The bounteous serendipity of the internet

I’m constantly amazed by the wonderful serendipity of the internet.

Some few days ago, my friend Lion, dropped a new link onto his website. It turned out to be a link to the website of an old friend of mine, Vinnie, that I hadn’t seen or heard from at all in probably 8 or 9 years. Vinnie, in turn, had a link on his website to my friend Matt’s website, who I hadn’t heard anything from in probably more than a decade.

I think about life before the internet and how difficult it would have been to find someone vanished into the crowd. Now, with virtually no effort of my own, I’ve stumbled upon two old friends, simply due to the internet’s social construct of linking between webpages.

Lion likes to talk about the ways in which internet technologies enable people to find and congregate together in real life, in other words, as an enabling technology that lowers the barrier of social networking. (Speaking of which, Lion’s been doing some excellent work on lowering the technological barrier–or the laziness barrier?–to linking with LocalNames. It’s very cool and I look forward to the time when the technical barrier to entry is low enough for me to take part.) I don’t need to know where someone exists physically; I can very quickly make them a virtual neighbor by linking to them from my virtual location.

We live in a very cool time.

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