It's my birthday, perhaps you've heard on Twitter or Facebook. So I decided to do a birthday post. What do I want for my birthday? It's simple: I want my interwebz back.
It used to be that the Internet was something of a wild wild west - sheer anarchy was everywhere. But if you've ever watched a western, you realize there's a certain sense and ebb and flow, even pattern to the way these ecosystems work. That, of course, is built and maintained by the logic of human desires and emotions and logic.
As people navigated this world, their actions were perpetuated by a search for more: more around an interest, around a passion or flight of fancy just not supported by the rigor and order of the real world. The same anarchy that gave birth to things like 4chan meant that a 12 year old girl could go about designing webpages with a bunch of 16 year olds. It forced everyone to rub shoulders with everyone else, to defend their actions and passions. Somewhere in that crazy melting pot was a community of people who thought like you - it was simply a matter of searching them out. And once you found them, you could retreat into a little group of fanatics, desperately analyzing the stitches on the fabric of the world that fascinated you. Crazy reigned supreme, in a good way. You formed real and new friendships as you dug deep in a flurry of keyboard clicks, conversing back in forth in mini-essays.
It's too bad that this wild west, so dependent on pioneers moving into the space, seems to be falling apart. Facebook seems to be slowly bringing the tyranny of the real world to every corner of the web. Twitter (bless its heart, possibly one of the more "webby" of the latest generation of web products such that I'm inclined to love it dearly) takes lengthy conversations of fanatics and breaks them into bit sized bits. Tumblr just does away with conversations completely. Corporatized "communities" take what was once little oases of like minded people and turns them into raging plazas with everyone screaming back and forth, and no one able to find anyone else. The new direction of blogging pushes everyone into their own silos, imposing their message and "brand" into the world. It's a tragic dismemberment of the sense of citizenship that once existed on the web.
So, put simply, I want my wild west back.