We’ve lived so long under the notion of the Web as a space of connected documents, it seems almost unthinkable that it could be organized any other way. But it could just as easily be assembled around a different axis: not pages but minds.
The explosive growth of blogging is creating the opportunity to do just that. Hundreds of thousands of individuals now maintain their own weblogs, updating them regularly with links, commentary, and personal anecdotes. There are some wonderful group weblogs, to be sure, but the general principle of blogspace is one per person. Following a well-maintained, up-to-date personal blog is – short of shacking up with someone – the most efficient method yet invented to keep track of what’s going on in another person’s head over extended periods: what they’re working on, linking to, obsessing about, listening to, reading. On a day-to-day basis, I am more intimately aware of the latest happenings in the world of my 10 favorite bloggers than I am of what’s going on with my closest friends. And of those 10 bloggers, I’ve met only two or three in person. As one of them, Rael Dornfest, likes to say: “Following someone’s blog is like doing a TiVo season pass for a person.”
Your mind becomes a part of the space as well. Your own personal site becomes an extension of your memory, as in Vannevar Bush’s vision of the Memex, but your memories also become part of the Web’s collective intelligence.