A lot of things in nature and life in general are cyclical. I am of the opinion that content and expression of personal thought is on the upswing.
Maybe it’s just me
I’m changing jobs (more on that later) after being at my current employer (Wine Library) for over 7 years. Naturally, with a huge life change coming, I’d be more sensitive to noticing change. I think this is more than that, but even if it isn’t, I think the change I’m describing is coming.
First, the Ebb
Over the past year or two, I’ve noticed a decline in thoughtful blogging and expression on the web. I’m hardly unique in this observation, a lot of it has been blamed on twitter, facebook and our always-connected existence. Now that it’s easier than ever to put anything out there, it’s harder to put something out, or so the thinking goes. I’m going to take a different approach. I think We (big capital we!) were molting.
I didn’t realize what I was missing until it came back, as sad as that is. Going through my feeds this morning, I saw some very (VERY) thoughtful and thought-provoking posts from people I respect immensely. What I hadn’t realized was how long it’s been since that’s happened. I’d see a great post here and there, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen multiple posts that really got the juices going in such a short period (and it’s not even 10am yet).
Does this mean that twitter is doomed? That the droves are going to abandon Facebook? I doubt it! I do think that we’ve binged on the low-threshold creation, however, I also think that those services (and others) have changed us in a profound way and will be a part of our lives (or their successors) for a very, very long time. I know I’d be sad if I didn’t get the minutia of my friend’s lives. As terrible as the term is, I’ve gotten used to the “ambient intimacy”! The bottom line is that I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game. We can have it both ways, and I think we’re heading there.
Seth Godin posted the following today in a post named “Tough“:
I built my first internet company before and then during the dot com boom. It was far easier to do great work before everything heated up, far easier to stand out and far easier to make a difference. This is your moment, but I’m afraid it won’t be easy.
It’s hard to tell when Seth is being challenging or honest, but taken at face value, I have to disagree with him. I think it’s easier than ever to make a disruptive service than ever before. Now that there are HUGE amounts of people online, getting them to use a DIFFERENT service is orders of magnititudes easier than getting them to use ANY service (for the first time). Thanks Facebook and Twitter!
A friend of mine is working on a super-secret blogging-type disruptive technology. I thought he was nuts (but didn’t tell him), I thought in the age of micro-posting and life-streaming, people would care less and less about a homebase that was their own. I’m still wary about it, but I do think that we’re
breaking out of our cocoons, and opportunity is coming!