Base Data, Zero Return

It turned out that every blog post, ever, in the entire history of the internet, was just a variation on “Mommy didn’t hug me enough.” We looked at the report and were like Huh. Wait, really? But then we started thinking about it, going through old posts, commenting back and forth about it on Metafilter, and Jesus. Um, yeah. One of those things that’s so obvious in retrospect, you know?

The report was produced by Google, after they put themselves in charge of everything. (( I look at that sentence and want to append it with (Long story). But it wasn’t a long story. Why would it be?)) Before, they had our emails, chats, search patterns, browser histories, photos, written documents, spending habits and blog posts. But then, afterwards, they also had our credit histories, medical histories, interpersonal connections, phone conversations, air and land traffic patterns, Bitflix queues, and everything we’d ever put on a calendar. I mean say what you want, but there’s value in having all of that data concentrated in one place. Think about all the different reports you could generate from a spreadsheet like that.

So there’s this stunning revelation about what blogging means. Gets linked on The Deck, Kottkebot, all them, so news spreads. Then what happens. Blogging takes a nosedive, for one thing. I know, no great loss, right? Well it kind of was: just because you’re re-examining what your communication is really about, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing it altogether, especially when it’s pretty much the only form of communication anyone is doing anymore. A significant part of the economy was still internet-based.

Anyways I thought it was cool, and I wanted everyone else to know that I thought it was cool. There were still some people grumbling about Google-based government, and I didn’t like the looks of their prospects, long term. So I wrote this blog post basically thanking Google for producing this valued report, pointing out why it was so great that they could synthesize our data in these new ways. How it showed they weren’t just a faceless ruling corporation — they actually cared about their content generators, and wanted to encourage the production of better, less emotional blog posts. I know, writing a thank-you note to a corporation, it sounds weird. But all the kids are doing it now. All the kids are writing thank you notes to corporations.