Tag: drawing

The Social Media Archipelago

On 1st October, I’ll be transitioning the Thought Shrapnel newsletter to Substack. More about that here. What’s interesting is the ecosystem that’s being created there — including Substack Notes, which is where I came across this post.

I’ve several things to say about this hand-drawn map of the ‘social media archipelago’. First, as the top commenter on the post notes, it’s similar to a classic xkcd cartoon from 2007 and shows how much the landscape has changed.

Second, Chelsea Troy quite rightly points out that we’ve got a Twitter-shaped hole in the internet, which people are filling with either private communities (Slack/Discord), the Fediverse (Mastodon, etc.), or Twitter-like things (Bluesky, etc.)

What I think they’re missing is.. Substack Notes. For someone who loves reading and writing, it’s full of interesting people sharing thoughtful things. You can find my notes here.

To anyone looking to navigate the ongoing perils of social media, it can be a challenging and daunting task. An adventure marked by intense trepidation and foreboding, by fear and doubt. But worry no longer, I have drawn a map.

I present to you, The Social Media Archipelago.

Whether you’re lost among the Musky Mountains or the Dunk Swamps of Twitterland, or in the selfie-obsessed Forest of Mirrors on the Isle of Insta, I hope this chart can be a helpful guide on your journey. Never again be stranded among the bleak deserts of Facebook, no interesting content in sight. Never again be sucked into the maelstrom of the Doomscroll, forever locked among the whirlpools of cheap dopamine hits.

Instead, look toward the lone peak of innocent hopes, reminiscent of the heady days of the early internet, where healthy conversation and good faith debate may yet flourish. Look to the terra novalis, known to the early cartographers as the mythical land of Substackus Notum.

Or in the common tongue — Substack Notes.

(it was a slow day at work ok)

Source: Note by M. E. Rothwell on Substack

Friday federations

These things piqued my interest this week:

  • You Should Own Your Favorite Books in Hard Copy (Lifehacker) — “Most importantly, when you keep physical books around, the people who live with you can browse and try them out too.”
  • How Creative Commons drives collaboration (Vox) “Although traditional copyright protects creators from others redistributing or repurposing their works entirely, it also restricts access, for both viewers and makers.”
  • Key Facilitation Skills: Distinguishing Weird from Seductive (Grassroots Economic Organizing) — “As a facilitation trainer the past 15 years, I’ve collected plenty of data about which lessons have been the most challenging for students to digest.”
  • Why Being Bored Is Good (The Walrus) — “Boredom, especially the species of it that I am going to label “neoliberal,” depends for its force on the workings of an attention economy in which we are mostly willing participants.”
  • 5: People having fun on the internet (Near Future Field Notes) — “The internet is still a really great place to explore. But you have to get back into Internet Nature instead of spending all your time in Internet Times Square wondering how everything got so loud and dehumanising.”
  • The work of a sleepwalking artist offers a glimpse into the fertile slumbering brain (Aeon) “Lee Hadwin has been scribbling in his sleep since early childhood. By the time he was a teen, he was creating elaborate, accomplished drawings and paintings that he had no memory of making – a process that continues today. Even stranger perhaps is that, when he is awake, he has very little interest in or skill for art.”
  • The Power of One Push-Up (The Atlantic) — “Essentially, these quick metrics serve as surrogates that correlate with all kinds of factors that determine a person’s overall health—which can otherwise be totally impractical, invasive, and expensive to measure directly. If we had to choose a single, simple, universal number to define health, any of these functional metrics might be a better contender than BMI.”
  • How Wechat censors images in private chats (BoingBoing) — “Wechat maintains a massive index of the MD5 hashes of every image that Chinese censors have prohibited. When a user sends another user an image that matches one of these hashes, it’s recognized and blocked at the server before it is transmitted to the recipient, with neither the recipient or the sender being informed that the censorship has taken place.”
  • It’s Never Too Late to Be Successful and Happy (Invincible Career) — “The “race” we are running is a one-person event. The most important comparison is to yourself. Are you doing better than you were last year? Are you a better person than you were yesterday? Are you learning and growing? Are you slowly figuring out what you really want, what makes you happy, and what fulfillment means for you?”
  • ‘Blitzscaling’ Is Choking Innovation—and Wasting Money (WIRED) — “If we learned anything from the dotcom bubble at the turn of the century, it’s that in an environment of abundant capital, money does not necessarily bestow competitive advantage. In fact, spending too much, to soon on unproven business models only heightens the risk that a company’s race for global domination can become a race to oblivion.”

Image: Federation Square by Julien used under a Creative Commons license