Hyperlink Forum

Blogging Futures

For hyperlink.academy I am “running” a “course” called Blogging Futures! It is an open exploration about the future of writing on the web, what that would look like, and how we can facilitate that future today.

The format is a weekly prompt and discussion that takes the form of a blogchain that anyone can contribute to. All you have to do is write up a post on your blog or any anonymous publishing platform that responds to the prompt or any of the posts in the blogchain. After publishing, fill out the form on the course page and your post will be added to the blogchain.

As far as learning goals go, I’d like to see what others imagine writing on the web could be, whether that is a vision I share or had not anticipated before. Beyond that it would be great to have certain visions that are actionable during or after the course.

Here’s to the future of writing on the web!

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The blogchain is growing!!! A great conversation is forming already. We are coming up to the end of the first week which ends on Wednesday.

I was thinking about writing up a prompt for next week but I wanted to throw it out to everyone to see if they had any further ideas. Should we have a new prompt, taking what has been written and forming new questions, or continue without one, using each post as a prompt for the next. Maybe someone else wants to write the prompt (@jaredpereira) ?

Thanks for those who have contributed and if you haven’t, please consider it - the water is just fine!

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Pulling questions from the existing posts could be pretty interesting, at a quick glance we got:

where’s the new infrastructure layer across blogs that helps the New Blogging scenius attract and retain a New Blog Reader scenius?

But what do those doorways look like for blogs? What does it mean for others to contribute to our blogs? What could that look like?

What would a set of norms for blog participation, like this set of norms for voluntary groups, look like?

“just what is a blog in the first place?”

How do different activities in daily life structure how we think?


That being said I could also see an entirely new prompt being interesting. It’s early days in this conversation and so it could be neat to just generate a bunch of directions at this point. (for a totally different kind of experience, what if the prompt was to write “blogging fiction” encapsulating a blogging future)

I really like how your initial post wasn’t just a single sentence but a collection of jumping off points, and quotes. Maybe something similar could be built out of the links people had in the initial batches…

I can’t think of something off the top of my head, but let me take a look at the posts again and see if anything jumps out!

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Those are great suggestions @jaredpereira!

This has me thinking that the prompt should be structured similarly but have all the quotes being from each post in the chain so far (like the questions you gathered). That way everyone’s contribution is taken into account and can potentially contribute to future discussion.

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New weekly prompt for the course is up! Check it out here and be sure to add a post to the blogchain we have going. Every contribution counts and feel free to add multiple entries!

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The final prompt is up! Be sure to check out the chain and contribute here! Contributions will be taken until the end of day Sunday, the 24th. There’s a lot of great conversation taking place and I’d love to see more thoughts on the future of writing on the web before we wrap it up!

I know this learning adventure has been dormant for a while, but Tom Critchlow’s recent idea of creating “cozy blogging structures” in times like these (source) makes me think about brainstorming how we can make blogs more like living rooms, opening and inviting for others to come in that’s different from a strict comment section.

Maybe this is a separate learning adventure or a video chat but I thought I’d throw the question out there in this thread as something to think about.

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Hell yeah! I’d definitely be down for a little brainstorming session on this topic.

It seems to me like it’s ultimately a problem of rails and gatekeeping. You don’t want wide-open zones, like twitter and it’s ilk, but you also don’t want people to have to know someone in order to get involved.

Something in the back of my mind has been using the assessment process we worked on for fathom as like a way to “enter” communities, but that’s only really useful for selective/strict spaces to start with.

Are there spaces that you think really nail this @cjeller1592 ?

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That’s a great point – it’s trying to find that middle ground. I honestly think that’s what make forums magical. They are both open for anyone to join yet reinforce a group of particular people who are interested in a particular thing.

I recall joining a forum to write fan-fics in the Fallout video game universe (I think on a Bethesda subforum - a long time ago & a totally different person back then haha). There was a sense that I could join and freely contribute my stories and yet it obviously attracted only those people who were invested enough in that Fallout universe to want to read & write stories about it.

Another space I think of is “clans” in video-games. I’ve had some of my most fond experiences with online communities when being part of those kind of groups (this was back when you had Xfire instead of Discord). Again the balance felt right in these groups – I could freely join, as could others, but it wasn’t wide-open enough to be chaotic, where your contribution didn’t matter. I don’t know if others have had similar experiences but man, I sometimes feel like I chase the feeling from those experiences.

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On another note, with the new Animal Crossing game just coming out, I wonder what blogs could learn from Animal Crossing. How could people enter & interact with each other’s blogs like they do with another friend’s Animal Crossing town?

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Hahahaha I’m watching @Celine play it right now! I love the mental image! Visiting your friends little blog islands.

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