I have lost track of my blog readers, buffeted by eddies of excess digital content. I stumbled back upon D’Arcy Norman’s blog this afternoon with pure delight. (The is one of his Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr … sometimes I prefer to just watch someone’s Flickr stream instead of read so much. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to set that up on an iPad for an idiot like me?)
It has been a long time since I visited D’Arcy’s blog. I new Alan Levine was heading that way and since I’ve been following Alan’s trip, the time felt right. I did not head for one post, I just read and scrolled. Kismet. Serendipity. This seems appropriate during August, where I am cutting myself some slack, in anticipation of an insane Fall work schedule. (Thus the gardening posts and food themed Tweets.)
My networks are now for the most part serendipity networks because they have become too large for me to track. When I need to research, interact, I can activate them for sure. But now they are like going to the candy store, staring at the counter for a few minutes, then picking a chocolate or two.
Here are a few chocolates from D’Arcy’s recent blogs.
he rides a steel cable. A link to a mind blowing YouTube video of a person who rides bikes where most of us can’t even imagine. I’ve watched it twice already.
ds106 campfire jam. Friends jamming F2F and online.
photo(s) friday: dock life. Beautiful family photos.
And my favorite, which is so good I have to copy snippets that D’Arcy quoted… Thanks, D’Arcy!
on conformity through positive reinforcement.
From Neil Strauss’ article in the WSJ:
Just as stand-up comedians are trained to be funny by observing which of their lines and expressions are greeted with laughter, so too are our thoughts online molded to conform to popular opinion by these buttons. A status update that is met with no likes (or a clever tweet that isn’t retweeted) becomes the equivalent of a joke met with silence. It must be rethought and rewritten. And so we don’t show our true selves online, but a mask designed to conform to the opinions of those around us.
and contrasting Like culture with the power of positive narcissism:
“Like” culture is antithetical to the concept of self-esteem, which a healthy individual should be developing from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Instead, we are shaped by our stats, which include not just “likes” but the number of comments generated in response to what we write and the number of friends or followers we have. I’ve seen rock stars agonize over the fact that another artist has far more Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers than they do.
and on freedom from Like culture:
So let’s rise up against the tyranny of the “like” button. Share what makes you different from everyone else, not what makes you exactly the same. Write about what’s important to you, not what you think everyone else wants to hear. Form your own opinions of something you’re reading, rather than looking at the feedback for cues about what to think. And, unless you truly believe that microblogging is your art form, don’t waste your time in pursuit of a quick fix of self-esteem and start focusing on your true passions.
Indeed, Hallefrackinglujah. And let’s hear it for summer serendipity.