Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What I Run Synthetic Content (#DesignFiction) Through My Network

Some people are really confused by the alternative editions of my sites. If you hadn't noticed the links in the navigation for each of my sites, there is an alternate.kinlane.com and an alternate.apievangelist.com blogs to compliment the main editions. What's the difference? Well, the alternative editions are fiction, and the primary editions are all non-fiction.

I had published a story the other week about running synthetic data and content through your APIs and my partner in crime expressed her sadness that this wasn't about the alternative side of my world. This prompted me to think more about why I am increasingly running "synthetic content" aka #DesignFiction through my platform on a regular basis.

  • Distraction - It is a real-time distraction for me as I'm spending hours monitoring the real world of APIs. Thinking about fictional concepts, that are closely aligned with the regular work I am doing, helps me stay fresh, creative, and reduce burnout--allowing me to be more efficient in my regular non-fiction writing.
  • Mind Expanding - The more I write, the easier it is for me to write on a regular basis. I find that my writing was suffering from just focusing on a single topic. I am able to take more diverse takes on all of my work, have a diverse set of ideas to work from, and just craft more stories since my expansion into the fictional world.
  • Out of the Box - Beyond expanding my mind, I find writing fiction alongside my regular industry analysis often puts me completely out of the box. When it comes to monitoring the API space I'm usually focusing on what people are already doing, with the occasional filling in the gaps--when I'm writing non-fiction there are no boundaries, I can talk about ANYTHING!
  • Startup Release - I can write about my ideas for startups like they exist, and explore the ideas like I was actually doing the work. The best part is that I do not actually have to do them. I can put the ideas out there, exercise the muscles provides seeds for other people's startups, but don't actually have to own the shitty side of actually doing a startup.
  • Law Enforcement - When I research and write my non-fiction it allows me to explore topics and concepts that normally might get law enforcement to take another look at me. In the current online climate. this can be a problem, where I can easily point to my fictional writing as the reason for my strange web searches and social activity.

These are just a handful of the benefits I'm seeing from running synthetic content through my network, alongside the regular work I do each day. Right now I am producing about 15% fictional work, and 85% non-fiction storytelling and analysis. My goal is to reach a 50/50 balance in my writing, where I am spending equal time exploring design fiction scenarios for every topic and industry I'm researching and providing analysis on.

Some folks have expressed concerns about there being confusion between my fiction and my non-fiction, but I think this already exists online from the promised made by startups regarding technology, all the way to the current cybersecurity environment being defined online. It can be difficult to tell fact from fiction--at least I use the #DesignFiction hashtag in my titles! The fuzziness between fact and fiction online is one of the reasons I think that #DesignFiction is so important, allowing us to tell stories of what might be, or could be, as a result of all this technology we are unleashing on the world.



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