Actually, everything is public.

Even the most personal of experiences have highly public aspects to them. The Judean desert has often been referred to as the ultimate spot for monks to wander in order get enlightenment. Why there? Well, it is a desert, but it's also only a short distance away from Jerusalem. In other words, wander off into the desert and have your transcendental experience, but get back in time for dinner to tell everyone about it.

Perhaps in a similar manner, the Boidem columns started out as a public framework for me to express my thoughts on various aspects of the internet experience. But what reason was there for me to return from my web excursions and tell people about what I'd discovered? Was someone really interested in my thoughts, or was it my need to tell about them that was the main reason for my writing? In some ways the web essay is the most proper medium for my musings. The publishing process is simple and personal - I don't have to find a publisher, and certainly don't have to pass peer-review, but instead can simply project to the world whatever it is I have to say. What's more, I'm not selling copies of this (I purposefully don't keep a counter so that the fact that almost nobody reads these columns doesn't slap me in the face each time I enter the site) and thus, as these columns have developed, I have permitted myself to include an ever increasing number of personal aspects of my life (ostensibly as they relate to the "public" topic under discussion). The Boidem started out as a public web site devoted to the examination of topics related to hypertext and the internet, and computing in general, and as it developed it became a framework into which I could tie my own experience. Perhaps in the end what I have is a personal web site through which I filter my own experience, disguised as a public forum devoted to examining issues of public interest. Take your pick.

Go to: Web Essays - The evolution of a (personal?) medium