How do I design for a post-social crash web?
Based on How to Survive Social Crash by Julien Smith
I'm curious how publishers are adapting to the world as social networking becomes more of a distraction than a productive use of time?
How are you designing differently for the web?
What questions are you asking yourself?
How are you reaching/searching for your peers?0
I'm working on reducing my contact time with the web [desktop & mobile] in general.
I'm working on reducing my contact time with social networking.
I appreciate [or perhaps, appreciated] the benefits of social networking, as a way of staying in touch with a group of friends, spread across the globe. As a nomadic writer, I found social networking helpful. But as a nomadic writer, who often connects via 3g [based in Europe, there is often little alternative, such as right now], which can be slow and / or expensive, I came to question all of my digital consumption and bandwidth usage.
This has brought me to consider my own output in terms of bandwidth too, and to consider in what ways I was adding to the noise. That's a real eye-opener, and made a great starting point for reconsidering how I connect digitally.
Social networking has become as much of a distraction as the telephone once was to many people, as much as TV [complete with push advertising].
I keep my sites simple, clean, fast, and poetic in design and function. Poetics is something that can develop our digital world. Facebook and Twitter lack poetics, LinkedIn too. We're using technology and networks thought up by inventors, built by engineers, and sometimes, styled by designers. It's time to let artists and poets create our digital world. I designed my first website in 1995, for my M.Sc. in Electronic Product Design. My B.A. was in Fine Art [photography, video & installations], so I can see this from both sides.
I constantly challenge my use technology, versus technology's use of me. I'm a writer, I need writing tools. I also need a way to publish. My MacBook and iPhone, connected to the cloud and the net, give me that. I question the impact of technology creep on my working and personal life and I write about this.
I love good conversation. That's where the risk is for getting time-sucked into the social web. What I love, is talking face to face, with close and new friends alike, about the deeper issues that affect our lives, and the future of our world community. I want to network with people who care, and be part of a change for the better. We can only achieve that level of change through deeper, more meaningful conversation. Social web doesn't allow for that. Answering these questions is like a one-sided deeper conversation. Conversation is like brainstorming. Unless we waste our precious life force on chitter chatter. Let's think bigger than that.
I find the best conversation with those closest. My partner. My dearest friends. Sangha. This is conversation for growth.
I want us to create something better than the current social web. I want to reinvent the technology [software], and I'm working on reinventing how I use it.
I will be publishing this response in my online journal at http://blueperez.com/journal/ today.
Note: Added 06:43am [GMT+3] 26 May. I just tried to post a link to this question, and to my answer and journal post, on Twitter. Twitter is down. I'm getting blank Twitter pages, yet @ mentions and replies are coming through. So I know Twitter is working for some people out there. I tweeted from command line in Terminal [Mac], but still waiting for replies to confirm the area this is affecting. Social crash can happen in social ways, and it can happen in technological ways. Time to have a coffee and a chat with a friend, a breakfast debate at the beach, perhaps…
The post-social crash web has left me thinking about services on the Internet. As we've seen with the social crash, the most powerful things on the Internet won't last forever. It's practically a guarantee that no matter how powerful something is, it still has to pay the price of time.
This leaves me to wonder several things. Will the services I use right now be around for much longer at all? What will casual users of the web do? How will we all adapt to this crash? I think the obvious solution is to do what you said, Ev. In regards to the services, we just need to spread ourselves out. Nothing will be around forever, so we need to have some sort of virtual safety net, without allowing it to tie us down. It's a hard thing to do, but if we focus ourselves and connect with technology more deeply, over time, it will happen.
I'm worried about the casual users, however. What will they do if they don't know that these services won't be around forever? They can't know, really. It's our job to inform them that things are rapidly changing, which requires rapid evolving.
I think the adaptation to this will be easy. It will be painful, but it will be fast. As long as we inform those who don't know about the crash, everything will be okay. Humans have become used to evolving through technology, so once we accept the fact that a change needs to be made, we'll refocus ourselves and make the change.
On the topic of designing for the post-social crash web, things need to be simple. Design does matter, but it needs to be simple enough to stay out of the way. The focus should be on the content. We need to focus on writing true work that helps others, not add more noise to the already insane pile of crap.
Note: I've written about this topic more in depth on my blog. You can find the focused entry here.
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