I have a community thesis of the Web. It's one I share with the people I work with at HomeRoom and DashKite. It's the idea that community is more than a collection of people; it's a human system essential to the present and future of the Web. From that thesis, it follows that most existing Web platforms are successful, despite their best efforts to do otherwise, because people are determined to build valuable spaces for themselves online. So, our community thesis is about doing better for people.
In the past decade, a growing set of software products have categorized themselves under the terms no-code and low-code. It's an exciting and historic inflection point for computing. In terms of significance, I'd compare it to the introduction of the Web or smartphones. And a change of that magnitude is hard to talk about. We struggle to articulate a vocabulary that lets us compare what's been to what's coming. Most people are still at the “What is Internet, anyway?” stage of this.
Complexity can feel daunting, but I think the real problem is how we struggle to talk about. It's possible to think about complexity in more general terms and unlock tools to understand it on a deeper level.
They look so unassuming, don't they? But this fairy tale is unlike anything people have had since the start of the television era.
I was pretty late to watching Heartstopper. It's a Netflix show based on the graphic novel series from Alice Oseman and part of their Osemanverse, an ever-expanding empire of queer young adult media. But when I did get around to watching it a couple weeks ago, I was caught off-guard by the debilitating intensity of my emotional reaction.
I was surprised to discover r/heartstoppersyndrome, a subreddit dedicated exclusively to the after-effects of watching this show — universally described as positive. So while I feel somewhat comforted that I am not alone in my response, I can't think of another piece of media with a dedicated collateral damage subreddit. It seems Heartstopper is operating on another level. So I'd like to explore and write about that, here and in the future.
Over the years, I've built a lot of technology at DashKite. And while that's been a richly rewarding experience, technology is only valuable insomuch as people can understand and apply it purposefully. I haven't prioritized explaining myself. I feel a sort of self-conscious about trying to convince someone that I can do something instead of just doing it. But the time has come to reprioritize, to start showing my work.
This is an era of transition and transformation. My blog now has a new home, here on Write.as. That's because I spun down its old host, DashKite's Byline, along with the constellation of DashKite testbed products.
Metcalfe's Law is good for describing networked ethernet ports, absolutely useless for networked people. But Silicon Valley has relied on this law for almost 30 years to express how it thinks about the Web's value. They don't know what the fuck they're talking about.
Author's Note: This post was originally published Feb 11, 2021 on (the currently defunct) Byline.
Two games. Both feature online collaboration tools. But only Overwatch was featured prominently in a TED Talk titled “The Internet is a Trash Fire.” Maybe Kaplan should study what Kojima did and avoid that whole trash fire situation.
Author's Note: This post was originally published Jan 31, 2021 on (the currently defunct) Byline.