Off the Top: Writing Entries


July 7, 2018

The Sidebar is the New Back Bar

Back in the days when I had time to hangout with friends for drinks, many places had a “back bar” that was more quiet and private.

I haven’t been in the habit of posting here as much as I used to, but I still am putting things into Pinboard and somethings I flag with “linkfodder”, which is my relatively unique tag to pull out favorites. I use the API from Pinboard to pull the linkfodder tagged items into the sidebar here. Occasionally I annotate them and that is brought here as well. This sidebar mini blog feels sort of like the back bar, which is a little more quiet and calm and you can see some things of interest to me (if that is of interest to you) and track them down.



The Writing Ache

It has been a while since I’ve written here, or over at Personal InfoCloud. I have an even larger stack of things in my writing queue and it is getting to the point that I am aching to write.

Shift Happened

I have a few things I really want to and need to get out. One is to take the Shift Happened series I started and made it through 4 of 16 I have outlined and I am finding the shifts myself and others saw and were living and advising through, happened to far more and they are really lost and acting as if these shifts never happened. Still.

Complexity / Social Lenses

The other thing is my Complexity / Social Lenses are now numbering in the 70s and I need to write to frame the core 12 or so I often use as half-day or full-day workshops to help others see through the fog of complexity with social and other complex environments they work and live within. I have been hoping to get these into a book, but the timing either wasn’t right or the environment (publishing company) shifted.

Information Strata

The last of these is around information depth, which I started relabelling Information Strata, that I have been including in client work and as one of the lenses related to social objects / socially mediated objects (depending if it was Jyri Engstrom or Karin Knor Cetina as one’s entry point). Information strata gets back to the core point and realization in the early 2000s that having a discussion with the subject in clear sight drastically improves the depth of the conversation, reduces errors from lack of clarity or misunderstanding, and improve conversational (information sharing) efficiency. Somehow today that basic concept is really lost and people accept the poor communication patterns as a given or don’t think to investigate a better way.

Over the last 10 years or so I started using a point system around the layers inhibiting a person from having a clear view of what is being discussed. This concept of having a clear understanding and isn’t new, it was something I learned as a communication major in many dog years ago as an undergrad. I need to do a decent write-up of this to have something to point to when helping others. I’m also realizing Info Strata leads right back to the “[Come to Me Web]” and related matters where the importance of bringing things related near has prime importance when building a service and system for someone to live and work with.

Now what I need is time and stability at the same time to get these going. Oh, and to get the ever bumped side project moving forward again.



March 13, 2016

PubPub from MIT Media Lab

I just stumbled into MIT Media Lab’s PubPub service that is an open platform for writing new research journals. It has some nice collaborative features, versioning, embraces markdown at its core, and inline discussions.

Social Circles

One of the pieces I really want to explore is how its social dimensions work. My my take on different things I write and have interest in have different social circles that I want to ping and get feedback from. But, there are subjects and groups / communities that I really would like to participate in as well. This is a more complicated and complex area that really needs work and focus. Google+ tried this but deeply flubbed it as their circles are based on individual’s perspectives and not socially constructed realities (knowing the boundaries of who is involved in a circle and having really solid social interaction design around that is a basic requirement, something nobody at Google seemed to consider nor have basic foundations in social sciences to understand this basic need). For PubPub, getting these constructs right would be really helpful and make it a really powerful service and platform.

Other than PubPub

PubPub is fairly close to what I was hoping Poetica would become and Draft app. I’ve been thinking about this for The Lenses and its subset, Social Lenses writings. Also just being able to write blogs and get knowledgeable sanity checks on them from others before posting. This is something I was trying to do with Draft app and had some success with people who are familiar with markdown (which is most people I interact with), but alerting people or subsets of groups that there is something I would really like early looks at and feedback is where it falls a bit short. It also seems like Nate Kontny is now more focussed on Highrise (light CRM service that he took over and now is CEO) than Draft. Also with the purchase of Poetica and its imminent shuttering, I’m looking at other options.

Some of what I have interest in can be found in Medium, but I’d rather just syndicate there, given their use policy. Medium is a really nice content creation platform, with some okay drafting with feedback capabilities, but I’m looking for a bit more. I also really prefer Markdown approach these days as it keeps things really light and I can edit and work on writing from most any platform I have with me or at my access, even if I’m lacking a network connection (which is something that is really helpful for focus for me actually).

One PubPub Wish

The one thing I wish PubPub had was an open source version where I owned the platform and could run it on a server of my choosing. But, it looks like this is in the plans (a few bugs need to be squashed on their way to this), as the PubPub About page states.


Previous Month

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.