💫 What do you build for?
vol. 3 // a reason to build // digital relationships
Two weeks into 2021 and the calamities of 2020 have managed their way into the new year; if only the world obeyed the Gregorian calendar. As a society we are now grappling with the effects of decisions made over the last few decades, whether that be the design of social tech or the incentives built into media. It got me wondering how I can make decisions for my own time that could lead to positive change over the next few decades, instead of continuing the trend of inaction that causes issues like the ones we see today.
As I involve myself with the Indie Hacker/startup community, I realize that the emphasis is placed on the act of “building”. “It’s time to build!”, “building @ xyz”, “building in public”, but very little emphasis is placed on what is built. Product Hunt features different versions of note-taking apps, Tweet schedulers, productivity boosters every week, all targeted for end-users within the tech community. So many work hours go into these products, but the overall impact that they have has to be marginal at best, and that too concentrated within the already powerful group that is the tech community.
I realized with my own projects, two Twitter related ones, that they too were shaped by problems that were low-hanging fruit. I “built for myself”, but this was building for building’s sake, not building for a greater purpose. Seeing this strengthened my resolve to move past these kinds of projects with the end goal of building for causes outside the tech bubble. I have a few ideas in mind, and I’m excited to wrap up my works in progress to move closer to building for what I really value.
💫 Life updates
These last two weeks I moved back on campus and got ready for the start of school; in an effort to take a break before school began, I did not spend as much time as usual on these projects.
Refined the email UI on Best of Your Twitter. Now, the Tweets on a topic and Tweets from people you are following are separated to allow for ease of viewing. I am currently building out a preferences page so that a user can change their email preferences and even get emails more frequently. Thanks to Vedika Dayal for feedback on this!
For the Twitter without Numbers Chrome Extension, I have gotten the code working to remove numbers like follower count, likes, and retweets from profiles and Tweets. I still need to add event listeners to remove these every time new Tweets are loaded. The code repository is here.
Published the next article in the series of how modernity has affected our wellness: How Modernity Transformed Relationship Building. Having strong relationships has repeatedly been proven to be the most fulfilling part of life, but technology has shifted how we carry out those relationships. This article explores how we can continue to build fulfilling relationships in a digitally native world.
💫 Digital serendipity
Curiosity provoking content from the last few weeks:
The nature of change across institutions: Pace Layering. We are in era of rapid transformation. Socially and politically, we are coming to a head with many crises that have been festering over the last few decades. This exploration on the theory of how institutions change is a reminder that this change has been happening far longer than we remember.
A digital storytelling experience on newsletters: Newsletters, by Robin Rendle. View on mobile for the best experience. I’ve never seen anyone try to mimic a storybook format virtually, and this reflection on newsletters is a delightful one to read.
A reflection on the nature of algorithms. The conversation after this Tweet is an interesting discussion on whether algorithms are reflections of how we truly are.
That’s all for this issue! If you got this far thanks for joining; feel free to respond to this email. Otherwise, wishing you wellness in the next few weeks. It’s a tumultuous time but the only constant in life is change.