Blogs to Borgs

In the early days of the commercial Internet, better known as the World Wide Web, I used to explain the Internet to clients as a web or network of interwoven networks. I would explain that an individual was made more productive and powerful by giving him or her a desktop computer. The ability to calculate and process and update visual and textual information extended the individual’s capabilities in much the same way that mainframe computers had previously extended the capabilities of businesses and organizations.

As local desktop computers became more capable, they gained the ability to be networked together. The result of the networking capability did not make the computer’s processing faster or more powerful, but the digital communications connected people, let people share tasks, and resulted in meaningful productivity gains.

Ultimately, the Internet not only connected businesses together, thus creating the network of networks I talked about in the early years, but it began connecting people together in networks of similarly-minded individuals. This, of course, is called Web 2.0 or the Social Networking Internet. News, information, trends, gossip, and commerce all travels person-to-person at amazing speeds and with ever-increasing power to influence.

Blogs are the latest personification of the Internet’s inherent and unequaled ability to engage, inform, and influence. The blogs behave like a hybrid combination of a peer-to-peer viral information dissemination machine, combined with social networks. Add to the ingredient list the ability for readers to comment and post, and the significant capabilities of the blog search engines and blogging adds up to a worldwide network of people-to-people networks on steroids.

What’s next? Multiple personalities from each individual, commenting in a viral, mind meld sort of way by combining and transferring thoughts across the Internet at the speed of light, reaching every corner of the inhabited universe instantaneously. For those Star Trek fans out there, I think it is called the Borg.