Monday 24 June 2024

Reading links June 2024

 Over the past week I've been thinking about how much I miss the old internet. 

I miss sharing word-stuff on Twitter (this line in Joel McManus's latest Windbag column for The Spin-off is exactly the kind of thing I would've tweeted 10 years ago: A moderator asked a panellist to elaborate by saying, “Let’s double-click on that.”

I miss reading things on the internet where they were part of a shared conversation, instead of in my inbox. I listen to podcasts, and then I text people about them. It's a conversation, but I'm not sharing and learning.

I quite often share articles on LinkedIn but that's building awareness for Te Papa more than doing learning for myself. And as an archive it sucks.

So I'm going back to one of my old habits, and starting a reading list again. Just for me.*

If "tech" is the answer, what is the question? Rowan Simpson's keynote from SportNZ Connections Conference 2024

This is an old-fashioned bloggy longread. Rowan is all about asking better questions about technology (what is it, even, to begin with). Here he looks at three mega-trends (smartphones, social media, localisation / personalisation) that have emerged over the last 2 decades and the business models that accompany them (attention/intention, subscription, marketplace) then argues that right now we're in "the lull", a period of pre-investment and gearing up before the next big move. Right now, he asks, are you doing everything you can with what you've got?

The Overton window of weirdness is opening Matt Webb's latest post on his Interconnected blog

I've relied on Matt Webb for moments of insight for what - 12, 14 years now? Here he's assembled a short but bewildering list of shit that's being tried out.

There is an Overton window of weirdness, which I will define here as the range of things on which it is acceptable to spend one’s time, and when it is narrow we are optimisers, and when it is wide there is a societal random walk and discoveries are made, which might be mundane or might be profound

Why I’m no longer writing novels for adults by Rachael King, one of the two best writers on children's / YA writing in NZ.

It's hard not to to be defensive about reading children's and YA books as an adult, let alone about writing them. But the genre has just as much depth, width and difficulty as books for adults (and many of them translate over, which is not all that common the other way round). 

Should strategy be furtive by Paul Bowers - the first time I've ever linked to a LinkedIn "newsletter"?

Recounts a 2018 talk by Nicholas Serota, where he described "doing strategy" without the widespread awareness of staff: instead, dripfeeding change into the organisational strategy item by item. 
He told us why: everything you say will create an opponent who'll work to obstruct you. Don't create more than a few opponents at once. 40 goals makes 40 opponents; too much to deal with at once. Pick 'em off, three at a time.
Weirdly, I was at this talk, and don't remember this point at all. Maybe it's that I don't automatically think "who will my opponents be" when introducing change, and instead I have a habit of testing and nudging rather than ordering. Either way, dumping 40 improvements at once on an organisation is hardly likely to work. 

*Noting that even this will take discipline as I do most of my reading on my phone, but most of my writing on my laptop ...

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