Borges and Web 2.0

I have used this Jose Luis Borges quote before (it comes the excellent collection Selected Non-Fictions), but things have been reminding me of it again this morning:

The fact is that each writer creates his precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.

Consider Borges’ quote in the context of the current ardor for using web sites as databases and constructing services interlinking them — mash-ups, as they are sometimes called. The techno-fumbling of the late 1990s comes into frightening focus — I’m now tempted to play revisionist and call much of it useful experiments — when you backtrack the thicket-infested trails from what is emerging today as Web 2.0.


  1. Or perhaps we will look back and view all this as techno-fumbling. As much as I love trying the new technology and services, very little has changed in how I use the web. Only RSS aggregation has truly offered me value. Everything else I enjoy trying out and then utterly forget it after a week. Meebo is a great example. Loved the service. Loved using it. Stopped using it a while back and had trouble remembering the name today. Gmail I still use but thread it through Outlook. Google maps and Virtual earth I use but ultimately because they have much bigger maps than mapquest. The satellite imagery I find useless. Checked out goowy last night. Awesome. I will never visit it again. I cannot think of one mashup that I have used beyond that initial curiosity phase.