The advent of the read/write web is a topic that comes up frequently where I work. Likewise, community contribution and knowledge sharing is popular among people I come into contact with online too, but I don’t run into too many people in real life, outside of work, who care much about the idea at all. Or maybe they just don’t realize just how cool it really is – or that maybe they are already doing something similar.
It really isn’t a new idea. Humans have been inclined to express their creativity and share ideas in a public forum for centuries. Let’s take graffiti for instance. I seem to remember seeing examples from ancient Rome. (My art history professor would be so proud I remembered SOMETHING.) And today even, in restrooms, I observe disparate conversations scrawled across latrine doors. Now whether you consider graffiti destruction of public property or spontaneous self-expression is another debate – but the fact of the matter is that it has been around for a while.
Which brings me to this chalkboard wall, which is actually what got me thinking about all these other things in the first place. Such a simple idea that has so much potential for kids and friends and family. Not much different from graffiti, and also not such a far cry from analog read/write web – read/write reality. Granted there isn’t much of a mechanism for reverting your work on the chalkboard wall if someone draws all over it, but you get my point. I’m a master of the obvious today.