💬 Communities and Conversations of the Past

Replied to Communities and Conversations of the Past by David TrussDavid Truss (daily-ink.davidtruss.com)

Now Bill is off of Twitter and I may leave the site too before the end of the year. I’m left wondering the same things as Dean, “Maybe online communities are a white whale. What is the best we can hope for in terms of online engagement and community for educators?“

I read this post a few weeks ago David and have been left thinking. I like your point about the digital ecosystem of blogs, Twitter, video and podcasts, I wonder if that is often overlooked. It is never one thing, but I do miss those days. Not sure if or when I will ‘quit Twitter’, but in some ways I feel I already have. I cannot remember the last time I mindlessly scrolled through my feed. For so long I was consuming Tweets through my feed reader, until I discovered that someone took down the bridge, I then found another way via Inoreader, until that bridge was removed too. I was then faced with the choice and seemingly boarded up the house. I sometimes go there to search for something or post a reply to someone, but I never really stay.

The problem that you and Dean touch upon is where is the community space for education? I have never been a fan of LinkedIn, in part that it is not public, but also that it feels too performative. Maybe the work banal ‘magic‘ that encapsulates my days just does not fit there, but then again, maybe I am just naïve to how performative Twitter is/was. I fear I have become a recluse in the woods living in the small hut that is my own website, just talking to myself as the local habitat walks on past wondering what I am doing.

2 responses on “💬 Communities and Conversations of the Past”

  1. Stephen, thank you for the reminder of what I have missed this year after taking a step back from things. I felt that so much of my online life had become stale, repeatable and templated, I wondered if it ‘sparked joy‘ anymore. I had wondered if I was doing things out of habit, rather than with purpose. Sporadically, diving back into my feed, I added a few posts to my site, one on the AI bubble and the other on educational communities, only to discover your responses:

    Let’s allow that AI is a bubble (this saves us an exercise in semantics). Is it true that all bubbles pop? Yes, we can name many bubbles that have popped, but let’s consider some other technologies that experienced rapid growth, so much so that any ‘pop’ of the bubble was merely a rounding error. Like, say, the telephone. Cars. Aircraft. Microwave ovens. Computers. I could go on, but you get the idea. We tend to forget the bubbles that didn’t pop, because they became fixtures of everyday life.

    Source: Pluralistic: What kind of bubble is AI? by Stephen Downes

    And …

    Twitter was only ever a subset of the larger educational community, and it always felt to me a bit like a high school clique. It was pretty easy to find yourself on the outside or the subject of Twitter disapprobation; I experienced it a few times (but to nowhere near the extent of some others). If Twitter was the best we could hope for, we weren’t hoping for much.

    Source: Communities and Conversations of the Past by Stephen Downes

    They were like seeds sprouting in the garden. As always, you added perspective that spurred me to think more, a reminder of the interactions I had missed diving into the world of books.

  2. We all deserve dark corners where we stand a chance of finding well-managed communities that can deliver the value that keeps us stuck to our decaying giant platforms. Eventually, the enshittification will chase every user off these platforms – not just kids or sex-workers or political radicals. When that happens, it sure would be nice if everyone could set up in a dark corner of their own.

    Someday, we’ll all take comfort in the internet’s “dark corners”/ by Cory Doctorow

    Cory Doctorow explains as platforms continue to become more problematic, that dark corners on the web will become so important. For me this comes back to the challenge of the domain of one’s own. The problem I feel is that it is easier to have a site of your own, but more of a challenge to build a community. I guess time will tell.

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