A friend recently asked why I worked so hard to give this server an identity. I believe he thought the subjects I addressed, particularly patterns, would be better served if anonymously woven together in the global web. The following are excerpts from my reply.

C2.COM as Public Space

I've been influenced by Roger Blumberg's WWW '94 paper that asks if there isn't a better metaphor for the web than a super highway. A highway is, after all, a place we don't really want to be. The author suggests "public space" as a better metaphor and then considers three forms: museums, public lands and billboards. He makes some interesting observations. Have you ever noticed that some publicly owned museums can be hard to see while privately owned billboards are hard to avoid?

I think of PPR as a privately owned public place. I want people to come visit and enjoy this space so I work hard improving it. My improvements are, in effect, my statement as to what the web should be. Although I admire many other places in the web, I've chosen not to mimic any in a literal way. Diversity is good. But diversity is also confusing. There is a lot of latitude in html to make different kinds of space. So I want to make it clear when you've entered or left this space. There are many doors leading both in and out. That's why it has identity.

Actually, the server has three identities: C2, PPR and WikiWikiWeb. C2 is a billboard of sorts, though I've tried to make it valuable to those who see it. PPR is mostly like a museum. It's dedicated to a narrow subject specifically to distinguish itself from other museums. Wiki is another space still, more like open land where one can do pretty much as they please with only an occasional sign making suggestions. I will add more identities as their visions come to me.