Friday, February 06, 2009

Flagellants in the Digital Age

A certain ritual must now be emerging. Those citizens with digital lives going through cycles of guilt, remorse and acceptance. At issue - how to apologize for neglecting the digital self (insert blog twitter, facebook status, or other social app here). How to cope with content consumption without content creation. We're all digital freeloaders at some level (Digg, Spread Love Project).

I'm driven to this topic by two stimuli:

  1. Steven Levy had a great article in the most recent Wired on the guilt of consuming but not maintaining the content feeds that power the Web 2 world.

  2. I am contributing my own apologies and remorse for not maintaining my critical, digital identity.

I could apologize further. Use some formulaic set of excuses and life events... But, all things consiered, I'd rather just link to what other people have said on this phenomenon. Perhaps I am suggesting that the maxim for apologies in the social networked world - don't apologize, aggregate. Nothing new to say? Connect to others.

So, if you're curious - check out a Google search of the various apology posts out there. This query is restricted to the Blogger domain alone. 450,000 some odd results - if you're that interested - Happy reading! I delved in for a bit, but the words and phases of guilt and remorse (sincere?) would seem to replace the flagellants of the middle ages.

I'll end with Charlie O'Keefe's encouraging post on not apologizing. He's right. "A prolific writer going inactive for a while is actually kind of a relief. Gives me a chance to catch up on other stuff. "

So on that note - I declare - your respite is over! Get ready for some good stuff!