Self-Expression, Search, and Life Context

After reading Danah Boyd’s “Blogging Outloud: Shifts in Public Voice“, I got thinking. I really wonder why the context of the creator’s life work isn’t more so taken into consideration when a user is searching for something on the Web.

Before the Web, a person’s various writings, creations, and expressions were individual separate items. Now with the Web, we live our lives online. Our lives are on display through the user-generated content and the online social networks that we participate in.

Our various self-expressions don’t have to be taken as disparate items they can be really looked at with the context of the creator’s whole body of work.

How much more could a search engine learn about Web site if it was seen along side everything else that that author has created?

Would a search engine be able to understand how well thought out an issue is if it understood the other times that an author thought about an issue? It could show the difference between a fleeting thought and something that a user has been researching and musing about for a while.

Could the content of a web page have subliminal meaning that would only be understood if it was judged in relationship to all the other works that went around it?

You don’t ever have individual thoughts. My thoughts build upon other thoughts which build upon other thoughts. My blog isn’t just a conversation with my readers it displays an evolution of myself. It is a conversation between me and history.

With technologies like OpenID (a single online identity), we can tie together expressive works across multiple disparate systems. I have written short stories using Ficlets but written blog posts using WordPress. With OpenID, the short stories and blog posts can be tied together to the same author.

NOTE: I dunno…this has been just rolling around in my head. I have been probably drinking too much coffee. If this post doesn’t make any sense, humor me.

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3 thoughts on “Self-Expression, Search, and Life Context

  1. pistolpete

    For kicks, you might want to check out the young adult book “Feed” for a (not-so) futuristic look at the Web.

  2. Cheralyn

    Hmm… Perhaps I understand some of what you are saying. It’s like if you try to read one letter written by Thomas Jefferson to John Adams without the context of having read all the other letters. Or without knowing the history of these two gentlemen. There is still some worth to the letter but not as much without knowing all the context.

    Maybe this isn’t what you are saying at all….

    Though the idea of getting subliminal meaning from a web page is intriguing.

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