Knowing Full Well That Anybody Who Wanted to Read the Site Could

Boris points me to The Fever who is seeking a definition of the phrase "the Dark Web". There is at least one article on my weblog where I discuss the term (which surely could have used a paragraph break or two). Even better, though, is Suw Charman's amazing interview at Supernova, talking about personal weblogs, that is, the ones with people talking about their personal lives as distinct from what they do for a living or as distinct from a strictly subject-based weblog. That would include weblogs that are intended for friends to read and maybe discuss later "offline"—I know that I've learned about as much about my friends from when they started blogging (i.e. this year) than the period before that, which for some is almost 9 years now. They're expressing what they are doing and how they feel as if it were a private weblog yet knowing full well that anybody who wanted to read the site could.

I saw Julie Leung's excellent presentation for the second time, this time at Gnomedex (the first time was at Northern Voice), and even though I knew what to expect from it, I still had to wipe tears from my eyes as she talked about the struggle to find the balance between reaching out to her community and keeping important things private. In the presentation she talked about trying to figure out how to write about her brother's passing. What she didn't talk about this time around—possibly due to time constraints—was the response to her article on her daughter's surgery, and how she helped other parents by writing some tips for when their child is about to have surgery. In the presentation at Gnomedex, just as the presentation at Northern Voice, she quoted from an article I wrote in January about my so-called personal life and whether or not people are obligated to write about it. She documented the links to the resources she cited in her presentation on del.icio.us.

Since I had seen it before, the most interesting part of the presentation was the audience's reaction towards it. The applause afterwards was hearty, but there seemed be a slightly stunned silence when Gnomedex conference organizer Chris Pirillo said Julie's presentation was his favourite presentation of the two days, and I think that was because the audience were people the majority of which read exclusively technical material. That would be my way of saying that those who exclusively read and/or write technical weblogs don't really understand what "the Dark Web" is about, but that's more an assumption based on the silence than anything.

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