Over at the Tumblr parallel universe I’ve started a series of posts that excavates the source material of the architecture found in Beta Testing the Apocalypse. Follow that tumblr if you’re into that sort of thing. The first post was about Jan Maneval:
Activity on this blog had ceased almost entirely during December, January February. I should’ve posted a warning or something. Instead this blog appeared to succumb to the fate of so many others. First a trickle of activity, then a flood of posts and eventually, tumbleweeds. How long has it been since the last substantial post? What!? 3 months?
Web 2.0 is a harsh mistress. She rewards daily posting discipline, but taking a break is akin to doomsday. The blog acquires layers of dust… Your Technorati ranking falls, rss subscribers start to unsubscribe… are those cobwebs in the corner of the page? Why does anyone bother coming back here at all?
But, a few things did happen during those information dark ages. The blog converted from a creaky Movable Type installation on an old server to a shiny new Word Press engine on a new host. Is this the equivalent of a religious conversion in the world of blogs? I now have more megabytes, more bandwidth and more features than I know what to do with.
The slick new skin (K2) and the new guts look impressive, but a degenerative disease has seized the old posts imported from the previous install. Strange character artifacts have sprouted up. Images have gone mysteriously missing. Should I leave them alone? Leave them as a reminder of the relentless pace of Web 2.0? Should I let a patina of data rot slowly devour the old posts… Or should I fix them? Clean up the artifacts, re-link the misplaces images, add missing keywords to build up an impressive Tag Cloud?
I can’t help it. When I review the old posts it’s hard to resist hitting the ‘edit’ button and fix the problem. The old (expired?) posts are getting burnished, spit-shined and prepared for new data search paradigms. At the same time this kind of activity is self-reflective. Why did I ever post this? Or that? Should I practice a little revisionist history and delete those unwanted posts? But can they ever be completely deleted? Or will they keep leading a ghostly existence in search engine caches, or in some Wayback Machine?
The super-malleability makes this medium fragile. It screams for constant editing, constant updating and constant feedback. Perpetual flux. Swim or sink. But, the flux is it’s power. That’s how we keep coming back, to read, to post, to update, to comment… if we don’t do it now, it maybe too late. No one may notice or care a few days from now. Web 2.0 really is Job 2.0.