Borders. The places between. At the edges of everywhere, you will find something interesting. Something akin to what is on either side, but somehow like neither thing.

In the physical world, borders are easy to find. They stand between countries, between cities, and between neighborhoods. Military bases, dive bars, wino hangouts, weird clubs…these are all the stuff of the borderlands.

On the internet, borders are harder to see. They tend to be places where cultures blend, since the physical realm is so meaningless here.

In the old days of the internet, the whole thing was a borderland. BBSs were the wild west of the digital world. You never knew what you mind find when you dialed in to one. Even now, borderlands can be found all over the net.

Warren EllisWhitechapel strikes me as a borderland. Free flowing communication between people of all stripes. The only thing in common being a love for creativity. (Some of the posters there don’t even especially like Warren, which always amuses me.)

Amazing things happen on the borderlands. Cultures clash and mesh, idiotic ideas get bandied about (and sometimes brought to life), grand projects get undertaken, and friendships get made. These things happen elsewhere as well, but I always feel like they happen more often in the places between.

Tilted Forum Project is an old borderland. I hung out there often in the past, and still drop by from time to time now. The talk there is fabulous, and the community is great, but it’s gelled a bit as time goes by.

In some ways, Facebook is a borderland. As everyone uses it, there’s a ton going on there. You can bring together portions of your life that didn’t always co-mingle if you’re not careful.

In a similar way, the new My Outer Space might be a borderland. I only recently signed up, and it’s still getting together, so we’ll see what goes on there.

What borderlands do you hang out in? What magic spot where anything can happen do you point your address bar?

If you don’t have one, you should find one. Perhaps Wayne Coyne and the boys can help show you the way:

2009 Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs – Borderline from George Salisbury on Vimeo.


~ by Benjamin Kenneally on March 16, 2010.

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