While some of my activity on the Internet is recreational, I continue to play with web tools to learn about the ever-evolving technology. While the average person has become comfortable with e-mail, web feeds are still pretty much a mystery to many. The RSS and Atom specifications first used by newswires has become the principal form of web syndication for blogs and social media.
I’ve recently rearranged my pattern of web use (again). To encourage readers to think about how they use the Internet, let me pose four questions.
- 1. Which principles on web content do I have in mind?
- 2. How do I post content, and flow it?
- 3. Why have I recently changed my use?
- 4. What consideration should web users have for their content?
With the way that technology continues to evolve, the specific web applications may change … but the pattern should remain the same.
1. Which principles on web content do I have in mind?
My attitude is reflected in two ideas: (a) open content with attribution, and (b) open platforms with interoperability.
(a) Open content with attribution reflects that I like to share my learning with other people. Posting the content on the Internet improves access and distribution. I understand the workings of copyright — there’s a Creative Commons license on this blog — which means that I retain ownership of my words, on the condition that if someone wants to formally cite the work, he or she should cite me as the source. I’m not an author who makes his living at writing, so simple acknowledgement is normally sufficient.
(b) Open platforms with interoperability means that I don’t want my content inappropriately trapped in places inaccessible to others. I appreciate instances when content should remain private, respecting the needs of others and/or commercial conditions, but secrecy should be the exception rather than the rule. The content should flow freely (i.e. free as in liberty), rather than having to stumble through technological obstacles.
2. How do I post content, and flow it?
With these principles in mind, I’m reforming the way that I interact on the web. Here’s a diagram (linked to another page in an interactive map).