The Megaphone Cyclone interview
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! My name is Chris Ainsworth, and I’m a designer at Bellwether Technologies, a small development studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. That used to mostly be game design, but the needs of the studio and the nature of our recent work pushes me more towards UI/UX these days.
I restore arcade cabinets and enjoy fixing and building things in general, the tactile sensation is a nice change versus my day to day work. I like birds. Sometimes people pay me to write words. I go by driph on the Internet.
Do you have any strategies for dealing with information overload?
I back away. I like to have multiple streams that I can dip into as desired, but too much at once becomes a cacophony and overwhelms me. I also make a point of limiting the amount of editorialized content I consume, and am strict with the Slack/Discord channels that I receive notifications from.
Would you describe yourself as a very online person?
I discovered BBSes in the 1980s and have been online ever since.
I yearn for an Internet prior to the advent of the retweet and one click sharing.
Are you a part of any smaller online communities?
As I’ve moved away from the larger social networks, I’ve found myself spending more time on specialized forums and a handful of subreddits. I lament that many communities that would’ve once been built around a forum installation now exist as Facebook groups, where the format is designed around immediacy and views versus the longer term retention and retrieval of content. A lot of valuable information will be lost that way.
For a while I was feeling nostalgic about irc, but Slack and Discord have filled that hole well enough.
One small community I’m particularly fond of is Dreadzone, a private art collective full of my favorite people. Ostensibly envisioned as a haven for creative folk to bounce off of and produce with each other, it’s also a great place to hang out and shoot the shit. Occasionally, we make stuff together.
Have you met anyone from the internet in person?
Oh yes, many. I met my partner online, too, via Twitter. She’s since left the social network.
What is one thing you wish you could take from online communities to use IRL?
The ability to lurk and absorb information before jumping in. The ability to edit before hitting enter.
Who was the last interesting person you met offline?
Last weekend I met the owner of an oddities shop, the weekend before a couple that makes their living 3d printing art pieces and collectibles. Interesting people are everywhere!
Which questions would you like to ask other people that do this interview?
- Do you have any strategies for dealing with information overload?
- Are you a part of any smaller online communities?
- In the past, what has driven you to join an online community? To leave one?
- How do you use technology to communicate with others?
- Have you abandoned any means of communication in the past? Why? What were the consequences?
Megaphone Cyclone is a series of interviews about information overload. We have a line-up slated, but we’re always looking for more. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in being interviewed. Thanks!