Even on the open web, where they are not designed to distract, likes are still a bit of a weak form of interaction. I think they have their place, but I want something a bit more. Something more than comments below a post, too. They’re a bit constrained – in hock to the main body of text above.
I came across the idea of blogchains the other day, on Tom Critchlow’s blog I believe. The word is from Venkatesh Rao, and the very tl;dr is that it’s a string of short, ad-hoc blog posts that build on a theme. That’s cool, and tied in with a wiki is kind of how I see me builing up ideas over time.
But where the idea gets really interesting (for me) is when it extends to cross-site blogchains and open blogchains. These are more open-ended, involving two or more people conversing and building on a theme, simply by posting to their blog about it and linking the posts together. Kind of like a webring, but for posts rather than sites.
There’s definitely something to be said for the long-form, turn-based conversation. One of the best conversations I have had recently was a long email chain. And some of the thoughts that have stuck with me the most are ones I’ve written as a long reply to someone else’s open question or musings on a topic.
The blogchain thing reminded me of something Kicks wrote about a few months back – hyperconversations. It’s a chat between friends, conducted across blogs and wikis. Less formal than a blogchain – no predetermined theme.
It’s very informal and fluid. It’s completely simple: just leaving messages for each other on our sites.
Conversations that last
I think what they’re both getting at, is using social software to have distributed conversations that last more than just an hour or two.
Chris wrote about the temporality of social media.
Taking this a level deeper, social is thereby forcing us to not only think shallowly, but to make our shared histories completely valueless.
Shallow conversations disappear off the timeline and out of our minds pretty quickly. As mentioned, I don’t think this is true just for Twitter and Facebook though. It’s more a problem of the medium.
Relatedly, contemporary fediverse interfaces borrow from surveillance-capitalism based popular social networks by focusing on breadth of relationships rather than depth. […] What if instead of focusing on how many people we can connect to we instead focused on the depth of our relationships?
Not to rag on likes and reposts too much. I do them plenty. There’s a time and place for everything. And I’m not saying that I want to have to sit down and write a 500 word blog post every time I want to say hi to a friend. But! I would definitely like some more conversations that last.
So who’s up for a blogchain, or a hyperconversation?