<span class='p-name'>My Ratio of Signal to Noise</span>

My Ratio of Signal to Noise

Technology is a major part of my professional and personal life. I have a variety of screens, services, tools, apps, and networks that impact my daily work. I also believe in being as organized and productive as possible, especially when it comes to my digital texts, tools, and practices.

Over the past year, I’ve continued to blog on my main site and move my weekly newsletter to a separate site. In fact, I’ve been leaning into this process by posting new content three to five times a week on my main site.

How might I best leverage these spaces, places, and texts to build credibility and relevance, while also recognizing digital social spaces for what they are? What does this mean for others as they strive to be digitally literate?

In an attempt to reset my thinking about my digital, social spaces, I took a break from everything last summer. While I was on a break, I decided I wanted to blog more, share less, mix up public and private signals, and blog more.

I’m thinking more about my ratio of signal to noise.

Blog more

I think you only know what you want to do with a space, place, or tool by using it. In the context of my digital spaces, I decided to just write. Urged by my friend Doug Belshaw, I completed the #100DaysToOffload challenge. This had me posting three to five new pieces on content a week on this site.

The more I write, the more I like it. I’ll (try to) continue to write more on this website and make it a regular part of my daily process. As we shift out of quarantine, it’ll be interesting to see if I can keep up this habit.

I want to try and keep an audit trail, or a list of revisions of content on the website. This does mean that I should delete content. I want to develop a system, follow the system…and let readers know the system. This may include rewriting blog posts that become stale or incorrect. Linking back to older posts to keep a trail documenting my thinking. I’m researching opportunities to leave a strikethrough on the text that has changed and add in the corrections in a manner that makes it easier for readers to understand.

Share less

I’ve experimented with some IndieWeb philosophies and tools on this site, but mostly on my breadcrumbs website. I love the IndieWeb philosophy of owning your own platforms and believe in using these philosophies to show your work. The problem is that my social network exhaust and the links, short posts, and content that I shared on my breadcrumbs website was…well…exhausting. 🙂

My hope was that I would share links with some context on my breadcrumbs website. Because I bookmark 5 to 10 websites a day, this process became untenable. My commentary on those posts also became longer and longer. This plan quickly failed.

I also have been thinking about why I share those links, and what value they give me. My partner stepped away from social media for some time…and she has actually had me thinking about stepping away from those spaces.

At the very least, I decided for the short-term to only share and amplify links and content that is something that I create or add value to. My comments and links shared already have a home in my weekly newsletter. I don’t know what I gain…or my readers gain…by a daily barrage of links.

Mix up public & private

One of the other elements of posting more content online and showing your work is that more people use this as an opportunity to reach out and contact you. I regularly get requests from people that want to write for my sites, sell ads on my spaces, and sell me some random medical equipment (I don’t know how I got on that list).

I’ve also been increasingly getting emails from individuals and groups that want to talk about freedom of speech, misinformation, disinformation, etc. What happens is that I regularly research and write about these topics. Heck, my dissertation was about the critical evaluation of online information. With my notes, blog posts, and newsletter all online, I’ve been having groups that reach out and want to “discuss”, and “see what they got wrong” about some of these topics.

I’m wondering what is the value of showing all of your work online when there are those that would seek to take ideas out of context, and possibly do not seek to just talk. I acknowledge that I work as an open scholar with a certain amount of privilege as a cisgender, white male. Even still, I’m toying with a mix of public and private spaces for open scholarship.

Adjust the levels

What are your thoughts?

Why do you share, engage, and connect online? How much do you listen? How often do you create?

How do you…or others…profit from these experiences?

Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

This post is Day 99 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

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