Information strategies


1 What's an information strategy?

AKA infostrat. AKA personal knowledge management?

What is my strategy to comb through the gigs and gigs of input I can plug myself into on the Web?

---Kicks Condor (Infostrats)

deciding what and how to bookmark or archive stuff, sorting through conflicting news stories and accusations, and alternating "periods of discovery with periods of digesting and consolidating"

---Kicks Condor (quoting Ton I think?) (Infostrats)

Here's my thoughts on what are some constituents parts of what go into an information strategy:

  • discovery (finding out about interesting things)
  • writing & reflection (producing not just consuming, posting publicly about things I’ve read or seen, and having to think about it before I do)
  • discourse & learning (getting others’ perspective on things, having my horizons expanded and my views challenged)
  • relationships: I think the ‘social’ part of social media should mean forming long-lasting bonds with people, not just being ephemeral blips on each others’ radars

(see Working on an indie information strategy for a bit more)

Came across Harold Jarche via Ton, he teaches about Personal Knowledge Management, and talks about seek, sense, and share. They map pretty closely to what I put above and are all alliterative, awesome.

2 Discovery

  • My Discovery Strategy, v0.2
  • Perhaps peaks and troughs of online consumption vs production is alright. I don't like consumption binges to be honest though.

Kicks is working on a tool called Fraidycat which looks to be a particular approach to a discovery / info strategy.

Part of the idea here is to move past the cluttered news feed (which is itself just a permutation of the e-mail inbox) where you have to look through ALL the posts for EVERYONE one-by-one. As if they were all personal messages to you requiring your immediate attention.

– Kicks Condor

adds the ability to assign "importance" to someone you are following - allowing you to track them without needing to be aware of them every second.

Show HN: Fraidycat | Hacker News

I find this interesting - it kind of suggests there is utility in a curated feed. You see some pushback against the curated timelines of the big silos - and rightly so, because they're curating the timeline for their own ends, not yours. But there's a tendency to then go to the other poll, and say just give me an entirely chronological, unfiltered feed. I don't think that's ideal either, at least not if you're following a lot of people. Two options to get around info overload are: use a filtering strategy where you hand curate such that you prioritise seeing certain people's posts first (e.g. Ton's strategy), albeit still in strict chronology; or this kind of algorithmic approach where something determines the order of what you see (which I think is maybe the fraidycat approach, although need to read more). Maybe you could combine both.

But yeah - the 'just show me it chronological' is not a great argument to my mind. It might be beneficial to have some heuristics of what you see - BUT the main criteria being that you determine the heuristic.

For example, I would like something that strongly favours things posted by my friends first, but does occasionally pull something in from something further afield, slightly outside of my bubble.

I have a memory of Seb talking about this at IndieWebCamp Utrecht - I think he was working on his own personal algorithm.

3 Discourse / learning / interaction

  • I don't like likes. Less likes, more comments. Comments are a richer interaction.
    • requires less feeds to begin with, I think
    • there may be some small uses cases for actual likes
    • I wrote a bit about this on screen capitalism

4 Time well spent

I uninstalled Tusky. It's a great libre app for Mastodon. But after a morning spent losing about an hour (or more!) of time scrolling through the timelines, before even getting out of bed, I figured it's something I don't need on my phone. Keep the firehose timeline at arms length. If I want to for some reason just scroll through everything on Mastodon, I'll go to a website and login.

Counterpoint: I found out some really interesting articles and points of view during that hour of scrolling…

Point: I still can discover those things, the point is to do that only at certain times, it's not something I need to hand, to reflexively dip in to at any moment without thinking.

5 Personal wikis

6 My posts about it

7 Useful links

8 Backlinks

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