Converged Thoughts: Issue 1

Image credit: Jay Cuthrell

Converged Thoughts: Issue 1

Welcome to the first issue of my digest.

I know… an email newsletter on the eve of the year 2017. Bold! ;-)

Since 2007, I have shared content or links to content on micro blogging platforms such as Twitter. Since the barrier to publish on Twitter is low, I’ve been told by peers that Twitter can be hard to keep up with at times.

Also, while I have a personal blog, my blog is updated infrequently and it doesn’t show up in your inbox because I’ve resisted adding services like FeedBurner and the like. So, this will be a newsletter and the format will be that of a digest.

My goal for the digest is simple. I will go back to the items I share over the course of a day or week and provide more context on why those items are of interest.

The format for this issue and future issues will be as follows:

  • My original pithy tweet and link to content described
  • few more notes on why this content is of interest

Let’s begin…

Here's to taking the red pill in 2017...

Here’s to taking the red pill in 2017…

Notifications Zero and Notifications Bankruptcy

If you know me then you know I tend to become infatuated with new tools for collaboration, sharing, and the like. Years ago these tools were referred to as groupware. Yes, I really liked Google Wave.

When I came across this Google Tech Talk from 2007 about “Inbox Zero” it was part of my quest to look back a decade or more for patterns and dated references. Here, looking back at the notion of getting things done using an email inbox as a means of workflow is a mix of nostalgia and frustration.

The nostalgia comes from remembering just how many emails you might have sent in your life or remembering an email that brings back a fond memory. You might even recall printing out an email and hanging it up as a memento of sorts. I know I did that.

The frustration comes from knowing that email is where good ideas or valuable information seem to be buried under updates that are of little value (not to be confused with this digest update!). Perhaps you are into the newer reboot of older interfaces like IRC or threaded message forums seen in the latest groupware such as Slack. Then again, perhaps you know others that won’t benefit from Slack because, for them, email is good enough – and that might be frustrating too.

Depending on when you began to use email, email inboxes became a digital equivalent for physical inboxes for postal mail. Spam was annoying until Gmail mostly stopped the worst of spam.

If you use a mobile version or a web browser version of tools like Slack it will be apparent that the new inbox is… notifications. At this point, I’ve taken to turning off email notifications and rely upon the visual notifications. Usually it is the red circle with a number that is meant to convey SOMETHING TO CLICK ON RIGHT NOW.

It’s no small wonder that there are already references to Notifications Zero and declaring Notifications Bankruptcy.

Ah, innovation… meet the new inbox… same as the old inbox!

BTW, you can find me here on Slack clearing my notifications:

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