One of the first ‘personal’ websites I ever maintained was martinetics.com. While I’d worked on the net for years, I started the personal website as a dumping ground for bits of information I had come across in the course of my morphed Internet-aviation life. When it became clear in late 2009 that the focus of the site was leaning towards WordPress and PHP, the site became Internoetics – with other subject matter finding their own dedicated corner of the web. The website was essentially a dumping ground for questions that were asked of me from friends and family. In later years, every article posted was a response to an emailed question. However, after 500 articles and tens of millions of views later, I’ve decided to retire the website, rewrite all the content, and migrate the modified material over to BeliefMedia.
In the course of rationalizing our core product base, other websites will also be absorbed into another or retired completely. It’s not that they don’t serve a profitable purpose… it’s that maintaining a portfolio of around 1000 websites requires time that’s better served on other more structured projects.
We originally considered keeping Internoetics as a code-esque satellite website for our BeliefMedia development team. However, the content was old and the site desperately needed an overhaul. Given that our clients are now a focus above all else, migrating the new-and-improved material over to BM made more sense.
Despite the tens of millions of views, over 3 million code downloads, and 15,000 published comments, the site proved to be more of a liability in the end. It’s surprising how the average user has an expectation of free support… and will turn to insults when one is unable to comply with a complex request.
The Meaning of Internoetics
The Greek word Nous is a philosophical term for the mind or intellect. Outside of a philosophical context, it is often used in English to denote "common sense" ‐ although the Greek context usually applies. Nous has evolved in the English language into the word 'noetics'. Therefore, Internoetics loosely translates to 'The Internet Mind and Intellect'. A broader morphism of the word Internoetics could mean internet-ethics ‐ or the 'Internet philosophy'… which points towards the importance of knowledge and the pursuit of vocational excellence. Sharing information and ideas, collaboration, feedback and discussion was the basis of the website.
Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. Its focus is how anything (digital, mechanical or biological) processes information, reacts to information, and changes or can be changed to better accomplish the first two tasks. The term cybernetics stems from the Greek kybernetes (steersman, governor, pilot, or rudder ‐ the same root as government). Cybernetics is a broad field of study, but the essential goal of cybernetics is to understand and define the functions and processes of systems that have goals, and that participate in circular, causal chains that move from action to sensing to comparison with desired goal, and again to action. Studies in cybernetics provide a means for examining the design and function of any system ‐ including social systems such as business management, social networks and organisational learning ‐ for the purpose of making information models more efficient and effective. As such, Internoetics was about information management, organisational learning, collaboration, feedback and discussion ‐ and making information, blogging and coding more workable and efficient.
In essence, the name Internoetics was chosen to reflect the core values, virtues and and code of the authors of the site in one all-encompassing word. The motivations and values of Internoetics haven’t been lost, however, as BM continues to support those same ideals.
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