I am eating an apple right now, and it is delicious.
So delicious is this red apple that I want to tell my friends about it. I want my friends to drop by my website and see how much I loved this apple. Some of them get an email from Feedburner when I publish, and they will have my words stored forever in Yahoo Mail, in GMail, in Hotmail. Anytime they want, they can go back to their archived emails and read that I ate this apple, that it was juicy and good and crunchy.
Facebook will poll my RSS feed and import my love for the apple in as a “note.” Now the apple, and I, and my love for it will live in the Facebook data centers till Facebook goes out of business and scraps the hard drives. Until then, this apple will be replicated to multiple locations, stored redundantly, and searchable. I want my apple to live in Google Reader, to show up on iGoogle. Some of the best minds of my generation are hard at work making sure that my love for this apple will be searchable, citeable, and stored forever.
Russian and Chinese botnets consider my website worth spamming. They will take down this description of my love for the apple, post it on fly-by-night URLs and hosting, hoping that someone will drop on the apple, the love, my words and then buy drugs cheaply or look for a cheap imitation of love. They will go up and down, they will not last, but if enough people care about my apple, they may use my words to defeat spam filters, use my crisp red apple to slip past the guardians of the inbox and pitch strangers antivirus software that contains viruses, infected Word documents, scams. Those strangers will have a copy of my text that means nothing, that is a sheepskin drawn over a wolf.
When I push the publish button, I am making a calculation about what is your business and what is mine. I am thinking that the world might appreciate my meal, that my friends should know, that I am willing to share, that I can’t predict what interests people. I know I am claiming the finite attention of many human minds, that I am setting in motion the machinations of friendly and unfriendly processes, that once it’s out there, it can’t be pulled back. I know the apple, which I have finished, was delicious.