Content Over Context
I am writing this message on a machine in a place and at a time, and that has little relevance.
What matters is that you are reading this message, and what would matter even more would be if this message somehow made you think something interesting or new.
We share and connect using this thing we call the ‘Internet’, but really it seems like just another iteration of the kinds of communication and sharing that has been going on since some Cave-dude first scrawled a writing on a wall.
We articulate our perspectives on the world and toss them out there in hopes that maybe the scratches and squiggles will create a bridge between my mind and yours.
One of the most powerful things about the Internet is that it allows us to take the act of message creation and sharing to a scale like never before. The cost of creation is close to zero, as is the cost of sharing and consumption…
And our distribution methods are getting better and more seamless. These words could theoretically reach a billion people within a matter of hours if the message resonated strongly enough for each of you to share it with someone else.
Sharing Is Human
Why do we share? Why did that caveman draw?
I think it has something to do with a human need to know that we aren’t alone here on earth, and also because we are naturally drawn to understand the world around us.
No matter how many times we connect with someone new, no matter how far along we scratch at the surface of the infinitely impossible problem of trying to understand our world, we will keep striving to make new connections and to explore the world around us.
This act of connecting and learning is one of the central pieces of what it means to be human. It allows us to create a common understanding and resonance with other people out there taking taking this same exciting journey.
‘Internet’ = ‘Equality’
One of the things I have been most excited about lately is taking the concept of sharing and connecting to the next level: our current social networking concepts are old-school, and most simply replicate our existing off-line relationships.
The democratizing power of this medium of sharing and expression is that the ‘Identity’ of the author is less relevant than the resonance of the message. While you are in the flow of reading the message, I could be a 47 year old writing in Calcutta as much as I could be a 29 year old writing in Cambridge.
Ultimately, I think sharing content in ways above and beyond our traditional social structures is what makes this next iteration of ‘social networking’ on the ‘Internet’ so exciting.
What is pretty rad is that this is simply an expression of the *Dream* of Dr. King, and it is something that the market is creating for us.
The Internet lets us hack-the-system to connect and share in ways that are revolutionary, and the fact that our natural tendency is to ignore creed and ethnicity makes me deeply hopeful about the innate nature of humankind – deep down we are more interested in the content of the minds and their ability to relate to us than we are about any of the other ‘filters’ on which people fixate.
By having a more accelerated and efficient filtering process between the various different in-person connections that we share, each of these moments can be more potent, rich, and more fulfilling.
As we continue to optimize these connections, our lives are are becoming more creative and ultimately more productive in ways that are fundamentally altering what it means to be human…and that is a pretty sweet thing.
Just what the next level of connecting and sharing will look like remains to be seen. In the mean time, thanks for taking a moment to ride along with me.