Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ In search of a digital town square

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Here's how Zeldman introduces it: "Ever since an infantile fascist billionaire (hereafter, the IFB) decided to turn Twitter over to the racially hostile anti-science set, folks who previously used that network daily to discuss and amplify topics they cared about have either given up on the very premise of a shared digital commons, continued to post to Twitter while holding their noses, or sought a new digital place to call their own. This post is for the seekers, to compare notes." I don't think he really gets town squares - the most important feature of which is that there is one for every town. We don't need to go to The (Wholly Owned) Capital to talk to each other. If anything (in my view) the search for a town square is being propelled mostly by the gradual erosion and enclosure of email, and especially the conversion of mailing and discussion lists into proprietary platforms. There's no discussion of these here, though if you ask me, most of what's really interesting is happening on platforms ranging from Blogs to Discourse to Discord to Matrix.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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Last Updated: May 30, 2024 02:54 a.m.

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