Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

Your Audience Is Showing
I don't want you to think this post is about you. It's about you. But not you. You. And you. But not you. Our you who art in you hallowed you that you...

Or you. It's just -- this weblog, your weblog, and others -- have a unique communication vector. Which I think means -- wait a second--

I'm writing this in English. And this word means this. And you understand it. Because you know my thoughts about this word and they translate perfectly with no loss of comprehension to your thoughts about this word. And other words.

But in this context. Not in that other one. Unless you know me. And the context that is extra-text.

The jury is deliberating: why am I having such a hard time with weblogs lately? Particularly personal weblogs. And more particularly -- the confusion created by so many personal weblogs having an unclear ostensible audience.

I love reading the personal "voice" online. But there's some challenges to interpreting that voice and those weblog posts where it appears to intersect with my personal life. Or is it more appropriate to say "theirs"? Or "yours?"

Some personal weblogs are kind of like suicide notes, in a certain way. Meaning: written to "The World." Maybe a close circle of intimates can read the lines, between them, and around them. Maybe even a couple of concentric rings further out can as well. But the internet - this idea of all of us in a sort of "space" - is nearly every ring that you can "see" online.

You Are Here. Here's what the internet-based journal social topology looks like to me: An inter-dependent distributed series of nodes that, as social infrastructure, seems to ensure the maximum confusion possible as various social groups, each with different comfort zones/belief systems/ways of relating to each other, glance at each others' personal journals.

Then after a good glance, each person reacts accordingly to those personal ideas / notes / anecdotes they've read that would have an effect in their daily life.

But what's accordingly? That can be really difficult to assess sometimes. What does the poster mean? How much is being revealed? How much is fiction? Who are they writing to? What's being said? And, for the obsessive, what about meta data? What's the significance of the hyperlink? The italics? The fact the the first sentence is wrapped in a <div> tag and the following paragraphs with <p>? Why don't they mention the ham sandwich of last week's post?

Their notes. About you. Or not. About themselves. Or not. Or about everything. Of course I'm right - my analysis of that post (and others) was dead-on. And now I have to do something about it. It's there and I've interpreted it correctly.



I'm still thinking of suicide notes. Written with care and intensity to "The World." As wide an ostensible audience as could be imagined.

It's just -- in many cases, suicide notes don't seem to wrap things up very neatly for those reading them.

This is not a suicide note.
You wouldn't get it anyway.
You would.
But not you.
I still like you. And you! I love you. But you.

You exist to make me afraid.

Posted at April 30, 2003 01:54 AM
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"The Tipping Point"