Social Attention (illustrations), March 2021

Prototype: Text selections are anonymously shared, in realtime, between readers on my blog.

The prototype is opt-in.

When enabled, a status icon appears 😶

When there is more than one person on the site, the status icon activates 🙂

A text selection made by one reader appears as a highlight for the other 😄

If both readers are active, the status icon represents that.

Here's a phone and a desktop browser, each selecting text and showing a highlight from the other 🥳 (It also works with more than two people.)

On the web, we have apps which are often social, and plain documents which aren't. But imagine chatting on the phone or in a meeting, and instead of sharing a link and describing what to tap and where to scroll, you could just say, to your friend or family member or colleague: follow me. That's what I'd like to see.

Anonymous shared attention is a nod towards a web which is social in the sense of "being together" but not social in the sense of "collaboration" or "media."


These illustrations accompany my blog post, where you can also find the prototype itself: Social Attention: a modest prototype in shared presence (March 2021).