It’s odd to see how conspiracy fantasies, suspect sources, disinformation and deliberate emotionally provocative or even antagonistic wording are on the rise on my LinkedIn timeline.

I first encountered a QAnon account in a comments section last August, but that person was still many steps away in my network. Now I see things popping up from direct connections and their connections. I had assumed that LinkedIn being tied to your professional reputation would go a long way to prevent such things, but apparently not any longer. In some instances, it’s almost as if people don’t realise they’re doing it, a boiling-a-frog effect of sorts.

One person being called out for some under-informed reactionary content by pointing out that their employer has the capabilities and resources to prove them wrong even responded “leave my employer out of it”. That’s not really possible though, as your employer is in your by-line and accompanies your avatar with every post and comment you make. Seven months after first encountering something like that on my LinkedIn timeline it is now a daily part of my timeline, and all coming from my Dutch network and their connections.

LinkedIn is starting to feel as icky as Facebook did three years ago. Makes me wonder how long LinkedIn will remain a viable tool. I don’t think I will be spending much or any attention on my timeline moving forward, until the moment LinkedIn is as much a failed social platform as others and it’s time to let go of it completely. That doesn’t mean disengaging with the people in my network obviously, but it is not at all my responsibility to help LinkedIn reach a certain level of quality of discourse by trying to counteract the muck. I was an early user of LinkedIn (nr. 8730, look at the source of your profile page and search it for ‘member:’ to find your number) in the spring of 2003, I know there’s already a trickle of people leaving the platform, and I wonder when (not if) I’ll fully join them.

There’s beauty in node graphs like these, even if in this form it hasn’t much use value. This is my graph of the ~2.600 notes I keep in Obsidian after 9 months of daily use, as part of my personal knowledge management system.

(click for larger version)

The outer rim of islands is the reading and summarising in progress. Yellows and greens are notes and notions (around 50% of the total), red work related notes, blues are about organising and planning (day logs, weekly reviews, checklists, templates etc.).

For contrast the graph of the around 7.000 notes I exported from Evernote, which has no structure at all (except for one island of notes having numbered footnotes, which causes a connection between unrelated notes having links for the number [1] which also happens to be an existing note title).

When graphs are useful to me in practice is when I’m looking at local graphs of my notes, while writing. A local graph shows me the notes connected to the current note, at different degrees of separation. One degree I never use (those are the links appearing in the note itself), but two degrees (to which notes the linked notes in my note themselves link) is useful, as it allows associations and new connections.

A spam message, uncaught by the spam filters, landed in my inbox this morning. I’m somewhat glad it did, as it made me laugh.

After the classic ‘hi we’re so-and-so and want to enter into business with you’ I still didn’t know what they actually wanted from me. Reading the last line then made me laugh: We Need Fresh Garlic.
Much better than ‘kind regards’ etc.

I of course looked the mentioned company up: the description is lifted from Wikipedia of a company that ceased to exist under that name in 2008. The signature/address is of a different company by more or less the same name, that does still exist and is employee owned, also according to Wikipedia. So I learned a few things about the grocery sector in two US states, which I will likely forget. But the clearly expressed need, capitalised because of its urgency, will stay with me for a long time.

We Need Fresh Garlic!

We all do, I think.

Stephen Downes makes a good point. As ‘content consumers’ we correctly have the expectation that paying for something does not mean reduced advertising. In no medium is that actually the case, so the web isn’t and won’t be different. The issue of adverts on the web isn’t about ads per se. It’s about ad tech, which needs to die. It’s about web ad intermediaries too, who currently ensure there’s no link between me seeing an ad, the site I’m seeing it on knowing it’s there, and the actual money going to that site. There should however be such a link between the adverts shown on a site and the site knowing that, and the money flowing as direct as possible between advertiser and site. Advert intermediaries (deemed necessary because of their ad tech expertise) purposefully make the connection between me and the medium opaque to all but the advert intermediary. The problem with web ads isn’t ads.