In Puerto Rico last week I gave an extemporaneous presentation about how I got into blogging. My blog origins were only tangentially related to education, I was first and foremost a blogfather. I started blogging to understand the birth of my first son Miles. It took me at least a year to adjust to the simple fact that I was a father, and I use that space to work through the uncertainty of that new reality in a playful, adoring way. It was very fun. After the idea that I was a father #4life sunk in a bit, my blogging energy was re-directed to my day job, which resulted in the bava.
This site has pretty faithfully chronicled my professional work over the last eight years, but has also been an oblique doorway into my personal life. Be it my kids, my love of toys, movies, and random crap I discover online, and much more. Within this blog there’s an archive of eight years of my thinking, nostalgia fits, and general understanding of where I’m at in life. I value this record, and more and more I’m wondering how to preserve it in some coherent fashion, along with the innumerable other digital media I’ve amassed over the last two decades. How can we organize, share, and archive all the things we’ve created, collected, and curated in a relatively comprehensible fashion?
When we were talking about personal archiving during the Reclaim Your Domain discussion last week the idea of that a number of people would probably quickly see the need of collecting, collating, and preserving their digital lifebits for psoterity—a family heirloom of sorts. This is not vanity, it’s legacy. This is the whole reason I started Planet Miles back in 2004, I wanted a space to preserve the fleeting moments of my kids infancy. I want a place to capture what is now just a pixelated memory. I wanted him to know how crazy that moment was for me, and how much it challenged me at the core of who I am. I want Miles, Tess, and Tommaso to know how much I love them, and the preservation of these memories is just one part of a whole emotional infrastructure, but it’s an important one.
The school photos of my youngest son Tommaso came this week, and I was once again reminded just how much the digital trail of all these details is part of a larger personal archiving project that in some way guarantees a future for these moments beyond me. That’s one of the ideas at the heart of Reclaim Your Domain, an online space wherein you can start backing up your various, fragmented digital resources on the web, ensure they don’t go away, and start abstracting the various memories you’ve collected into a coherent, accessible space beyond a external storage drive. This is not limited to photos of one’s kids (although this is what sells me on it) but can also be to a whole range of an ever increasing set of digital resources that will tell the tale of a life as well as accomplish the million quotidian tasks of sharing that are a result of it.
More and more I’m thinking Reclaim Your Domain would be an exercise in imagining what a Federal personalized digital hub might look like (I owe these imaginings to the great Kin Lane). I can think of a number of problems with talking about the personalized digital token in the same breath as federal, but I can also think of a million reasons with the federal government completely abdicating thsi responsibility. That said, there could always be another way.