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Blogchains In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Rethinking the Internet

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 8

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

Goodreads today looks and works much as it did when it was launched. The design is like a teenager’s 2005 Myspace page: cluttered, random and unintuitive. Books fail to appear when searched for, messages fail to send, and users are flooded with updates in their timelines that have nothing to do with the books they want to read or have read. Many now use it purely to track their reading, rather than get recommendations or build a community. “It should be my favourite platform,” one user told me, “but it’s completely useless.”

Why Goodreads is Bad for Books

Goodreads is one of those platforms people really hate but feel like there’s no other option. Especially with Amazon buying it years ago and only adding Kindle integration and not dealing with anything else (such as their major spam account issue and not even being able to report them) it’s turning more and more into a website which is used by Amazon for selling more stuff.

There has been some discussions I’m following about what could be done about it. Tom Critchlow‘s “Library JSON“. Decentralized projects always gets me excited but at the same time I know that it’s practically impossible to turn it into something adoptable by everyone. Mostly because decentralized projects generally think about people who are technically more capable.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to test it when Tom makes a more robust version of Library JSON. I’m sure I will. But right now I have a new possible favorite called TheStoryGraph. There are many things I like about it and it really solves a lot of the personal problems I have with Goodreads.

From there, The StoryGraph recommends books, marked by thematic tags and length and accompanied by well-researched synopses. But beyond the design and descriptive tags, there is one major difference Goodreads users will notice: ratings are almost unnoticeable, deprioritised to the bottom of the page.

Why Goodreads is Bad for Books

TheStoryGraph is definitely more social but not like Facebook or Twitter, which are focused on playing you with their algorithms and not actually caring about what you want from these platforms. They’re actually focused on helping people to find new books.

Of course there are things TheStoryGraph has to be careful about while growing up. Tom’s quote on this summarizes it beautifully:

But Tom Critchlow argues that a “better Goodreads”, with functionality such as The StoryGraph offers, must avoid falling for the “seductive and imaginary ideas about social networks” that doomed a long list of previous competitors, including his own. “So many people dream of disrupting Goodreads,” he says, “[but] focus on the wrong things, myself included.”

Why Goodreads is Bad for Books

So far it seems like they’re not going to fall into it and I hope I’m not wrong.

Right now I moved all my Goodreads data to TheStoryGraph and will be using it actively. You can check my profile and see how it works and looks like, you can do it from here.

Categories
Blogchains In English Not Defteri | Notebook Rethinking the Internet

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 1

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

This is not one of those “I hate social media” stuff. I actually owe a lot to social media and will continue using it. But not in a way that will consume all my energy and turn me into an angry beast, which means my old way of using it. Don’t know why but I’ve always been quite invested in stuff happening online. (Actually I know why but I really don’t want to explain it right now, so please go along with it. We’ll talk about it later.) But for a while, this attitude of mine was making things worse for me. I know because things got really bad, at least in a personal and psychological sense. So I had to do something about it.

And this is me, doing something about it. From now on, I’ll not be as active as I used to be on my public social media profiles. At least for a while. Of course I’m going to share stuff about me or things I’ve created and my blog posts will go there too but other than that I won’t be following it like I used to do. Even though that means I’ll be missing some stuff from people who shares really good stuff but I really need this. I really need to re-align my focus and energy.

But this also means that I’ll be more online in the places where I can share more half baked thoughts — as Warren Ellis put it. Because more and more, I feel like the way people sharing stuff or having conversations on Twitter is not the way I’m enjoying it. Shouting matches, political snark and burns gets quite boring and exhausting quickly. And my brain really doesn’t want more of these things. Instead, I want to write more of my half baked thoughts, have a conversation with people about those and use this tool called internet in a way which works better for me.

So that’s why I’m starting this experiment. Starting from today, I’ll be working on re-adjusting my internet usage, probably analyzing every bit of it and deciding what works for me and what doesn’t. Right now my plan is to focus on places where I can write longer and share the stuff I want to share the way I want. Like my blog, my newsletter and Patreon. Instead of ranting on Twitter, I’m going to put it on my blog, if it’s worth putting here. Because whenever I want to write something here, I think about it more than I think about a tweet. And this makes a good personal filter.

I’m going to keep using Twitter, Instagram etc. too. But Twitter will be much more limited and I’ll probably read only the stuff I put on my private lists. Instagram still gets a pass because I’m using only a private account which is highly curated and instead of giving me anxiety, it does the exact opposite. Maybe I need something similar on Twitter too.

So, that’s pretty much it. Starting today, this place (alongside with newsletter) will be my main places online, alongside with the secret channels. If you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be still online but less. Most of the people who’s going to read this knows how to reach me in those channels, if you don’t drop me a line.

Let’s see how this one is going to play out.

(The title is numbered because I’m going to experiment with something called “blogchain”. If you never heard of it, this is a good start.)

Categories
In English Not Defteri | Notebook

“Being Tumblr”

beign-tumblr

(You can see whole conversation and the green-text which uses the quote here.)

This really made me think. Not just someone describing a person through a social network she uses but everyone else (including me) understands what he meant. Of course you can’t tell exactly what “someone being tumblr” means but most of us have an image about that.


We have some other kind of adjectives close to that like “tumblr girl”, “redditor” and “/b/tards” and we all have images about those adjectives but I guess this is another level. This is not a nickname for someone who uses a website/social network, you’re calling her exactly what she uses/visits. And everyone else understands.


I know some websites creates a subculture around them and gets bigger and bigger with it but this looks different to me. Tumblr is mainly a blogging platform and there are users all around the world and they’re all using Tumblr with different purposes. But they’re just “tumblr users” in this case, they can’t “be tumblr”. You can have a Tumblr account but you can’t be tumblr.

There’s a tumblr persona and you just can’t create an account and be a part of it. You have to transform yourself to be tumblr, if you’re not naturally a tumblr. Wait a minute, how can someone be a natural tumblr?


The more I think about this, I feel like I should dig this more. But right now, this is just a quick note to begin.


UPDATE (5:53pm)

After publishing this post, something flashed in my mind and found this. I strongly recommend you to watch/read it.

At that talk, Jay Springett gives the best explanation so far to “being tumblr”. Stacks, like Facebook and Google, turning more and more into states and we’re getting used to it. Being tumblr turns exactly into “being citizen of a country”. Every country has images in our minds (may call stereotypes if you wish) and when you say “she’s tumblr”, our brains gets this signal similar as “she’s Turkish”.

About the difference between “a tumblr user” and “tumblr”. It definitely fits in that idea too. You can take, for example someone from England goes Italy as a tourist or starts to live there. She never can be “Italian”, she’ll be just a “tourist from England” or “Italy citizen”.


I guess I found the missing piece on “being tumblr” problem but now I have to dig into “Stacks and States” problem. There’ll be lots of fun (I hope).