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Statement of Focus

Last updated on October 11, 2019

I am interested in co-creating an ecosystem and build software components to support and enable slower, more considered, deep dialog, as opposed to the shallow and quick dialog of much social media, blogs and discussion groups.

Traditional blogs are based on dialog with the initial statement featured as a well presented article with comments tagged on to the end. Social media consists of posts which are shared and re-shared with comments also hanging off them. I believe that each contribution should stand on its own and be respected as much as the original contribution in terms of authoring, reading and analysis environments. It is easy to think of digital writing as being ephemeral or ‘throw-away’ when what I think we need is time to think and connect and to express our thoughts clearly, in a usefully connected way.

The Model

The model is therefore based around the concept of publishing (making public) a statement in a self contained/document and letting anyone reply with the same level of authoring environment while the thread of the dialog stays easy to follow, in a convenient way to the participants.

What I Will Do

My PhD Thesis is on augmenting academic citations and my advisor Les Carr coined the term ‘Scholarly Copy‘ in response to my work on Visual-Meta and Citation Meta.

I will therefore focus on creating the connective infrastructure for carrying on a conversation via PDF for a small team, which will then later be extensible into academic documents supporting large scale dialog. The reason for focusing on small teams rather than academic publishing initially is the added complexity of the publishing organisations.


My research will concern analysing the needs for connective infrastructure and how to implement it for testing, with initial focus on

  • Citing (Visual-Meta & Citation Meta), which is largely conceptually done and will be implemented in my software
  • Addressing (high resolution and document based), which is also largely done
  • Notifications (of replies and updates) which will be my main effort going forward initially

What Am Doing & Have Done

This is why I have developed the Liquid | Author word processor for macOS, Liquid | Flow interactive text tool and the Liquid | Reader PDF reader which will serve as test beds for this system:

This is also why I host the annual Future of Text Symposium and why I am editing the widest survey of the possible futures of text, to learn more about wider text perspectives:

Published inAuthorCitation MetaCorrespondanceNotes On...PhDScholarly CopyThoughtsVisual-Meta

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