that are owned by others (wordpress, blogspot etc.) is that you can’t control dumbass features such as the automatically generated “of interest” list that I just found on my blog this morning. there is also the question of copyright etc. how many of us really read/understand the fine print when we sign up for these things? typically, we are so enamoured with the immediacy and that it’s ostensibly free that we probably don’t think it through to endgame. and ultimately, no one, not even the providers, knows the ultimate resolution of the format.
there is also the long term question of privacy etc. I’ve been in this (internet) game since its early days. in 1991, I was advising clients on the potentials of the internet, which at that time consisted of early NetScape, telnetting, etc. I clearly remember clients laughing at me when I said that there was huge commercial potential in the internet and that they should consider starting or purchasing an ISP. I also remember advising clients that for sake of privacy, they should consider anything they write (emails at the time) to be like a postcard that could be read by everyone who came across it. having said that, over the years I’ve not taken my own advice and have probably left a broad electronic fingerprint for all to see.
finally, along those same lines, one can begin to think about the potential for Orwellian surveillance of thought and association. while a conspiracy theorist might indulge in this, the reality is more likely analogous to East Germany and the Staasi. the Staasi’s broad network of intelligence gatherers (including family members spying on family members and over-reporting) resulted in far too much data. a drowning of data actually. and as an analyst, I recognize that information is only useful if it’s needed/purposeful. still, these are all things to think about.
I think the only answer, certainly to the idea of copyright etc., is to totally own one’s webpresence. to that end, I’m meeting an excellent webdesigner, Mike Gravel (who is also a fine writer, a fine poet), in E’town this month and am hoping to set up my own site for my Canadian Forces project. I’m hoping to post podcasts of my work so that soldiers can download pieces and listen to them wherever they are. I think that’s more appealing/feasible than book format. having said that, I’ll eventually offer a hardcopy version and/or CD/DVD as well.