The WSJ’s Jason Fry asked an important question in his Real Time column: Should you have a personal web page?
I say a resounding and uneqivocal “YES”.
Of course, I’m biased. The internet is my daily sustenance.
But when I thought about this question, I recalled a book I read some time ago, called Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Written in 1985–keep this year in mind– it opened with a scene I have never quite forgotten, and am reminded of, everytime I blog.
Opening with a real-time conversation between a number of highly intelligent writers who are communicating via computers, they discuss the political environment of their galaxy. Two of the writers, obviously brilliant, state their cases, make their points and, ultimately, one of them wins the debate.
They are 10 and 12 years old.
The older girl tells her brother,
“Peter, you’re twelve.”
“Not on the nets I’m not. On the nets I can name myself anything I want…”
These two munchkins were making cogent arguments that were influencing the political landscape. And just like our own little Dynamic Trio here, these two kids were always looking to see who cited them, inordenantly pleased when their verbiage shows up on the “prestige nets.”
I see life imitate art. In fact, Card’s work is cited in a scholarly paper entitled, “‘I’m Blogging This, A Closer Look at Why People Blog,” written by Bonnie A. Nardi, Diane J. Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht, Luke Swartz.
So, back to the original question: why have a personal page?
I think having a personal web presence and blogging goes much deeper than all of this. I think all of these individual pages, blogs, profiles and sites, as they increase exponentially in number, signal the collapse of the current structure of our society.
As we see web pages–be they LinkedIn or Face Book profiles–become ubiquitous, we are witnessing the devolution of public relations. Traditional channels of media are more fractured than ever more, turning to individual blogs, twitters and YouTube for breaking news. Future thought leaders and visionaries are emerging from the blogosphere, identifying trends, busting through social barriers and creating new business models.
When the web truly becomes integrated into our way of life, it is going to literally, break down all the walls.
Think about it. Why would we need schools anymore? We could “virtually” eliminate property taxes if all schools went online.
Why have a work force go to work? It would eliminate commutes. Talk about saving gas money; the only people who would have to drive would be … who? Doctors? Sales people? But then, in true Obi-One-Kanobe fashion, there are always holograms . . . I can just see Judge Judy’s avatar now . . .
It would wreak havoc with the internal revenue system, tho. Until Congress and Senate realized that they could work from home . . . in their p.j.s. Then that would be the end of that.
So what exactly are we waiting for?
“The many truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view.” — Obi-One-Kanobe