What if the Internet Had a Map?

by David Miller Dec 16, 2009
In this new series we look at musings, notes, ideas, and narratives straight from Matador Community Members’ blogs. We start with an idea by Marie Szamborski, known at Matador as ThreeSpoons.

AFTER READING the following post by Marie, I started wondering how to visually represent what she was talking about.

Then I found (duh) there actually are people mapping the internet via IP address as well as other metrics which, to be honest, I don’t really want to even try to understand.

Marie wrote:

When I start reading a blog or a Tweet by someone I don’t know and then click on one of their contacts’ blogs or something else on their page, it seems I inevitably end up on the page of someone I know from Flickr, Twitter, my own blog readers, Matador, etc. How is that? Are we all getting our contacts from each others pages or is it just that the people you are friends with just have the same taste as you? I’d really like to see a drawing of the map I take when on the net and how it matches up with the map of others. Do they have that yet? I’m sure I’d be going round in circles and eventually passing through the circles of others.

–from Social Networking: How would it work in real life?

Marie goes on to describe a scenario wherein the virtual friending or unfriending of social media contacts plays out in the real world. You simply meet someone and instantly, effortlessly accept or reject them.

But what I loved more than anything about this post was the notion of just going around in circles, bumping into others, and the inherent tendency to form tribes (something Seth Godin would surely approve).

What speaks to me, what interests me about social media, microblogging, ambient awareness, location ‘independence’, accelerated culture (Does that term still apply? Does twitter make us ‘post-accelerated’ culture?) basically the entire amorphous realm of computer mediated communication, is that there really is no map, no precedent. Like Marie, I could use a drawing.

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From the very beginning of Matador we’ve been stoked on the voices and exchange of ideas coming out of our community site. To make sure more of these ideas, photos, and blogs reach more people, we’ve begun pulling the best of the community blogs up into the Network sites. To participate, please join the Matador Community!

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