Eternal September

Our story so far…

Back in the 1960s, TV shows took great pains to catch you up on what had happened so far. Batman spent a minute or so recapping last week's story. So did The Fugitive. The thought was that while most people had seen the show just seven days ago, what about the people who missed it?

Fifteen years ago, someone coined the term, Eternal September. Because each September sees an entire crop of freshman showing up at college, you need to assume that you have to start teaching protocols all over again. Once a year, it's a whole new audience, and they need to learn the ropes.

The Internet has been stuck in September ever since. Every day, new people show up at your blog, on Facebook, everywhere. Every day it's a whole new crop that need to figure out what RSS is and how to subscribe. Every day there are people who spam their address book because it feels like a fine thing to do, then learn their lesson and never do it again. There are new people who need to learn the proper etiquette for interacting on your site. Can you imagine if the real world worked this way? If people walking into your store had never been to a store before? If drivers on the highway had never driven on a highway before?

It's going to be a long time before the medium stabilizes enough for the newbies to catch up, so the only alternative is to accept that it's always September.