15 Years @ thejaymo.net

πŸ₯³ This website turns 15 tomorrow!

10 minutes

Its been a super busy week. 0___o

I’ll post about the games conference I spoke at about the design of worlds on Friday, and the new print publication I’ve started with a few others on the subject soon.

15 Years @ thejaymo.net

πŸ₯³ This website turns 15 tomorrow!

Paul made note of his own blog’s 18th spin around the Internet this week and Kottke also turned 26! 0_o

I did a bit of a song a dance about the blog turning 14 last year so I won’t rehash any of that. But I will say that post was written in the context of my site creaking at the seams due to rapid pace of WordPress core development and the abandoned theme I’d been using since 2019 when I moved servers and resolved a decade’s worth of the technical debt.

2023 was also the beginning of the social winter that we are all still in. Early last year I was thinking – given ‘the seasonal weather’ – about what I wanted this website to be:

Ultimately, I’m a child of Geocities and this site is my homepage on the Internet. But given the diversity of topics, my interest and types of things I post here … perhaps I should start thinking of my blog not as a digital garden, or a newsletter with missives but as a kind magazine? A web zine?

The idea that thejaymo.net should be like a webzine was the primary idea that drove the sites redesign in June last year.

Digital Gardens

Every few years since the 1980’s ‘hypertext websites as digital gardens‘ loop back around the blogosphere. Tom Critchlow lead the charge back in 2018-20ish alongside Maggie Appleton.

In the last week or so it’s been Manu. I enjoyed this recent post reflecting on the metaphor of walled gardens:

It’s interesting how we’re using the same metaphorβ€”the gardenβ€”to describe two completely different things. One is the embodiment of the capitalist mindset applied to the digital ecosystem driven by greed. The other is the digital manifestation of personal expression. Digital gardens areβ€”or at least should beβ€”a welcoming place.

An idea that Ben Werdmuller took further a few days later:

So it is with gardens. If a megacorporation builds a walled garden, it’s to hem us in. If we build a walled garden, it’s to keep them out.

But as I put in the pull quote further up the post. I don’t think about this blog as digital garden – at all. I’m not quite sure what this website would even be like if I were to think about it in that way. To my mind, the web is for publishing so thats the metaphor / framework that I’ve embraced.

Blog Categories are the main organising principle of the site since the re-design. It’s improved navigation and has increased the ability to surface (or at least find) all the ‘currents’ of thought I’ve had here over the years. Being able to dive in and follow these threads makes the site feel a bit more magazine-y. Especially the sites home page.

Speaking of the site as a webzine I literally publish a real physical zine 4 times a year to paid supporters:

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how to make SSR more core/central to the creative life of the blog. I mean it’s where the money comes from and keeps this sites lights on as well as covering podcast hosting and *a little* bit of my time. As wrote the other week:

The act of sending and receiving real things – be it a zine, a newsletter, or even now a one-dollar PDF to real people is an important antidote to the impersonal nature of the kinds of digital exchanges we currently find ourselves with. 

I want to use the web (and this blog) to be able finding the others, making real, tangible connections with people in real life.

Start a Blog

One of the most read posts on this blog is my 2019 rant about why you should start a blog.

That smart important take blasted out in a Twitter thread is going to quickly sink down though the chummy social media seas into the deep never to be seen again. Yes, some people might bookmark It. Others might bookmark the thread reader version. But this is no substitute for hauling those important thoughts out of the private social seas on to dry land of your own Blogging Island. Safe. Permanent. Secure. And most importantly – Linkable and Searchable.

Last year I made an Episode of 301 about the death of Web 2:

Things are going to look more like the Web 1 world – a fragmented patchwork of scenes, voices and platforms. Creators are already adapting to this new reality faster than audiences are. For example, podcasters like the blogosphere of old already do a lot of talking to each other as much as creating new and original content.

For the best part of a decade, people have been making content for an algorithm, not the audience. Worse, they haven’t been creating things for themselves. So if the feeds can no longer be relied upon to put content in front of new eyeballs then people are free to make the things that they want to make.

The resurgence of blogs and blogging is all part of this newly felt creative freedom I think. The return to writing, making, and creating for oneself rather than feeding the social machine.

I’ve been posting Weeknotes to thejaymo.net every week since 2018 and it’s never not been a ‘fun’ thing to do. If you – like me – are over web 2 social media and are thinking about starting your own blog, then my first tip for leaving twitter is still the most important.

1. Have Some Ambition

Whatever you decide to do after leaving Twitter, I hope it’s ambitious

The average Twitter user spent 5 hours a month there. Just 10mins a day

Some of you are leaving after regularly spending 15 hours or more there a week

Remember, according to the place you are leaving, tweeting three to four times a week made you a heavy user

Posting just 1200 characters was apparently enough to make you a meaningful contributor to our collective culture

It did not


Experience.Computer

The last episode of Season 1 of Experience.Computer, my new interview show about aphantasia, creativity, and the imagination went out!

This month: My interview with award winning director and animator Kirsten Lepore.

Kirsten Lepore Experience Computer Episode Cover

Kirsten Lepore Experience.Computer

Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocketCasts

Photo 365 – Year 3

070/365/2024

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • Recorded an episode of experience.computer for season 2
  • Had a call with A Small Farm Future author Chris Smaje
  • Did my talk in London on worlds on Friday!
  • Worked up the bones of a chapter on spread sheets and world models for Web Was a Side Quest.
  • Did a whole bunch of Admin BS

Terminal Access

Jacob Kaplan-Moss wrote a fantastic post about how to survive organisational restructures in the workplace:

This is normal

The first thing to understand is that chaos is normal, and not an indicator that the reorg will fail.

If you’ve not been working in tech for long, a major reorg will feel wildly chaotic and disruptive. If you have been working in this field for long… well, reorgs will still feel chaotic and disruptive, but you’ll recognize that chaos, by itself, isn’t a sign that anything particularly terrible is happening.

Dipping the Stacks

Sci-fi author William Gibson: how β€˜future fatigue’ is putting people off the 22nd century

But pessimism about the future isn’t just limited to the US. One international poll of over 400,000 people from 26 countries found that people in developed countries tended to think that the lives of today’s children will be worse than their own.

every accounting system is a mental prison

the accounting system is the system which represents information to the decision maker. It cannot be assumed that it will communicate the fact that it has ceased to accurately represent. This piece of information might not be something that it is capable of expressing.

Slack – Day 1

The pitch had been enough to convince our investors to give us one more life. A chance to pivot from the failed game to something entirely different. Now Stewart was laying out his plan for how we could actually pull it off.

The Artist is Banned for Violating Community Guidelines: On Belle Delphine, Marina Abramovic, and Womanhood-As-Performance β€Ή Literary Hub

when Belle Delphine takes this same brand of terminally online anti-humor and runs it through the glitter-drizzled CPU that is her pink-wigged, gamer girl persona? Pure dadaist magic.

Pop-culture dystopias are not blocking the path to a better future – Big Think

Dystopias are typically regarded as warnings about what could happen. But we’re stuck, culturally, in Blade Runner futures of environmental collapse and corporate domination because they remain our most likely real-world future

Reading

I blasted through Escape from Model Land by Erica Thompson this week. Jay Owens mentioned the book in Dust and I knew just from the title alone that it was going to be a great book – I was not disappointed! Here’s the book spiel:

How do mathematical models shape our world – and how can we harness their power for good?

Models are at the centre of everything we do. Whether we use them or are simply affected by them, they act as metaphors that help us better understand the increasingly complex problems facing us in the modern world. Without models, we couldn’t begin to tackle three of the major challenges facing modern society: regulation of the economy, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet in recent years, the validity of the models we use has been hotly debated and there has been renewed awareness of the disastrous consequences when the makers and interpreters of models get things wrong.

Music

yeule – Anthems for a Seventeen Year‐Old Girl

Yeule (previously on the blog) has covered a Broken Social Scene track! For the soundtrack to a TV show i’m never going to watch.

It’s way better than the original. It feels like it achieve exactly what BSS were trying to do back in 2003. Anthems is a deep cut of their 2003 album You Forgot It in People. I didn’t actually recognised the title but I knew the song as soon as yeule started singing the lyrics. 2003 was the year I went to university and my flatmate Zoe played this album on repeat in our kitchen. Over and over and over.

Anyway’s, Yeule continues to be pop’s glitch princess. I can’t help but wonder if Anthems came about after her softscars EP from last year which has some real emo vibes.

Speaking of which claire rousay is apparently making an emo album and is playing at the ICA soon!

Remember Kids:

Free-market systems do not level the playing field, do not erase class distinctions. Them what has, gets. It will be no different here.

Julian Dibbell – My Tiny Life

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