For me, the Net has always been a place
Go read, if you do not read him that regulary: Saving the Net from the pipeholders and then Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes.
I have heard Doc talk about how we should not use the transportation language, but the ‘place’ language. After reading through the essay I am thinking: While I do use the transportation language from time to time, my mind set is and was from the beginning set to the place metaphor.
I did go online, connected, when I had dial-up. Going from dial-up to flatrate was about 40 DM more (I don’t know how much that is anymore, but probably 40-80 dollars?), but the reason for going to DSL in 2002 was not about having the flatrate in volume or time – it was the feeling that the Net was a place I wanted not to be disconnected from.
Which I did not wanted to have to ‘go online’ for, because it is the natural way of how one can connect to other people even the world. People today still are on dial up, and when they go online, it is like something ‘special’ – but only a quick visit. They visit the new window at Amazon, shop quickly a search result at Google – and go home. They are visitors.
I live in this place. Even now, at this moment, I am more feeling like somebody sitting in a cafe on the street and watching people going by (two contacts, just signed into Skype), while doing my business. I feel like – while typing – I am taking to somebody out there as if I would sit in front of you and talk to you.
Although it would be a bit weird and not really working if we all talk at the same time ;), It is the über-place, because just as I wrote “really”, i did write reilly – meaning I really should go to bed. But I could go take a look if Cameron Reilly is awake – Australia should have lunch now. This place still knows timezones ;(
So, everything okay, the metaphor places is burnt into my DNA. Well, is it? And even if it is, does it matter? Because when I am talking to somebody else – who has not reached the level of seeing it as a place – and I do use the usual words of transportation, he will not know or notice that I mean them as service words, as just verbs.
I don’t know if I can come up with alternatives all the time and I don’t know if I want to. But if I have to protect this thing which is dear to my heart like air to my lungs, then I might either educate more people and ‘help them see the light’ or I will have to go fighting. Or we could make up some more businesses that they shiny new revenues will go to hell, if they don’t help protect what we all have built.