I actually got sidetracked a bit at the end of my previous post, which is perhaps why I’ve had such trouble writing the continuation. What I mean to examine isn’t the community that develops around a given website, but the level of individual engagement (feedback) that the medium offers. But let me explain why I have an interest in this, before I go further.
Each day over the last few months, I find I have more and more mental acuity at my disposal. I keep having ideas, everywhere, all the time. I used to struggle for material to occupy my mind with, but I now find that half as many hours exist in my day as would be necessary to properly investigate all the concepts my mind is chasing after. Maybe I was always having lots of ideas and I just never took them seriously – I really haven’t a clue. Point is, I’ve been on a roll and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. That’s great – so long as I’m headed in the right direction. Which is where it would be nice to have feedback. Facebook, G+, Twitter – these things may generate plenty of viewership for me, but none of that comes with feedback.
I’ve been pondering why, exactly, that is. Part of it, I believe, is that they’re dense sources of information. You can scroll down a handful of pages and encounter a hundred links to different places all across the internet. The more I thought about this, the more certain I felt that it was time to make a graph. Tremble and despair.
There’s a lot of things worth disagreeing with in this graph. I’m aware of its imperfections, but it’s an idea I’m driven to explore. I’ve been trying to write this damn post for over five hours now, because this has been driving me nuts all week. There’s something here, but finding how to express it has been a major challenge. I don’t even like either of the terms I’m using here. It’s all I’ve got.
There are places that efficiently distribute content. There are places that enable effective user-to-user or group-to-group communication. There aren’t many that do both.
In my search for feedback, I realized that I would never receive the kind of analysis and criticism I want through any of the mediums I’m currently engaging in. I would need to find a community of individuals that were capable of providing the feedback I want. It’s hard to search for something when you aren’t sure what it looks like or where it might be. That search goes on – but in the meantime, I remain interested in this relationship between content and feedback. Specifically, I want to know what something in the top-right corner of that graph would look like. I hope to return to this topic a number of times, especially once I’ve reached some more solid conclusions.