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?
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.
- 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.
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.