There are blogs and websites about how businesses could and do use the Cloud and blogs and websites about technical aspects of the Cloud. This blog turned out to be (it ran from March 2009 to, really, February 2011), for the most part, about the impact of the cloud on the individual (small c deliberate). Here’s the introduction, from 2010.

So, in the form of a question or two from a somewhat skeptical reader:

Give me what you think is one good idea that’s come out of this blog so far.

cldwrld – cloudworld.


cldwrld is a world built on the back of Cloud-based applications.

cldwrld is a virtual Real World, made of digital countries and digital-countries-in-the-making and their Digital Inhabitants. Digital countries-in-the-making include Buzz, Flickr, Blogger, Facebook and Second Life.

It connects physically to the Real World only by the cable that carries the electricity to power it. There are two other links – the money link and the identity link and I talk about those on the blog.

By creating cldwrld I can compare the Real World to another world rather than a Cloud and thus many of the challenges associated with social networks (examples of digital-countries-in-the-making) map quite nicely to challenges people face in the Real World. Facebook is the furthest along.

What’s the point of setting up cldwrld?

cldwrld helps me because it’s difficult to compare the Real World with a Cloud to work out what the future will bring. By setting up another world – cldwrld – the comparison becomes easier – an apple to an orange – and I can get more insight into that future. I hope.

What do you know about the technical side of Cloud Computing?

Only as much as I have picked up over the last year of writing this blog. I mean, I’ve tried to get to cldwrld starting with the NIST Draft Working Definition of Cloud Computing in three posts that start here but I wouldn’t hold that out as anything special. Here’s a link to the latest NIST definition.

How about the effect of Cloud Computing on business?

Well, that’s tremendous, but that’s not what this blog is about either. This blog is about what happens when you mix the Cloud with people.

Thinking about anything else?

One idea I’m thinking about at the moment is something I’m calling Dynamic Information Mapping. A good way into it is just to go to my personal map at debategraph.org. But don’t go there from a device that doesn’t support Flash. The non-flash version doesn’t really show DIM at all. Debategraph has been used in collaboration with the White House on down and is pretty cool. In the context of DIM, though, I would describe the software as being a very early entry into the DIM industry — kinda like Blogger in 1999.

Among other things I am a Debategraph Associate. You can find me among the Debategraph Associates here.

Since DIM is a concept – like blogging – it has many applications and, e.g., I’ve created a prototype news news map around the Gulf Oil Spill 2010 disaster (it started out merely as a citizen response to the disaster but has turned into more than that). Since it runs on the debategraph software (which is optimized for debate facilitation) some of the bits don’t quite line up and I’m sorry about that, but the general principle should be clear.

Sounds … wild.

Oh, it is.

What’s on the rest of this page?

Details about some of the stuff I talk about on the blog. So if you left the page now you would already have a good grasp of how the blog is set up and could plunge right in.

You talk about a “Digital Inhabitant.” Who or what is that?

Anyone who has created a personal web presence for over x days (I choose x = 30).

A personal web presence is an individual space on the Web which can be updated at any time (like twitter or Facebook or a blog), coupled and completed, at least, with the person’s real name, photograph, contact information and About Me section.

What’s sort-and-report?

It’s my term for what we do when we attempt to curate the real-time web. That is, there’s a huge flow of information going past us at a high rate of speed in Real Time (what with twitter posts – tweets – and so on and I include blog entries in there) and if we want to pluck something out of that information stream (be curating the Real Time web) something has to sort out from that information stream what we want and report on it. The best way to find my posts on the topic is just to to search for “sort report” using the Search box handily provided.

What’s the expert-centric universe?

A consequence of the idea that in the age of the individual (which, in my view, began August 23 1999 when Pyra Labs released Blogger, a free blogging tool which allowed individuals to easily establish a one-person “center of excellence” on the Web) the “organization of one” became the fundamental building block of the “knowledge worker”  industry. Based on that the notion that we could end up with a Subscriptions to Individuals (STI) model was an easy step.

I know you have written about the G.O.A. Who they?

The Guardians of Access – those who control who gets to cloud-based services. Everybody from Governments to those who patrol Facebook – there are six groups.

You talk about a “freemix” economy for cldwrld and a”freemix” business model. Is that like “freemium?”

Yes. I have a post that talks about that.

What else has come up?

At this point quite a lot (March 25 2010 was the first year anniversary) but not so much that I think it’s unmanageable (I’m only posting at a rate of two posts a week), so the complete post archive might be worth investigating.

I don’t like the way you spell “cldwrld,” by the way. What’s wrong with “Cloudworld?”

That’s a good question. I needed a name for this new world and wanted to give it the flavor of the speed of the new world we live in. “Cloudworld” is the Real World name (and the name of an expo. I found out, so good to avoid anyway).

How often do you post?

Two, maybe three times a week at the moment. Working towards one a day. I started writing on 3/25/09.

You’re actually not a very good blogger, you know. Your posts are too long, the titles aren’t really that snappy and you don’t really post enough.

You’re right. I think it’s because it’s more of a journal. But maybe I’ll get better.

Ha! I’ll be the judge of that.

Surely. Thanks for dropping by.

You’re welcome.

this version november 18 2010

updated may 3 2013