

I’ve really been liking having my blog as a no-comments place for me to just post stuff. I’d been hoping that people would respond (if needed) by writing blog posts of their own and tracking back. But that didn’t happen. Comments happened either via twitter, or by direct email. So the public play and chaos was lost. Is it worth changing direction (again) and re-enabling comments here? Maybe. One way to find out.

In response to Anil’s posts – the web we had hasn’t been lost. Alan and Bonnie triggered something this morning, and I realized it was parallel to suburban development. The funky neighbourhoods of the web are still there, and are still being built, but much of the activity has been gentrified into the suburbs and exurbs of the big box outlets.

So… Although I still feel like having no comments is what works for me, pushing any discussion away from the noise and chaos of public spaces and into various corporate silos isn’t cool.

Whatever. I’ll probably flip-flop again, for like the dozenth time…

8 thoughts on “on rebuilding public spaces”

  1. I am pretty sure it is 14 ;-)

    That is kidding cause you too are my BlogFather, you (and Brian) inspired my start. I am not sure the comments matter all that much; Like you say, if everyone used a blog space as a conversation one, and if trackbacks really worked across more platforms, well maybe.

    I support what ever works for you as a mode that you keep writing, The Norman Blog House is definitely in the funky ‘hood.

    1. It’s likely more than 14. I’ve flip-flopped a few times without saying anything, as well…

      I actually used the phrase “small pieces loosely joined” in a tweet this morning, and smiled while doing it. We need to find an excuse to work together again.

  2. Someone needs to write a script to test if commenting is enabled on your site and build a single-serving site http://aredarcyscommentson.com :) Hehe. With Anil’s post and the uprising over licensing on Instagram as well as our own work with Domain of Ones Own I’m starting to think a holiday project of mine will be doing a better job of using my own blog as a source for my files and work like you’ve done here. Maybe this time next year I’ll be preaching the holy testament of “Project Reclaim”.

  3. I just recently (again) returned to blogging at my own domain and it has felt great. One of the things that I have loved (again) is seeing comments from my larger network returning and being able to spark real conversations on other peoples’ spaces. Its true — all that is old is new again.

    1. and I’m glad I kept the RSS feeds in my subscriptions list :-)

      I’m kind of digging re-connecting with Flickr again, but on different terms. photos get posted here, and then cross-published to flickr via an IFTTT job. nice.

  4. Pingback: Permanence Lost

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The spammers win. I've disabled comments. Again. It's just not worth having to deworm my site from the inane autospam jabber that trickles through the spam filters. Sorry. I can be contacted via the Contact form here on the site, or out on the internets (I'm @dlnorman on twittar).

BUT I WANT TO POST A COMMENT HERE. WITNESS THE OPPRESSION INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM.

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