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    blog.readup.com | 5/24/19 | 8 min
    20 reads21 comments
    9.8
    blog.readup.com
    20 reads
    9.8
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    • thorgalle
      Scout
      2 months ago

      I'm happy I scanned some older Readup blog articles a few days ago, remembered this one and read it today after being reminded of it.

      This is the kind of motivational writing that I need to see regularly in order to overcome a fear of sharing and being judged. A fear of displeasing people and wasting their time. I've been experiencing this often, and in various ways.

      On Instagram I never got quite comfortable sharing pictures of myself: what purpose would it serve? Ego-boosting while by counting the likes I received? That felt unhealthy. At the same time I somewhat enjoyed seeing friends' adventures and stories. Yet it's hard to remove the thoughts of judgement and self-censorship with the way "loves" and views are so central on this platform.

      On Twitter I wanted to communicate more about various interests. But I felt frustrated at the impossibility of catering to those interests separately. Why are people following me? Because they're real-life friends? Or because I shared something tech-related and they want more of that? Anything I Tweet out of a spontaneous desire to share could be interesting to few, and crap to others. How can a technical observation about message passing mechanisms in web extensions ever interest a friend studying psychology? It would just pollute her feed.

      I feel that way because I'm also frustrated with Twitter from the feed consumer side. I follow a soup of people with a soup of interests. The feed is always a slot machine of interesting bits mixed up with marketing talk and random stuff. To write this, and to back up this feeling, I'm now looking at my Twitter feed. I see that Minecraft developer Notch, who sometimes tweets funny things, and who I happen to "follow", retweeted a random guy saying: "I graduate in two weeks". Awesome. I couldn't care more. And this randomness is thrown into my face without prior selection or deliberate choice of content. Nauseating.

      Readup is refreshing. First, the plate of articles that Readup presents to me every day is delightfully limited. There's just one article of the day. A "feed" of competing articles follows, but often I've already read 3 of those because they change slowly. Day by day. Visit Twitter again within 10 minutes and there are hundreds of new pieces of information craving my attention. In Readup, my followee's activity is not shoved into my face. Clicking the friend or notification feed is an intentional act of discovery. And there's less variety in the stuff to be found. I can scan some article titles and decide what I'm interested in. When I'm done reading something, it's easy to leave Readup and do something else.

      But wait. Let me correct that. One major exception is that long articles often trigger long thought. And long thought wants to escape and be discussed in a comment.

      How long should a Readup comment be? What should it comment on? How long should you take to write it, and in other words, how much thought should be put in it?

      Readup comments have the nice property that they are bound together by the Opening Post, the article. You know at least a direction of what to expect. But that doesn't make them predictable. They could be short exclamations like "Nice article!". They can explore tangential topics and provide background, or they can criticize and discuss statements. And often, they trigger gulps of personal reminiscence of various shapes and sizes. Indulge at your own discretion.

      While I originally wanted to concisely comment on some sections of this article, I spontaneously went off on a rant about sharing the self on social media. It took almost two hours, and I had not planned to spend that much time.

      This is also the second time a comment almost became a blog article recently. Being a CS graduate student, I felt compelled to say something about "Why do so few people major in computer science?" a few days ago. But when I started writing that comment, it became a story of my personal doubts and reflections when picking my direction of studies. It was a few paragraphs long.

      Surely, that is too long for a Readup comment. I didn't post it.

    • anglofox1 year ago

      Perhaps if you want people to comment as freely as they speak, the comment board has to be as impermanent as a conversation. Perhaps you could set your messages to delete after a certain amount of time, or auto-configure a disclaimer / acknowledgement for comments that no longer feel like you, or the ability to comment privately (to your online Readup journal, or just a few friends), or switch a comment from public to private when you feel like it, and back again.

      I think the other challenge is that the desire to read is like an immediate need to consume new information, but commenting involves digesting what you read - which can take time and reflection - and then returning to the place where you read the article to actually type up your thoughts.

      Finally, I feel like lurkers is a bad word to describe someone who reads and enjoys Readup, but finds themselves “listening more than they speak”. Making a new word for those members of your community could help remove some sort of creepy stigma attached to that totally normal behavior. If someone comments on an article I read, perhaps I could get a notification, which might encourage me to join the conversation.

      • workingmom12921 year ago

        Anglofox, I really like all your suggestions here!!

        I looked to see, before I posted, if I could delete or change my comment I(I didn't see any such button) and so I tried to be more careful about what I said. I only commented after I had read the information a few times to be sure I understood it and after careful thought, I posted.

        I don't mind the word lurk but I looked it up and it does have initial negative meaning with the informal meaning being not contributing on the internet.

        Maybe, Readup followers could brainstorm ideas on what word would feel better?

        I really like the idea of being notified when I log on to the site if anyone has commented on any of the articles I have finished (even if I didn't leave a comment yet) or ones I have commented on, (not just reply's).
        I think it would keep the conversation alive as others finish reading the article and comment as well.

        • bill
          Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
          1 year ago

          Oh yeah! I'm agree 100% that "lurkers" isn't a good word. What about just "readers" as a word that applies to everyone in the community?

          I like all of these ideas, especially (1) expiring comments (2) anonymous comments (3) notifications when someone comments on something you've read (so you can reply even if you maybe didn't want to be the first to comment)

          • workingmom12921 year ago

            Looks like you are already hard at work on some of these ideas.

            I don't mind being referred to as a reader or a subscriber or even a yous, maybe..maybe. lol

            I would like to see the option to edit or delete a comment, but if comments could be initially posted anonymous (or even changed to that later) that would be even better!

            • bill
              Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
              1 year ago

              Yeah - I seriously want to be able to post anonymously. I think it would have to be the kind of thing that you select when you're posting ("post anonymously) and that's that.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        If I could, I would upvote this comment. That's a feature that's been in the pipeline for a while.

    • joanne1 year ago

      You are so right on. I’ve never heard the fear and loathing of exposing ourselves put so plainly. I think the best way to get over ourselves is to just dive right in.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        Thank you!

        I wrote this quite furiously - chopping stuff up, axing big sections, restarting again and again - and I just realized that I lost a section that I quite liked. It was something like this: "My mom has the right idea, which is to read stuff on Readup, including the comments, and then just give me call whenever she wants to talk about it. I don't have to worry about whether or not she's read it because I know she's a solid reader and she's my mom so she doesn't lie. Most recently, it was Rich Kid Revolutionaries. I'm down to share my flip phone number widely, but I don't think that's a solution that can work for the entire community, especially if we keep growing." :)

    • Ericwhitney8081 year ago

      B, I’m predominantly a lurker but I’m going to try and use this as motivation to find ways to be more proactive. Also, I appreciate what you’re doing. Including your posts on your personal site. Writing is hard!

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        <3

    • Plum1 year ago

      Whoa! but just a btw comment on one of your comments. I love the word yous (you plural) not only because I’m from NJ but because it signifies a community of yous in a way the proper plural, you doesn’t.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        Lol. Wait, really? Use yous in a sentence that doesn't sound totally wrong.

    • angle_dance4681 year ago

      I love everything about this piece except the idea of you burning your journals. Please never do that.

    • workingmom12921 year ago

      Challenge accepted! Now buckle up cowboy cause this ride is gonna get....real!! Just kidding. Recently I met a man, (Mr. Lean and Handsome), who had all these intelligent things to say (at least when I let him get a word in edge wise..lol) and I completely related to what he was saying. The conversation seemed to flow pretty well, but there was an entire mental state behind the scenes. At least for me. While we were talking I kept mentally yelling at myself, Think woman think, focus, say something witty and personal...spit it out. I was nervous which made me ramble, but he felt like sunshine to me. Which is weird, because I don't spend much time with people these days. Books and animals are where much of my safer work revolves. SO, I lurk, I read other brave peoples comments, and I mentally participate. I think everyone feels that pressure to be witty, funny, and a participant. Add commenting in writing and now you have to worry about grammar and spelling and the fact that you cant ever....ever take it back and that's enough to make even a seasoned chatter box hide in their turtle shell. But now you have thrown out this challenge, this call to Readup followers to put their voices out there so you can get feedback on "...this crazy experiment.." Well I am standing up, or in this case, writing down what I think. I think its great and I totally believe its a great idea! Keep moving forward. How else can we help?

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        YES!! I think everyone can relate to this. Who isn't a nervous rambler?!

        "Think woman think, focus, say something witty and personal...spit it out."

        Ahh!! Hahahaha. I'm literally cracking up! This is such a hoot!!

    • erica1 year ago

      This makes me think of a line from Waking Life: “What are these barriers that keep people from reaching anywhere near their real potential? The answer to that can be found in another question, and that’s this: Which is the most universal human characteristic — fear or laziness?“

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        FEAR

    • jumana1 year ago

      my comment would copy your entire post. thank you.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        Ahh... took you less than ten words to get me smiling ear to ear!!

    • Pegeen
      Scribe
      1 year ago

      Bill, this is one of my absolute favorite things you have written! I LOVE the honesty, just beyond wonderful! And it’s all true! As The Course in Miracles says, fear is just the absence of love. And allowing our inner critics to have the final say is a lack of loving ourselves, our true selves. The things we say to ourselves - would we ever say that to a child? To someone we loved? Loving is such an act of courage, of authentic strength. We are loving ourselves when we accept ourselves as we are - to share that, to connect, to include. I have always believed that it’s our vulnerability that connects us, not our hiding behind some persona of perfection. I love this community, I believe in it, I welcome it with open arms. This is life, this is real and that includes all the knots and gnarls of our humanity. It’s beautiful - let’s celebrate!