Truth or dare?

Update: the experiment has finished; the form below is now disabled. Clicking on the link will now take you to a static page displaying all the graffiti. Thanks to everyone who participated. I'll write up my thoughts on what happened tonight.

This is an experiment. I don't think it will work, but I'm intrigued as to whether you will prove me wrong.

You may not know—but you should know—that most of what you do on the web is monitored. Where you've come from, where you're going, what you do when you get there. In the blogosphere, this is doubly so. There's a limit to the surveillance; all that others can see is your ip address (from which they can often determine your country of origin), the characteristics of your browser, etc. On well-frequented sites, the level of surveillance is usually reduced to such a rough granularity that you are lost in the statistics. Nonetheless, it's a significant intrusion.

Below is a form. Here's where trust comes in. You can type whatever you like into the form, and hit submit. What you write will appear on another page on this site, the "graffiti wall". It will be completely anonymous. What you write will be stored in a file with a generic timestamp: 1/1/1970 12:00am. This will prevent me or anyone else matching what you write to visitation statistics.

On the graffiti wall, there will be a permanent link to every submission. Anyone can read what you write; no-one will know it was you. The experiment will run for about a week.

What I'm saying is, you can write anything you like here, without surveillance. It will be a shout in the fog. What do you want to say? Three words, or three hundred? Tell a story, beautiful or harrowing. Sing your favourite song. Write that poem you've got hidden away. Or a special name. Or a sudden thought.

This isn't about quality; it's about trust. Yours in me, and mine in you.

Link: The Graffiti Wall

Joseph | 8 Apr 2004

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