#BlackLivesMatter
I don’t really like likes. On the big silos of the social industry they have become weaponised; a kind of social Taylorism, where the craft of building social relationships has been reduced to unskilled labour – just another way of automating us.

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.

Blogchains

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.

Hyperconversations

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.

The Hyperchat Modality

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?

Spritely: towards secure social spaces as virtual worlds

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?

A total galaxy brain for me just now with regards to progressive summarisation. I’ve realised that just by virtue of having ‘layer 0’, the source text, as part of the progressive summarisation process – I feel less bad about having hundreds of unread articles saved in Wallabag. I feel good about it in fact! It’s the first step of note-taking – I know I have source material on the topic to come back to, recommended by someone I trust, when this topic comes back into my focus. I can dig deeper into it then if I want.

This is very positive. I had started to think of the wealth of information out there on the web as information overload. But now I can go back to thinking about it as an amazing resource, to be tapped into when needed.  (AKA opportunistic compression).

I went to Kendal on New Year’s Eve.  It’s a lovely little town nestled on the edge of the Lake District.  It’s the first time I’ve spent any time there, despite passing through it a lot.

 

Weir and bridge

 

A view from Kendal castle over to the Lake District

 

The Brewery Arts Centre, a brilliant little place

 

Replied to Goodbye 2019 (Oh Hello Ana – Blog)

Ana’s personal blog

Sorry it’s been a tough year for you Ana 🙁

Though I think you’re being hard on yourself (we are always our toughest critics) – it sounds like you did a lot! And I enjoyed hanging out with you at HWC.

Here’s to 2020 being a good one 🙂

Replied to a post by Ton Zijlstra

The new Depot of the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam is becoming an amazing building.
I visited the ThingsCon conference recently in the Nieuwe Instituut across the road from the building site of the depot. Walking towards it I saw the entire Rotterdam skyline with high rises reflected in …

I saw this building while on the way back to the UK from IWC Utrecht! Very interesting – I didn’t know it was to house items from a museum, that’s even cooler. I really liked what I saw of Rotterdam.
Took a trip out to Salford today.  Started off at the People’s History Museum, then walked along the River Irwell to Salford Quays.

Quite a lot of graffiti and street art along the way.

I went to The Lowry and the Imperial War Museum.  Really good exhibition called The State of Us at The Lowry, about the interface between biology and technology.

Also really liked Lowry’s paintings – I hadn’t realised that he did a lot more than just iconic paintings of factory life.  I really liked ‘Portrait of Ann’.  The graphic style.  And it’s very enigmatic.

There was a factory one of my hometown, Wigan, looking pretty industrial back in the 30s or so.

There was a particularly depressing exhibition about Yemen in the IWM.

Very grim stuff – so much suffering.

You get some nice views over the river around Salford Quays.