[vagueware] My oddest idea to date...

  • From: Paul Robinson <paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vagueware@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 19:28:41 +0000

Hi guys,

This is an odd idea. It fits the name, but not what we've talked about.
It's a major departure for what we're planning. It gives us all
breathing space though, and this discussion - what would make a great
system for vagueware - can carry on there. It has risks. It means
destroying what is there. It means starting from fresh.

I was talking to an old friend of mine some time ago. He owns some
rather dubious domain names. They came as part of a bundle of domains
that he bought off ebay. He didn't want these dubious names, but they
had no value and no use to him. He didn't know what to do, so he decided
to run an experiment.

He put a forum up at one of the domain names. There was no explanation,
no instructions, just an empty forum. There was no purpose, and the only
clue people had was in the domain name - in this case a name suggesting
a lesbian interest. He left it for 12 months, then noticed the traffic
was up on the domain. He went back and found a small but vibrant little
community had built itself up there.

That story stuck in my mind - it suggested to me the power of the web.
By not providing instructions but letting communities build what they
wanted out of what was provided to them, you could end up with something
interesting.

I think the reason VagueWare is static and not developing is because
there are too many ideas for what should be going on there, and not
enough people to do it. So, I want to relax the rules a little. I want
to step back, let people build what they want with no instruction, other
than note that the content is licensed under creative commons, and that
whilst I own the domain I'm not responsible for the content. When I have
an idea, I'll put it up there. But it might not be about software, it'll
just be a vague notion about how to make the world a bit better in some
way or something. 

Or maybe it will just be software - it'll be upto me what I put up, as 
much as it will be up to anybody else who finds it to decide what they 
want to use it for. It'll be a wiki (based on twiki so we can build 
workflows as we find we need them) and there won't be moderation save 
for us getting rid of spam.

What I want is for VagueWare to stop feeling like a burden. It should be
nice that it's a quiet corner of the web we can go to play with ideas.
Let's make it that then. And if they don't "fit" well, so what?

If people don't think this will work with vagueware, I might try it over
my other web home - iconoplex - but with more of a slant on politics and
culture than on code and "geek porn". Perhaps I'll do it with both. Who
knows?

Comments welcome. Don't be suprised if I just go and do it anyway before
you get this. :-)

-- 
Paul Robinson

http://www.iconoplex.co.uk/ 
"All I know is I'm not a Marxist" - Karl Marx

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