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On context collapse

How social media changed the way we share the information online and offline.

Anna Grigoryan
Anna Grigoryan
3 min read
On context collapse

Table of Contents

(Illustration by JUAN ER)

During January and February I read two books that both referenced a term "Context collapse".

Imagine you go on a trip to a Bali. You come back and tell to your friends and family about it. Depending on who you're talking to you might omit some parts of a story and exaggerate others.

All thanks to the context you know about each person. Now try to think how you'll tell that story online.

Because online spaces have potential to expose your story to 1,000,000 with or without your will you'll possibly create a palatable version of your story.

Because in the same breath your boss, mom, ex partner, future boss or future client, your future father in law might see it. People we know and don't know, but also might know in the future.

We strip the story of it's context.

Add to it character limits of social media and you get a recipe for a clickbait, viral post or a twitter thread 🧵🧵🧵 more details below! 👇👇👇

Now is a discord server an answer to the question? To be honest I don't know.

Communities create intimate spaces where we suddenly have the time an patience to hear one another without the urgency to "like", "mad", "curious" or "clap".

In this issue I'll try to bring some tools that are sewing together our lost context.

Drawer of Inspiration 🎥

1/ Community shout out to Font discovery newsletter

Why I include the newsletter:
When I have a new project I always to into  quest of finding a nice font for it. Although I know how useless it is I can spend time in Canva searching for he best fit.

I love the newsletter because it validated my love towards Barlow font, and also brings in nice aesthetic into my inbox with actionable design tips and resources around fonts, branding, and marketing for building my projects.

2/ Sane
How I discovered it: I discovered them awhile ago and even talked about them before on this newsletter before. Since then I talked to the founder of this project and loved the version of future that they see.

Why I include the tool:
I've had past attempts to build a knowledge base for this newsletter. I share a lot of things I find useful here and there's reason behind each share. One of the reasons I started to add "How I discovered it" and "Why I include the article" preface's was for my selfish reasons to again not loose this context.

I tried to use Notion and Airtable for this, I downloaded Obsidian and tried to hack together a system that would work for me. However, the graphs and nice tables don't to it for me.

Because it's hard to put a whole context into a category. Maybe series of categories who knows?

What Sane tries to do is to build context based discovery system for your knowledge and I'm here for it. Notion build a product that created this thirst of organization of your online spaces, I think now Sane has the potential to bring context to them.

3/ Polywork
How I discovered it: I already don't remember honestly. As any tech product backed by a16z it of course had some hype built into it. And maybe I heard about it on twitter?

Why I include the tool:
Now you might think "Anna you just said that you can't categorize context". And to that I'll say... "Hmm you got me".

I think why I enjoy Polywork is not that part of categorization of context but rather the collaboratives built in the product. This desire to connect people not for personal brand sake (hello Linkedin, how are you?), but for the context of the connection.

I wrote how I used Polywork to find podcasters to interview. With knowing what people are open to and what their experience is I was able to find connections and collaborators. Without thinking "Here's the cold DM I'm sending into the void".

I'm trying to use Polywork more frequently these days and as long as they don't have likes and heart emojis as reactions I'm in!

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With love from Lithuania


Weekly Newsletter

Anna Grigoryan

Writer, engineer and recovering over-achiever. I bring context into creator economy with Community Weekly newsletter, and help people discover best podcasts out there with Kradl.