« Oatmeal

The IndieWeb’s recent navel gazing (said lovingly) has caused me to re-visit my thesis notes. My thesis was rather benumbed and I think I’m a little embarrassed about it, but two terms that I used a lot during my thesis seem relevant to the current dialog around the future of social media, and how to cultivate compassionate digital spaces.

  1. Anomie

  • Anomie is a noun that describes the breakdown between an individual and their community. Being able to identify anomie is an important skill when designing for connection because it identifies the space wherein connection could be taking place but isn’t.

  1. Social Swales

  • A physical swale is a simple form of water catchment: a ditch dug on contour with the landscape’s topography. As water flows across a landscape it pools in the swale, this allows the water more time to soak into the soil. One could say that swales increase a landscape’s temporal edge. A social swale is any system that mediates our experience in such a manner that our attention is made to linger on something other than ourselves. A social swale captures our attention and awareness as it moves through the world, acts on us in some manner, and then releases us to continue on our way.

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