streams of information

Spewed from the brain of tom on

The book’s going well. But any update I write would be, at this point, really boring. “He sits. He picks up an index card. He enters it in the most likely place in the mega mindmap. He makes a checkmark. He picks up an index card.” So, please enjoy this ramble from my thank-god-i’m-not-forced-to-take-another-sick-day-but-boy-am-i-not-well-yet brain.

I get asked a lot why the PM Kickstarter really kicked off, and I give the credit to my awesome twitter followers, for spreading the word. Over two years of trying to have a stream worth following — and, of course, getting some love from the Eye of BoingBoing — I had 2,000 followers. There was no shortcut; I just tried to understand how twitter worked, to use the social norms deftly, to connect people who had not been connected, and to post things that were useful, or if not useful at least interesting, and if not interesting at least funny.

Anyway, over time I’ve ended up with a follow list that’s too big to keep up with. Some people experience twitter like TV — they read whoever is on right then — and that works, except I’m noticing I’m missing way too much from people I actually relate to and interact with.

Sooo, while my brain is still recovering and slimy with viral toxins, I’m culling my twitter stream. I don’t want to lose the information I get from the people I have so far failed to unfollow, but I want to firewall it. Ergo, here are a couple of lists I’m making, that I thought you might like:

[Edited: For some reason the links to these lists keep changing. Go to my lists page to find them, it's more stable. -T.]

arte-e-scienza – In my head, I use the term “arte e scienza” to talk about art and science without fretting about which is which. I get the phrase from How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, which is a pretty ambitious title but it is one of my favorite self-help-style books of all time, and it really taught me to observe. There’s some mainstream science journalism, some conceptual data artists, and people whose work I just plain admire.

translocal-power – It was self-defense against a huge stream of information about the Egyptian youth revolution in Tahrir Square that really convinced me I needed to finally make the big cull. This list is journalists I’ve failed to unfollow, thinkers about cyberrevolution, politicians, media twitterati, activists, crowdsourcers, people who amuse me while ranting about the state of the world… Politics and economics are getting really intriguingly warped by network effects.