I’m getting a little worried. I have a few tiny zits, one close to my nose, and two under my lips. They are not inflamed, so that’s good, but they shouldn’t be there at all. I have been using only my new salicylic acid in the morning, and still using the BP at night. I’ll keep you guys posted, but I want to use only a Regimen that keeps me completely clear, so the bar is set very high.
In a bigger picture framework, nothing ever seems to work as well as the Regimen. I have tried countless things over the years and every single time I go back to the Regimen. At some point you would think I’d give up and just do the Regimen, but for some reason I can’t stop experimenting. This is probably because I don’t want to use the Regimen forever! My dad still breaks out and is 60 years old, so the prospect of using the Regimen for another 30 years is tiring
So, I get my hopes up each time I try something new and they are consistently dashed. But I remain positive and forward thinking. Perhaps the SA product will work. I’ll keep trying for a while. Even if it doesn’t work, if we can get some collaborative technology implemented on Acne.org, we’ll be able to pool the collected learning of all of us, alongside the best minds in medicine, and perhaps come up with alternatives to the Regimen that also work 100% or close to it. Alternately, we may simply discover that the Regimen is the best we’ve got right now. In a worst case scenario, hopefully we can at least come up with alternate Regimens that work well enough so that people who are allergic to BP can use something that approximates the success of a precisely performed benzoyl peroxide Regimen.
Oh yeah, and my brain is exploding in oh so good of a way. I have been reading Wikinomics, which is a book on how collaboration on the Internet is changing everything. It’s putting into words a lot of what I’ve always wanted to do and given me mass ideas. A quick run-down of Wikinomics’ main tenets:
Openness: Companies are becoming more and more open and working with their customers and with each other to produce products and intellectual property that is much better than what they can produce themselves. I think we can definitely do this. Imagine an open letter to large skin care companies on Acne.org where we can ask for them to make us specific products. Then as the products come out we can rate them, and due to increased openness, we can rate the companies as well since we will insist on knowing their environmental and social policies.
Peering: History is replete with heirarchies. I don’t know about you, but I have never been big on authority figures. There’s something inherently weird about it for me. In my eyes we are all peers, and none of us is better than anyone else. What peering refers to is the end of heirarchical structures where companies are structured top down and simply present the public with a finished product or intellectual property. With the advent of the Internet, however, we can now all work together to create content and share it with each other. An example we could use on Acne.org would be personal blogs where people can post their acne treatment story along with pics and links. Perhaps Joel and I could organize these blogs in such a way that everyone knows which blogs are most widely read, and thus informative. We are already doing a lot of peering on Acne.org with the messageboards and gallery, but we can take it a lot further I think.
Sharing: Acne.org grew out of this concept 10 years ago. I never charged for the Regimen or the videos of me doing the Regimen or for any other info on the site. I decided from day one to share the knowledge and let go of the outcome. I’m tempted to say this is the wave of the future, but I think the wave is already upon us. The most successful Internet sites are largely free and involve a huge amount of sharing. Think flikr, myspace, technorati, etc.
Acting globally: The world is unifying like never before, and in large part due to the Internet. Just look at all the countries represented on the Acne.org messageboards. This is simply a fact of the future and a very cool one. Making sure to think outside of the boundaries of our own country helps us bring in the peering and sharing of the world community. So yeah, that’s pretty much where my mind explodes Now I just need more people to help implement this stuff! But I am hopefully hiring someone today.