March: Hyperlinked Conversational Blogging
There are certain times when I'll be walking and thinking and return to ideas I've had in the past. Returning to a place will cause a thought I had there to return as well. A couple of months ago I was walking in the place pictured above and thinking about a website where conversation happened in a necessarily slow way. The system itself would make quick conversation impossible; you'd have to consider your reply because the way the system allows you to formulate it forces you to. While walking in the same place in July, I was thinking about what turned out to be the same idea from a different angle. Could the feeling of "cozy" (if at all) translate into a digital system? This idea has been explored quite a bit in the past, and there certainly some systems that can illicit this feeling. Conversational systems, however, aren't usually considered in this light. They're clear, understandable, on occasion expressive, but not often cozy places to hang out.
The two ideas sort of melded together to create a vision for a system where conversation can happen slowly over time, building a kind of garden of thoughts and artifacts to house them. The slowness of it pushes it in the direction of coziness; it has to be slow and crafted, while also being familiar enough that it sits in contrast to other more familiar methods of digital communication. The blog is not a place for "my ideas, formulated as posts" but rather a conversation between myself and others that evolves over time through a series of pages that are unique in their presentation and have a strong tie between content, structure, and style.
This project is so far much less defined than the previous websites which makes it potentially a bit dangerous to try and tackle in a month. But I've selected it because I think that constraining the design and development of this system to such little time will be productive. It's something I want to build but otherwise would continue to put off because it seems like too big of a project to start. So here we go, let's do it in a month.
I'm setting a goal of spending approximately 18 hours on this system. In the end It'll be something that I can use, but not something so publicly available in the same way as the previous two sites. So I'll spend less time polishing by considering mobile formatting and such and more on the vision for the system and an initial stab at implementing it. Of course it'll deployed by the end of the month, but I expect after I use it for a bit there will be much to reconsider and change. That's the goal though, so before we get there I need to actually build the thing, which is what this month is for.