In 2005 at least, communication on the Internet is like communicating in slow-motion.
If you are reading SlashDot, for example, and want to comment on a post, you can’t just speak your reply into the air.
If you want to keep on top of replies, there’s even more work on top of that– far more than would appear in a normal human conversation.
It is reasonable to believe that as our CommunicationsTechnology? improves, and motion in the Internet becomes less slow, that there will be greater online participation, and by extension, greater growth of the InterMind / HiveMind (see: HiveMindName discussion.)
We can imagine, for instance, that when you read something on SlashDot, you want to click on it, that you…
Here’s how it works:
It’s not unreasonable to believe that along with the text of your speech, that the actual voice of your speech gets sent as well, so that someone who wants to hear your voice- they can. If we find a way to invent “CrowdedRoomTechnology?,” which gives the sensation of being in a crowded room with lots of people- and relying on the human ear’s ability to single out conversations by cue and whatever other magic is inside the human brain– then we can imagine that SlashDot may well give the simulation of being in a crowded room, a town hall meeting, and hearing all these different things.
Think of like a cocktail party. Or think of walking down the isles in a school cafateria, and OverHearing different conversations. That’s how you find friends. (Well, it worked for me, at least.) (Vote for Pedro.)
We’d likely seperate the hand-written, very nice posts, from the “uh,… well, I don’t know; that doesn’t sound reasonable to me” posts. Perhaps it could be just part of the comment moderation system. Regardless, the details of this do not interest me, and I don’t think that they are prohibitive. What is cool is that this is doable, and, in all likelyhood, will be done.
What will be more interesting is dealing with CommunityMayNotScale – if it’s so easy, so transparent, to participate- than SlashDot may well have to deal with the load of 100x, 1000 times, more people..! Perhaps SlashDot would invariably split into mini-slashdots, perhaps posting would ritualize, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps,… we do not know.
And, as a corollary, WikiIsSlow?.
To put some balance on this, it is worth noting that the Internet is also massively parallel.