Hello! Happy Friday. We made it through another week. Here’s another edition of weeknotes for you which is a collection of things that have passed through my brain, or in some cases, stayed inside and are still swirling around.
A loooong while ago, I had a stab at writing some principles having been inspired by the work of others. A conversation this week prompted me to think about them again.
I think the value of having design/service principles are…
- It’s statement of ambition and intent for the future
- It promotes a shared understanding of what good looks like
- You can weigh decisions against the principles to gauge if you’re heading in the right direction
My previous attempt at principles was not particularly successful because I don’t think I did a very good job at bringing them to life. I also think they were too ambitious/unrealistic, so perhaps I need to scale them back so they’re actually useful in terms of the current context. Which isn’t to say that they couldn’t be tweaked in the future as things develop.
The journey and not just the destination
How you work together through the delivery of a thing has value in addition to the actual delivery of said thing…. or something like that. Might need to workshop that a bit more. What I think I’m trying to articulate is that the work that goes into bringing about a change generates value in of itself.
It can create working relationships between people that might not need to interact during ‘business as usual’. It can bring focus to stubborn problems that nobody had time to fix until now. It can span organisational boundaries through a common goal and a shared understanding.
Obvs, this is in the ideal scenario where people are given the space to contribute to a project. As we covered in a previous edition of weeknotes, the thing that often kills collaboration are competing priorities elsewhere.
I’m one of the 10 million people who went and had a look at Threads this week. It’s impressive from a technical standpoint that they could scale to that many people in a such a short time. The platform itself remains fairly minimal for the moment. Nevertheless, I’ve observed that the people who are using it seem to love it.
Not to yuck anybody elses yum, but I don’t think it’s going to be for me. It seems extremely algorhithm heavy and most of my timeline consisted of ‘branter’ and influencers. I think it absolutely will put yet another nail in Twitter’s coffin because it replaces the very thing that made Twitter popular for so long, in that everyone you might be interested in is there.
If my dabbling with slightly esoteric forms of social media has taught me anything, it’s that my current preference is slightly smaller, quieter and nerdier community spaces to hang out in.
There’s a good deal of hand wringing going on about Threads using the ActivityPub protocol and what it’ll means for the rest of the Fediverse when Meta decide to switch on the firehose of data. I think as long as people have a choice for whether they want to see Threads or not, which is one of the advanatages of federation, then everything will be okay.
Presuming that Twitter is almost certainly on the way out, I’ve been considering other options for professional networking purposes. If we’ve ever spent any time talking about social media, I’ve probably disclosed my level of loathing for LinkedIn. That’s either met with knowing nods or looks of surprise. Upon reflection, what I’ve realised is that I spent a lot of time carefully curating who I followed on Twitter, whereas I either outright neglected LinkedIn or went through periods of just acccepting all manner of connection requests without any thought. As a result, my timeline rarely represented anything I was interested in.
So, I decided to do something about that by pruning my timeline and trying to be a bit more intentional about who I’d want to populate it. I’d say that’s mostly worked quite well. The quality of updates has improved, but my timeline is relatively static. Maybe that’s not an immediate problem as I’d prefer quality over quantity to start with at least. The experiment continues!
- AI and the automation of work – https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2023/7/2/working-with-ai
- Taking the red pill… – https://www.curiouscatherine.info/2023/07/04/taking-the-red-pill
- So where are we all supposed to go now? – https://www.theverge.com/2023/7/3/23782607/social-web-public-apps-end-reddit-twitter-mastodon
- Twitter is burning, Bluesky is smug. Where is the best place to do your pathetic doomscrolling? – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jul/07/twitter-is-burning-bluesky-is-smug-where-is-the-best-place-to-do-your-pathetic-doomscrolling
- Mid-1990’s Sega document leak shows how it lost the second console war to Sony – https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2023/07/mid-1990s-sega-document-leak-shows-how-it-lost-the-second-console-war-to-sony/
- Often, not always – https://world.hey.com/bbailey/often-not-always-ef9cb540