Being Aware in Cyberspace

Jon Udell has an interesting post, Who can see which parts of my published surface area?

To describe the various projections of ourselves into cyberspace, I use the following metaphor: we’re cells, and we’re growing the surface area of our cellular membranes. Every time I write a blog item, or post a Flickr photo, or tag a resource in, I enlarge the surface area of that membrane. I do it for two reasons. First, because I want influence to flow from me to the world. Second, because I want influence to flow the other way too. I’m soliciting feedback and interaction.

I monitor that feedback using an array of sensors that works surprisingly well. All of the parts of my public membrane can be instrumented with RSS feeds. By tuning into those feeds, I know — fairly immediately and comprehensively — who has touched which parts of my exposed surface area.

What I can’t do very easily, though, is visualize that entire complex surface. If somebody reacts to something I published years ago on some site I’ve forgotten about, I’m reminded that part of my surface area extends to that site. But it’s only a reactive thing, there’s no proactive way to review the totality of my published corpus. That’d be handy.

He then continues on about how computers might eventually help us see our full selves in Cyberspace. But I wonder, We don’t see all of the inner workings of our conscious mind, much less our subconscious. So, what would it mean to be aware of all that we had published on the web?

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