So I've been reading over the old posts of the past - partly because I have nothing better to do at times, partly over the previously posted nostalgia, and partly because I'm working on a few projects (of which some of you know about, some of you don't, and many more in both categories don't care).
Something I noticed in reading all of those posts (and I'm only in December of 2000), there seems to be this undercurrent that people actually cared about what each other posted about and cared about what was going on in each other's lives outside of the internet...
And everyone seemed to genuinely care.
This is different from the kind of caring that seems obligatory in the age of Facebook. The idea that you have to say, "Aw... I hope you get well," on someone's Facebook Wall, so that others can acknowledge that you do "care".
Pre-Facebook, early-blog days, you get the sense that people cared and were interested beyond the superficial. And you could almost tell that because no one ever really said, "aww, I hope you get well..." type crap. Rather, expletives and insults were hurled at each other, but in ways that subtly belied the true intent, which was often, "good to know you are still alive."
Something else that seems interesting, is that I have had multiple conversations with people since the birth of MySpace and Facebook, the Cthulhu's of the depths of the Internet, about people getting pissed at each other on such sites. It at first would remind me of the back-and-forth animosities of the board... until you remembered that often that was left "on the board". And people knew that.
People don't know that now.
Is it because people who use Facebook are of the casual-user stock... the ones who came late to the burgeoning Internet? Whereas those of us from the board had used the Internet before, and understood some of the fundamentals... like, digital conversation is fun, and connective, but not end-all-be-all?
It's interesting from the sociological-psychological perspective, to understand the inter-dynamics of modern day human interaction (especially since at one point or other, I will be going back to grad school, likely to study child psychology, and I'll likely have to deal with the 3rd generation of children to grow up in "an increasingly interconnected world".)
Oh, and something else I have casually noticed which lends credence to an argument I remember having with James years ago: the implementation of the comments-system was the slow death knell to the board. Suck on that James!