Late night discussions yesterday made me ponder: what does it really mean to be online? We say someone is "online" when their chat icon changes to green, or you update things on Facebook, but is that really true?

I have an online persona. Part of it is stored here, on this server, and it's available to everyone in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, you could argue, that I am online, 24/7, just because my blog is here. It's not the whole me, but... online, it never is.

Someone said that they get an sms every time someone comments on their blog - and, due to most of his readers being on a different timezone, his cell mostly beeps at 2 am. So, in that very concrete sense, they really are online all the time.

It isn't really about being "online" or "offline". It's all a different shade of response latency, so to say. It just takes a different time to respond - sometimes it takes days or hours, sometimes you can respond instantly. But is there a time period after which you are considered to be "offline?" I don't know. But it's clear that the definitions of "online" and "offline" have blurred to the point where they are becoming meaningless. Like "blog".

Are you online? Right now? Five minutes ago? In two hours? What parts of you are you keeping offline?


I believe this is somewhat the same I heard in LeWeb3 last week in Paris about people still distinguishing between online and offline friends. Even though you haven't seen the other people, they still are your "friends". In other words, you life your life - some of it is online and some offline.

Still kind of early in the morning and late in the week, don't know if my point came across all that well :)

--Antti, 20-Dec-2007

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"Main_blogentry_191207_1" last changed on 19-Dec-2007 23:42:20 EET by JanneJalkanen.