The Inhospitable Nature of the Web

I just got pwnd.  It is not the first time.  In fact you might say I pwnd myself.

I was trying to imagine this morning the most hospitable digital presence. My idea was to analyze it with an eye toward mimicking with disciplined practice.

I chose Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Specifically, I chose the opening invitation for viewers to visit the neighborhood.

Ironically, the episode I chose was titled, “What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel”.  I have been struggling to make sense of the digital citizenship neighborhood so graciously created by #digciz folks (I won’t name them individually for fear of leaving someone out of the thank you).  I figured that if somebody knew ‘hospitality’ it was Fred Rogers.

Here is the opening:  (Don’t be afraid Sheri, it is the real one.)

Here’s how I pwnd myself.  I originally chose a different version. I watched it about two-thirds of the way through and then tweeted it out as an example of digital hospitality.  How I wish I had watched to the end.  It was a rather horrible one where someone had edited in lots of examples of horrific exploding heads and melting bodies and…well, I am a farmer and am used to blood and guts, but the contrast between Mr. Rogers and the horrific ending left me shaking with rage.

Thankfully, Sheri Edwards, did watch to the end and promptly let me know. I deleted the tweet as soon as I could and I apologize to all who saw it.

What lesson could I possibly take away from this pwnage,   from this other clip which could only be characterized euphemistically as a ‘non-example’?

It was inhospitable. It was the opposite of the original clip.  I had inadvertently stumbled onto the ends of the continuum from hospitable to inhospitable.

My first realization (one of many I hope) was that hospitality had to involve feeling of some sort, be it  in digital or touchspace.  If there is no feeling, then there is no hospitality.  Sometimes I have put this feeling into a larger category that I call “skin in the game”. Without skin in the game, there can be no hospitality.  Part of that ante up is trust, part of it is faith, part of it is providing a safe space to explore, part of it is being a concierge whose purpose is to amplify not dampen the experience of hospitality.  The evil clip had none of this redeeming value.  It ripped a feeling from me. It did not invite one.

This video has lots more layers than that and I hope to explore how Mr. Rogers does his magic so that I can apply that same magic to my own disciplined practice of digital hospitality.

YMMV, but I invite you to look at Mr. Rogers and help me explore further what the practice of #digciz entails.  We might make a beautiful lighthouse.

Here is a space for adding your observations and adding to the light. (Let me know if you have any issues with this Dropbox space or you can suggest a better one or a more hospitable one.)



  1. // Reply

    Love this post. Your words inspired me to create this:
    Skin In The Game

    We have agency over ourselves; none other, so you deleted what did not fit your idea. We helped each other.

    We choose our spaces and places; and we choose how we react to others, and we can choose to be beneficent.

    It’s not easy being green– but we have to choose; we all live on one planet; so we all have “skin in the game.” We can keep that light shining or move into darkness.

    I imagine, given our human nature, that our lights flicker; we’re not perfect — but we set our standard and follow that light path more often than not.

    Thanks for your wise words, guiding us as we live “digciz” ~ Sheri

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