The Internet is making 'Being John Malkovich' a reality

There's some kind of shift evolving out of the voyeuristic nature of social bookmarking, screencasting, shared playlists, RSS and OPML that I find really interesting.  If we think of blogging as the view into our thoughts via the outside world, then this other trend is a view to the outside world via human lenses.  Kevin Kelly refers to some of these tools as Consensus Web Filters

A multilayered example of this model in action is Alex Barnet's screencast about "The Attention Engine", particularly his comments about Megite.  I'm seeing his view of himself showing us how to see through his collection of feeds out onto the world.  It's a timeshift and a placeshift.  People are creating lenses of the world for themselves that they are sharing with other people who want to see the world through them. 

I also recently discovered a feed that looks to be a collection managed by someone (or several someones) at Google (or possibly someone studying Google very closely).  When I first saw it I thought the feed might give me insight into what people are thinking about internally there and hopefully a little competitive intelligence.

It turns out that rather than provide a view inside the company, this feed provides a view to the world outside the Googleplex through a Google lens.  There are bookmarks to articles that are critical, glowing and tangential to the Google cause.  What I didn't expect is that an occasional bookmark makes me more empathetic to Google's viewpoint.  

The feed has started to influence my thinking despite my attempts to interpret patterns and infer competitive insights.

A few weeks ago I took the PersonalDNA test which told me that my greatest weakness is my lack of empathy.  The report told me, "Taking some time to explore others' perspectives could make spending time with people even more compelling than it already is." 

I was surprised by that, as I consider myself an understanding and generally kind person.  But being nice to people is no substitute for actually having empathy.  It makes me wonder if I'm disingenuous, but that's not the point here...

Part of the reason reality TV works so well is because it gives us all a chance to taste experiences vicariously.  We are voyeurs into other people's worlds until the winner is chosen and the season ends.

This same concept happens online.

I particularly like Don Loeb's link blog as he is so in tune with what's happening when and with whom in the same spaces I'm studying.  It's not a blog with output from his thought process but rather a daily view of the Internet business through his eyes.  

I also like seeing what music people are listening to on their badges.  It has become less of a window into the person and more of a window out onto new music for me to discover.  

The view through someone else's view is very compelling.  I'm not sure I understand how the concept evolves into more mass market products yet, but I'm more and more certain that feeds, screencasts and badges are indicators of a fundamental change in the way people discover things on the Internet.

I guess I'm asking someone to come up with "Malkevision" "Malkovision".


Re: The Internet is making 'Being John Malkevich' a reality
by Ken Yarmosh on Thu Mar 23 18:53 2006 EST

Matt, I believe his last name is spelt "Malkovich".

Otherwise, I was wondering what you thought about Malkovich. Malkovich malkovich malkovich. Malkovich malkovich.

Malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich.



TrackBack URL:

I want to attempt "live authorship", but where?
Weblog:  BootBlog: UNIX/Linux commentary and help -- especially OpenSolaris
Excerpt:  Cc'ing this query to my weblog too... Thoughts anyone? Post them to the thread or in the comments section below. From: Eric Boutilier To: content-discuss at Thread link: Article idea, "Getting Small"? ...
Posted:  Fri Mar 24 11:59:39 EST 2006
The Internet is making 'Being John Malkovich' a reality