The Mine! Project

open source project for online data and relationships logistics

A metaphor for the Mine!

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Revisiting this interview with Ze Frank on The Sound of Young America programme, this bit caught my attention (about 23 minutes into the video). Ze’s quote from the interview:

What’s holding the web back in some sort of way is a metaphor that people use for it, which is as a play space. You go to Flickr to look at your Flickr photos, but the real strength right now is real distribution of media. If you distribute media intensely and fully, then place can’t really be the dominant metaphor anymore. This idea of creating play spaces that are mediated by personalities in some sort of way, that you can move fluidly and play a game inside Google street view and then move out to another space and things like that was an opportunity to play with breaking [the metaphor] down a little bit.

Metaphors are very important and I have used a fair share over the years trying to get people understand the nature of the web, blogging, online communications, social networking, identity, VRM… Now I’d like to find one for the Mine!.

The closest I got so far is describing the Mine! as a car. Your own car on the web, not rented or confined to a parking lot or occasionally let out on a race track. This comes from describing social networks such as Facebook or MySpace as similar to a parking lot at driving school.

Networking on Facebook, MySpace and other silos is like taking driving lessons. There is no recognisable direction. It seems kind of pointless unless you know that it is just learning and practising. Facebooks and MySpace seems a lot like that to me. But once people work out how to drive, how to operate the machine and how to get from point A to point B, they will be able to decide what the B is and get around on their own. And that’s when the real fun starts.

So the Mine! is an attempt to give people their own car, getting them to decide where they go with it, how fast and who they take along as passangers. They will have to look after it a bit and perhaps learn to maintain it but that will be easier with time too. It is an alternative for networked and social existence on the web for those ready and willing to break out of silos.

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4 Responses to “A metaphor for the Mine!”


  1. Jonathan
    on Oct 3rd, 2008
    @ 4:11 pm

    Adriana: good post, the analogies reminded me of Doug Engelbart: The Interview which you might find interesting http://memex.org/meme3-01.html


  2. Adriana
    on Oct 3rd, 2008
    @ 10:45 pm

    Jonthan, that is very interesting. Thank you for pointing me to the Engelbart interview!


  3. Mathias
    on Oct 4th, 2008
    @ 11:27 am

    Let me try something else…

    The Mine! is like having a bunch of friends.
    Friends who know different aspects of your life.
    If someone wants to know what kind of wine to give you, they go ask your wine friend.
    If they want to know when your next visit to London might be, they ask your travel friend.
    And these are nice friends, friends that will keep your secrets.
    You can tell your friends who you trust with what information.
    (don’t show the secret Vegas marriage photo’s to my family yet)
    And if someone shames your trust, you can tell your friends not to talk to that guy anymore.


  4. Jonathan
    on Oct 20th, 2008
    @ 7:47 pm

    Like this from confused although it is on another string

    http://confusedofcalcutta.com/2008/10/18/just-freewheeling-about-buying-and-selling/#comments

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