fingerprints, they’re everywhere

Following on from the idea that your fingerprints are somewhere, and that what you do is part of the greater fingerprint that is you, I was interested to find today that I’m not the first person to start to explore down this part. has made some discussion and definition on the topic, calling it ‘personomies’:

My personomy is the information environment i have built over time, independently of any platform or system. Personomies include contacts, purchases, health records, search history, emails, rss feeds, IMs, voip calls, comments on blogs…etc…any tiny bit of data that is logged and can be tracked back to me belong in my personomy. Personomies are any digital manifestations of me.

David Beach talks about it as life caching, and digital life management. Marc Cantor calls it digital lifestyle aggregation.

Meanwhile, on the other side, my wife, Marica, has been reading Robert Paterson’s manifesto on Going Home. Between Marica and Robert Paterson, and my own thoughts, I’m beginning to get a feeling the world is starting to unfold, little by little, into a new flowering.

Why are we suddenly so interested in genealogy, digital story telling, blogging, e-portfolios and the like? Why are we so all fired up and determined that, not only can we publish, but that we will. I believe that’s the nub of the issue. When Pagemaker first reared its ugly head we found a plethora of newsletters and posters where none had appeared before. Why? Because it suddenly became possible to produce nice looking text – although, to be fair, most had well shaped letter forms, but used in grotesque and evil ways. Same with powerpoint. Some would believe we’re still in the gee-whizz phase of powerpoint and there’s no shortage of horror there. Web sites came and went pretty quickly for much the same reason as pagemaker – ‘johnny-come-lately’ quark didn’t even get a look-in – why? Because it takes some skill and training to produce good looking web sites and print documents; and the person with average design skills usually turns out below average designs.

But that doesn’t take the desire away. We still want to communicate. In text. Talk ’til you drop, as a species, humans want to communicate in text. Text. We are graphic animals. Symbolic animals. Text. The killer apps are txting, and its older brother, email. For the web, blogs. Everything else is just noise.

We want to scratch higher up the tree, spray the walls, leave our fingerprints in the concrete of time – whatever. And nothing, nothing scratches that itch like text. So what we look for, as a species, is a way of producing text that’s easy and neat. I’d love to have the hand writing of my Uncle Tom – he learned ably assisted by a ruler to the knuckles – or the hand writing of my school chum Jacko, superb penmanship, and in one so young then. But my handwriting is not overly elegant. Instead I hunt for handwriting fonts, and set using Pagemaker, or write here in my blog.

Neat, tidy, well presented text. It’s the next big thing. Same as it was the last big thing, and the same the time before it.


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