Category: Microcasts (page 1 of 2)

Microcast #086 — Strategies for dealing with surveillance capitalism

Over the last year (at least) I’ve been talking about the dangers of surveillance capitalism. Stephen Haggard picked up on this and, after an email conversation, sent through an audio provocation for disucssion.

Microcast #086 — Strategies for dealing with surveillance capitalism

If you’d like to join this discussion, feel free to comment on this microcast, or reply with your own thoughts in audio or text format in a part of the web under your control!

Show notes


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Image cropped and rotated from an original by Tim Gouw

Microcast #085 — Extensions for Mozilla Firefox

In the last quarter of 2019, I got rid of my Google Pixelbook and Chromebox, and switched full-time to Linux and Firefox.

I still need to dip into Chromium occasionally to use Loom but, on the whole, I’m really happy with my new setup. In this microcast, I go through my Firefox extensions and the reasons I have them installed.

Microcast #085 — Extensions for Mozilla Firefox

Show notes

The following are links to the Firefox Add-ons directory:


Image by emylo0 from Pixabay

Microcast #084 – Chris Dixon on RSS, crypto, and community ownership of the internet

I don’t often listen to the a16z podcast but for some reason I decided to listen to an episode about the past, present, and future of the internet while out for a long walk.

In it, Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of Buzzfeed, interviews Chris Dixon, a partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. A section of it really struck me, which I’d like to share with you now.

Microcast #084 – Chris Dixon on RSS, crypto, and community ownership of the internet

I’d be interested in your thoughts on it, too. Are you optimistic about the kind of approach that Dixon outlines?

Show notes

Microcast #083 – Ambiguous in Kuwait City

Some reflections on my digital literacies pre-conference workshop yesterday for AMICAL.

Show notes

Microcast #082 – Nodenoggin

This week, I’ve been delighted to be able to catch up with Adam Procter, academic, games designer, open advocate, and long-time supporter of Thought Shrapnel.

We discussed everything from the IndieWeb to his PhD project, with relevant links below!

Show notes

Microcast #081 – Anarchy, Federation, and the IndieWeb

Happy New Year! It’s good to be back.

This week’s microcast answers a question from John Johnston about federation and the IndieWeb. I also discuss anarchism and left-libertarianism, for good measure.

Show notes

Microcast #080 – Redecentralize and MozFest

This week’s microcast recaps my involvement in two events last weekend.

Show notes

Microcast #079 – information environments

This week’s microcast is about information environments, the difference between technical and ‘people’ skills, and sharing your experience.

Show notes

Microcast #078 — Values-based organisations

I’ve decided to post these microcasts, which I previously made available only through Patreon, here instead.

Microcasts focus on what I’ve been up to and thinking about, and also provide a way to answer questions from supporters and other readers/listeners!

This microcast covers ethics in decision-making for technology companies and (related!) some recent purchases I’ve made.

Show notes

Ensuring the sustainability of Thought Shrapnel

Over the last couple of months, after coming back from a hiatus over Lent, I’ve really poured my free time into Thought Shrapnel. My hope was that, by providing daily content, there would be a corresponding uptick in the number of people willing to become a supporter.

In fact, the opposite has happened, with almost 10% of supporters ending their backing of Thought Shrapnel over the past few weeks. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong here.

After some research and comparison with other creators, I think I’ve figured out what’s gone wrong:

Most people do not want more email. So if the only thing you have to offer them is, ‘Hey, subscribe to this newsletter and you’ll get some more email,’ that’s not that compelling. But if you can create a different value proposition where you can say, ‘Look, I’m creating the kind of writing that you can’t find anywhere else and I need you to be a part of this and to support this work if you value it,’ then I think that people get into that. And they want to get it four times a week, but it’s not necessarily the idea of getting it four times a week that is going to be the motivating factor.

Judd Legum

Nobody asked me to send them more email. Not one of the supporters asked for ‘exclusive access’ to articles a week before everyone else. I just assumed.

With Thought Shrapnel, it’s not the money that drives me. After hosting costs, etc. I give away most of what I receive to support other creators and worthy causes. Rather, it’s the exchange of energy that’s important to me. Committing to even $1/month is different to just hitting ‘like’ or ‘retweet’.

So, going forward, I’m going to try a different approach. For everything I publish:

  • Comments are on
  • Three different types of post each week
  • Everyone gets access at the same time

On Mondays I’ll publish an article-style post. On Wednesdays I’ll publish a post answering any questions that have come in, or a microcast. And then on Fridays I’ll publish a round-up post of interesting links.

I’m still aiming to share 30 links per week. The weekly newsletter will still be a digest of what’s gone on the open web. I just hope that trying things this way will both be more sustainable.

So, I have a couple of questions:

  1. Do you have any questions for me to answer in tomorrow’s post?
  2. Would you consider becoming a supporter of Thought Shrapnel?

Thanks in advance!

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