Being a Gillmor Gang fanboy luckily runs in cycles. At the moment we are in a down-cycle, mostly due to Mr. Gillmor’s reluctance to release a new episode for the past four weeks. This – no doubt – is a gesture in itself, leaving his flock guessing what his next move might me. A guess could be that there will be a link in some FriendFeed conversation where a picture is tagged “gillmorgang” in realtime. But – since “links are dead” – we would be waiting forever for that to happen. The great thing about RSS (which “is (also) dead”, or isn’t it) is that I can just relax and wait. And point out to Mr. Gillmor that the current path of the “track-mantra” might be one not worth pursuing.
You see, after “gestures/attention” (2005), “office is dead” (2006), “links are dead” (2007), “user contract” and “Google was wrong to connect the social graph by default” (2008), and “there is a video I shot of David Sanborn on Facebook I can’t get out”(2009), every time (despite being observed as coming on too strong) Gillmor pushed the envelope and in the end provided thought leadership many internet user profited from. However, although I consider myself lucky enough to have drunk from the “track”-river (in the beginning of the twitter-era), the currently available technology to emulate track comes in my opinion close enough. Widely-spread tools like e.g. tweetdeck let users track pieces of information they are interested in. Granted, this does not happen in real-time, but frankly: Since I am not a betting person, a two-minute-lag is real-time enough for me and I am guessing for the majority of interent users out there.
So Steve, maybe it is time to move on to projects as important as the election of Barack Obama was to you. Maybe you could join Professor Lessig on the subject of copy right, after all, the user contract and data ownership are not that far away. But please, if you can, jump past the “there is a video I shot of David Sanborn on Facebook I can’t get out”-mantra. Now that the Russians are involved you won’t ever get that video back 😉