My Digital Garden

Mike Caulfield - Peak StreamMode

Mike Caulfield blog post from 2014.

Drawing on comments from Bonnie Stewart he notes that:

Conversation works both because interlocutors share context and because listeners and speakers work hard to see the world through each other’s eyes. Sperber and Wilson, in [[Relevance Theory]], go so far as to say that our default assumption in language is that speakers will always be maximally relevant, and when they seem not to be our default assumption will be that our understanding is incomplete, not that the the speaker was being intentionally obscure or sporadically inconsistent.

...but that behaviour on Twitter seems to miss those cues.

He suggests that another issue is:

we’re pushing too much of our output through what I have decided to call [stream-mode] (that running serialization that sees all things as sequenced speech events) and too little of our output though [state-mode] (that iterative mode which sees our work as existing as a sort of snapshot of us and our ideas). We used to work in hybrid forms — self-contained blog posts that were serialized to RSS, Flickr collections with new photos feed. Increasingly, however, we are abandoning StateMode altogether. Instead of Flickr we have Instagram, instead of blogging we have Twitter and Tumblr. Everything is placed on a timeline, and very little is integrated in any greater way than “X came after Y”. You can take my location history, interleave it with my tweets, my Netflix viewing patterns, my Facebook likes, my GoodReads additions. It’s all just one big soup of timestamps.

and highlights that before approx. 2006 [state-mode] was the norm - in short the post is a plea for balance between the two forms of expression.

Referred in


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Mike Caulfield - Peak StreamMode