Go fetch! – exploring two way interaction on the internet

I was playing “go fetch” with my dog in the park the other day. I threw a stick and  commanded her to “go fetch” the stick. But she was too busy playing with other dogs. So, I sat on a park bench and chatted with some other dog owners. After a while, my dog was at my knee with the stick she had retrieved in her mouth. She was begging me to throw it again for her to chase. By her actions she made it clear to me that retrieving the stick would be at her initiative and not at my command

The internet is another form of  “go fetch”. I place a file online using FTP. I can command that others retrieve my file for example by sending them an email directing that they “go fetch” my sample html file. But the decision to retrieve remains theirs. Unlike email, where I push information at the user, FTP is “an asynchronous technology” that is client driven.  Like my dog, FTP users will not be pushed and will “go fetch” only at their discretion.

Although the internet is a two way street, the direction a user takes remains their prerogative.

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