Putting the Inter Back in Internet

My friend Ton has been blogging up a storm on the blogging-about-blogging front of late:

He is, as such, a man after my own heart.

And he’s inspired me to recall the long-dormant feeling of how it felt to be building the Internet together, back in the days before we outsourced this to commercial interests as a way of saving money, learning curve and messiness.

The difference now, a year after I decamped from the commercial web, is that when I did that I was focused on a combination of “the commercial web is evil” and a profound sense of personal failure at having been part of letting that happen, whereas now I’m filled with tremendous hope.

It’s not a coincidence that I work under a banner called Reinvented: time and time and time again over the course of my life I’ve found utility in returning to earlier iterations of technology.

Letterpress printing has taught me so much about the true nature of letterforms, in a way that the digital never could.

Keeping a ready supply of cards, envelopes and stamps in the office has kindled a practice of regularly thanking people for kindnesses, advocacies, and boldnesses.

Teaching myself to sketch has changed the way I look at architecture.

What Ton’s writing–and the zeitgeist that surrounds it–have made me remember is that we invented blogging already and then, not completely but almost, we threw it away.

But all the ideas and tools and debates and challenges we hashed out 20 years ago on this front are as relevant today as they were then; indeed they are more vital now that we’ve seen what the alternatives are. And, fortunately, often we’ve recorded much of what we learned in our blogs themselves.

So I propose we move on from “Facecbook is evil” to “blogging is awesome–how can we continue to evolve it.” And, in doing so, start to put the inter back into the Internet.

Dictionary definition of inter: 1 between; among: inter-agency | interblend. 2 mutually; reciprocally: interactive.