Chain Reaction – or: Watering down the original Web Idea

According to this article, today’s artist appears on a number of social networking sites, such as Facebook to name just one, and creates so-called “social objects”. These can be behind-the-scenes videos of the artist at work, yet unreleased songs, images of course, blog posts and so on. While I’ve only started – again, after a 10+ years hiatus – the process of building a collection of original songs, I have begun using the times of missing inspiration or patience or both 😉 with building exactly that kind of presence on the web. The idea is for one to remain productive in that area, when I’m not productive in the other (the music), and second to build myself a kind of framework to be filled with the material later. Also, I guess it helps to gradually attract some of my existing contacts and friends from other social networking sites to my new endeavour. And last, I simply enjoy dabbling in web technologies and trying this or that hosting site or blog platform. Also, it allows me to create outlets for my varied creative activities, which are music (first, always first!), photography, writing.

How-effin’-ever… *exhale*: Feeding that multiheaded hydra … becomes QUITE a task! I just realized this over changing the spelling of my pseudonym and hence all related artwork… DAMN! As I have said here, I only later found that someone had already taken the name ‘westbound‘. So, the least I could come up with was to change the spelling. I had pondered, whether I should take a different name altogether, but then dismissed that thought, as I still like westbound and as it best describes my musical preferences and the ‘mission’ I’m on (which might include some heading West one day, who knows). But anyway, before getting lost: I am on seven different sites at the moment – the music-related ones appearing in the rightmost list of links-, and then there’s Facebook on top of that. So… whenever I decide to distribute some kind of information that’s supposed to be posted to all of them… it becomes quite an effort! Strictly speaking, this shouldn’t be like this, as the web was built in a way that allows you to cross-reference information from elsewhere by using said links or URLs as they’re officially called. So, I have tried from the beginning to keep redundancy at a minimum, but then had to find that not all of the sites allow e.g. linking to or embedding media material hosted elsewhere (Myspace for example is such a disreputable example). Of course, I understand: They (the companies running such socializing websites, e.g. the Facebooks, Yahoo!s and whatnots…) all want original visits and page impressions instead of referenced visits, so they can sell their banners and ad pages at higher prices – I get it! On the other hand, I think, forcing on multiple uploads on the user is a crass case of patronizing, a blatant waste of bandwidth and almost a deconstruction of the original worldwide web idea, which is to allow content creators to link relevant material in an easy way and from a distributed set of sources, hosted at the farthest corners of the digitized world (to make sense of my link, you need to scroll down a bit, where the author answers a question by saying he communicated with Inuit tribes of the Northwest Territories through E-mail – LOL!).

Before completely getting off on a tangent here, my point is that corporations providing those platforms – mostly for free and funded by selling ad space – in my view have a responsibility for complying with Web standards and recommended practices of keeping to those standards. If not, one of the big strengths of the web – linking everything to everyone across all geographical and even some physical boundaries – will be diminished for no good reason. Not only that: If corporations force you to upload all your information – some of that being potentially personal or political – to their sites and servers, they obtain an incredible amount of information and thus control over you, the user. And this amount of control can lead to some very, very serious outcomes. As far as I know, Shi Tao is still imprisoned – for having sent an e-mail with content the Chinese government later claimed to have been classified!

Anyhow… that’s my 2 cents on what the situation presents itsself like to me.


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