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Objects that blog…. An interesting concept, and new to me, so that’s another new thing I have learned from EDCMOOC – Objects That Blog. And I also noted with a sense of immense relief that I am not one. I’m a human that blogs – a blogger in plain and simple words, although sometimes I have been treated like an “object” by others, which I guess we all have been at some stage or the other.

Another reason why sometimes people confuse me with an “object” is because at times my net addiction gets the better of me and I stay glued to my comp like an inanimate “object” for hours at a stretch, and therefore being mistaken for one – something that the casual observer can be forgiven for. I could probably write some more stuff on this, but we have business to attend to – that of checking out what blogjects really are, and being a week-day, time is of the essence, so let’s get back to business.

I had heard of The Internet Of Things earlier but it never aroused any interest in me for some reason, and hence I did not delve into it further. But then, as is the case with so many other things and concepts that caught my interest in EDCMOOC, I was determined to get to know what it is all about. And usually when I need info about anything concerning the internet or computers, I turn to the Wise Geek.

Here is what Wise Geek tells me about Blogjects  – “Blogjects, a word that comes from combining the words “blog” and “objects,” are objects that blog. A blog is a website where people can log their comments, usually on a particular topic. Blogjects refers to the same concept except with blogjects, objects do the blogging instead of people.

The word blogjects was created by researcher Julian Bleecker who wrote an essay entitled “Manifesto for Networked Objects” which describes blogjects and their impact on the world. Blogjects are different than other “things” that are connected to the internet, because these things assertively participate in the internet. In fact, Bleecker writes that blogjects can act in the same way that human bloggers can, creating posts and links much the way that we do now. Essentially, they can share their experiences and observations like a camera recording information, but in a different way.

There are three key characteristics that differentiate blogjects from other internet objects. Blogjects can track and trace where they are; carry with them the knowledge of previous stories, recordings, or experiences; and interact with a group. In this way, blogjects can log what they’re doing, “remember” what they’ve done, and share their information with others, namely the internet’s bloggers and blog readers.”

Pigeon that Blogs,” a project by Beatriz da Costa, is one example of a blogject. This blogject consists of a flock of pigeons that are equipped with sensors to record the environmental conditions in which they fly. They also have a wireless internet connection as well as a GPS (Global Positioning System) which allows for easy tracking. As they fly around, the toxins and other pollutants in the air are recorded and can be traced to where they’ve been, allowing for an organic study of air quality.

There are many uses for blogjects that have not come to light yet, but it is likely that things will increasingly be the bloggers of the future.”

Wow. That sure sounds exciting. But exciting as it may be, it does not really surprise me because technology has been making huge strides, and the risk of sounding like a technological determinist, I must say that maybe this offers tremendous potential.  Imagine the possibilities. There is the possibility of having a blog about virtually anything. I mean, if pigeons can blog, so can any other animal in the world. I have heard of conservationists using chips on animals to track and study them, and this, perhaps, is a logical step further in the same direction.

And I must also say here that the possibilities are fantastic and endless. And in a way, scary too. Imagine living in a world where everything is connected to the internet, constantly transmitting information about us, about our surroundings, about the things that we like, the things that we do. AND they have the same potential as us humans do, in terms of blogging. When humans blog, they talk about the things that they experience, see or do. So do blogjects. So how does this affect us in the times to come ?

Take a look at this video  – Fw: Thinking – which perhaps explains in simple terms how lives could be affected or transformed in the future.

But at the same time, it raises some pertinent questions, the first and foremost being about issues related to privacy. Would this mean that the very objects that WE own, would be spying on us and reporting our every move to the internet ? Do we need such a future ?

Personally, my answer to that would be – well, yes and no. Yes, because it could tremendously improve the quality of life. And no, because humans could easily become slaves to it. Would I consider having such technology in my own living room ? The answer is no. Would I like to see it used elsewhere ? Definitely yes. I’m not trying to say that, hey, great technology so long as it is elsewhere, just don’t bring it inside my house. Far from it. I am saying that it should be applied to studying the environment, the effect of technology on environment, and any other arena that helps to improve the world we live in.

I think I need to explore the concept further before I can give the final verdict for myself. As for you, the reader – well, you are your own best judge.

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