I went away from FoC for a few weeks and dropped b...
# thinking-together
I went away from FoC for a few weeks and dropped by today and I have to say I'm blown away by the diversity of creative and innovative work being brought to light here. And, bizarrely, how little discussion is being initiated by the posts! Is everyone so focused on their own stuff that they're not available for engaging in a broader perspective? I'm worried that a lot of great stuff could be going the wrong way or could fizzle simply through lack of community coherence. Dunno. Whaddyall think?
[kicking off a thread to make it easier to reply]
I don’t think you are wrong! I don’t have anything profound to say that’s like “a fix,” but I’d say that community takes a lot of work, and knowing how to do that work is a difficult skill to cultivate. I think there is a lot of sort of “dropping it and wishing” where you sorta cross your fingers and hope a community appears because building that community is essentially a full time lift and the vibe here seems to be focused on making the stuff (which isn’t a value call by any means, just sort of a vibe check).
I don’t have a “thing,” per se, but the way I show up here is to try and ask questions without a strong inclination of where stuff will land, but curiosity about where it ends up.
I speak for myself, but often the more eye-opening stuff here leaves me a bit speechless/commentless. Often it takes a while to process it, but the impact has been had, and the influence has been made! A 🍰 emoji shows my appreciation
I’m scrolling up here and seeing 7 replies, 14 replies, 16 replies. Is that a little, or are you talking about other channels?
Personally, I use Slack-like software all day for work and am burned out on it. So during the week I usually just save links to savor on weekends. Slows down my pace of communication significantly, though. 😅
I'm stretched pretty thin, so I only weigh-in when I have either something trivial and jokey or something really substantial to add based on preexisting knowledge. Wish I could be more involved.
I’ll add that I do like that this place is sort of quiet. Chill vibes like a coffee shop on a slow day, or something. It is easy to keep up with, whereas some slacks I have to be in for work are like 100,000+ people shouting all at once
Yeah, I'm quite happy with the level of activity here, and how it's managed to sustain that level of activity for like 4 years now. I don't wish the community were busier.
I think my (greedy) wish, that I wish for all communities, be nothing can be so perfect, is that it was a bit less broadcast oriented. That folks were able to engage with stuff more deeply…but that may well be a me thing than like a community thing
I do feel like it's more discussion oriented now than it was 2+ years ago. But that's a subtle thing and I have no data. I just remember there being so many links posted which weren't sparking discussion that we split #linking-together off into its own channel, so that the torrent of links wouldn't drown out #thinking-together
Every top level post is somebody's life's work, as Gordon Brander says. I think it's healthy that we don't rush to fill the empty space below it with faff. Hacker News is right over there when I want empty spaces to be filled. More generally, I tend to see a lot more about the world lately as having its own logic even if I don't understand the logic. Most things are not problems. Not rushing to label situations as problems keeps my powder dry and allows me to focus. (It is true that Slack is uniquely able to keep me from noticing notifications. But that too is perhaps not a problem. I'll find posts a month or year from now, thanks to various history search tools, when I'm in the right mental space for them.)
I'm mostly a lurker here, and find that in many cases my response to posts is limited to "add this to my
queue for when I can devote the time it deserves"
I haven't seen so much of the general thematic discussion threads recently as I used to remember. However I personally appreciate being about to dip in every so often and still keep up to date.
A day later I'd like to add a corrective to my previous comment: if a post doesn't have enough discussion, the best way to change that is to.. comment! Be the change you want to see in the world. I don't mean to ever discourage anyone from commenting. Also, #devlog-together exists for just random kibitzing on stuff you don't feel comfortable posting in another channel for whatever reason.
(big props for “kibitzing”)
(Technical term from the chess world.)
Hi! I'm back again - I seem to have adopted a different pattern of engagement where I drop by every few days to see what's going on.. Anyway, my point was very much about how people are throwing stuff down here, and there's some discussion, but there's not so much, well, I used the word "coherence" - by which I mean, this is more a "drop-link-read-later-trigger-brief-chat" place. Not a "deep discussion and finding cross-pollination of concepts" place. Not sure if that's needed or if it is, how to fix it. Just an observational thing that concerns me given the rich diversity here
If you want to see real cross-pollination, then instead of looking at the discussion in any one thread, I invite you to look at how people's perspectives are sculpted over months or years.
Ah! OK. Good point. Have a slice of cake on me.
.. and a nice hot cuppa coffee
anyhoo - I do suspect the medium (Slack, or chat generally) may be the issue I'm trying to fix here
Maybe we should have a Virtual Conference, where everyone is invited to focus on the related work of one group of the community here at a time.
I finally met @Ivan Reese in person in the past month, and it gave me a chance to reflect on how talking to everyone here has changed my projects. Like, you don't even have to listen to my words, just compare what I was working on back in 2018 when I first came on here (e.g. https://github.com/akkartik/mu/blob/main/subx.md) with now (e.g. https://futureofcoding.slack.com/archives/C03RR0W5DGC/p1695690320693779). The jury's still out over whether this is an improvement 😆 But it's definitely a change. I've definitely also wished there was more coherence to the patterns by which we build on each other's work. The Slack medium definitely doesn't help there. It's too easy for stuff to fall off our collective horizon. I think I'd appreciate a little bit more of the recent past intruding on the present in organic ways. Hopefully Linen will help there.
Could be nice to have a book club type event. Or something to bring focus and more engagement. Maybe have people vote with emojis on one of a few subjects each week to do a deeper dive convo on.