Reflections: Stepping Back and Moving Forward

4 minute read

Back in the Summer of 2018, I had a kind of foolish idea. I decided that I should try and organize all the types of information surrounding Bitcoin, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, and began doing so in the channels of a discord server, SourceCrypto.

Since then, I’ve created a number of servers, realizing that it was easier to simply split off, and create a new one, once I wanted to get serious about another large subject.

Between a dozen discord servers, and a handful of twitter accounts, I’ve been seriously retweeting, sharing to focused channels, organizing, archiving and otherwise keeping track of valuable information that would otherwise slip away… into the abyss of the intellect… along with all the other interesting things I’ve read, but didn’t keep references for, over the years.

A Collaborative Workflow?

A year later, the idea that I could organize the varieties of information surrounding Bitcoin still seems foolish. Perhaps not so much as it did when I began. I never assumed that I could really accomplish my objective, however, I felt it was important to act and believe as though it were possible.

I’ve only gotten serious about tech in the past few years, and have had quite a steep learning curve to catch up. To begin, I had a little experience maintaining Discord servers, and appreciate it’s UX, so it made sense for me to start there, rather than starting by seeking the ideal solution.

It’s always been my intent for these resources to be collaborative, and they have been open for such from the beginning. I have appreciated a number of contributors over that time, but the work has primarily been my own. I will admit that I’ve not been very social, or acted as an effective community organizer. Regardless, I’m pretty sure Discord isn’t the ideal venue for this work.

FOSS Ideals vs Pragmatism

Over the past year, I’ve gone deeper and deeper into the world of Bitcoin, FOSS, Indieweb, Decentralized Identity, standards organizations, working groups and mailing lists. I’ve studied histories surrounding AI, Decentralized Web, Cyberpunks, Cypherpunks, MIT hackers, Sovereign Identity, Cryptography, and other histories of computing and the internet.

The irony of using discord and twitter while laying a foundation for a FOSS principled collaborative curation platform is not lost on me. Discord was a matter of convenience, Twitter was an essential component of my education. Despite it’s shortcomings, there is plenty of value to be gained from studying various fields through the lense of Twitter.

Moving Forward

It’s time to move forward. I’d like to say I’m moving to 100% sovereign solutions, However, I’m not quite there yet. I have no definite answers, except that I’ll be restructuring this information into markdown and then structured data.

I’m just getting to know google sheets, and decided I should get to know the GSuite a litte better before dismissing it altogether (my inclination). Spreadsheets are extensible, and an ideal stepping stone, between the archives and a variety of applications.

I’ve also begun to experiment with Notion as a power tool. It allows me to import the individual html files of the archives, transform them into a single page, and then export them to markdown, from which it’s managable to transform into a simple page of links organized by category, and from there to spreadsheets.

Ultimately, I think a wiki of curated lists is a solid direction to generally aim towards.

Subscribe for Updates

This post is meant to provide an update, since I’m taking a break from social media, particularly Discord and Twitter.. not sure how long of a break that will be, or how deep. However, I’ve deleted the discord servers, since I’ll never develop a new workflow if I’m continually adding to the old ones.

That’s why I’m backing off from my day to day curation, so I can organize what I’ve got, learn some new apps, and take it all to the next level.

If you’d like e-mail updates, since I won’t be on social media, you can sign up here. Eventually, I might experiment with a monthly newsletter or occasional promotional offers. However, that would be a distinct and separate opt-in list. This list is only for major site updates, such as:

  • Getting the archives re-structured, and published in a naviable form.
  • Finding a chat application suitable for collaborative curation
  • Launch of a shared spreadsheet application of SourceCrypto

As this list is growing to include a small collection of people I’ve worked with in the past year, perhaps an occasional survey to get your feedback would be in order.

I have a hard time appreciating mailing lists that are sending updates all the time… pushing out content with hopes of generating leads. So yeah, I’m not into that, and this list doesn’t even have an auto-reply saying thanks for subscribing, yet.

On the rare occasion I do send an e-mail, you’ll have the option to unsubscribe, and I’ll make sure each message is worth your while.

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