In Give up control, Jeffrey Veen writes:

All of these things are probably true of the work you do online:

  1. Your web site is a tiny piece of a much larger experience.
  2. Nobody sees your web site the way you expected. Few use your content the way you intended.
  3. Everything you create online is being ripped apart and recombined with other stuff by thousands of curious geeks. Or at least, should be.
  4. The easiest way to fail is by trying to control all this.

Those can be stated in other terms as well. Here's my take:

  1. Your users are not your users.
  2. Intent and expectations are nearly impossible to manage.
  3. Your content will not always appear in context.
  4. Don't worry about it.

It's interesting to see which companies get this more than others--especially the smaller ones.

Posted by jzawodn at October 18, 2005 01:14 PM

Reader Comments
# Charles said:

There is an old Postmodernist aphorism about painting, it is the subject of much debate over interpretation (up to and including PhD dissertations), but it seems apropos here:

"The audience cannot please the painter, it can only please the painting."

on October 18, 2005 01:24 PM
# Mike said:

3. Your content's copyright is being violated, or should be (or shouldn't be copyrighted)?

on October 18, 2005 02:00 PM
# Flex said:

Might as well add 5. Do you Yahoo?

on October 18, 2005 10:09 PM
# Shrikant Joshi said:

Agree with Flex.

Disagree with point 3. Your content CAN appear in context. So what if Yahoo! cannot do it...

Sorry about that, Jeremy.

on October 18, 2005 11:00 PM
# Gudmundur Karlsson said:

The web is basically public, so of course you can't control much after you publish. You can try to hack some user concepts using cookies etc. to control access and usage, but at some point the web has to grow up and:

1. Create a real global user concept
2. Manage access to resources (web pages and any other files) using user groups and relationships.
3. Allow web site designers and service providersto control the context
4. Really worry about how content is used.

on October 19, 2005 11:32 AM
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