Social Media, episode 2: Social Interaction

“A whole new generation of social media fireflies, coordinating their signalling inside catgifs, selfies, uninformed opinion and content marketing.”

Social Interaction

“Social interaction is the regulated coupling between at least two autonomous agents, where the regulation is aimed at aspects of the coupling itself so that it constitutes an emergent autonomous organization in the domain of relational dynamics, without destroying in the process the autonomy of the agents involved (though the latter’s scope can be augmented or reduced).”
Hanne De Jaegher and Ezequiel Di Paolo

Open Inquiry Graph

processes x social cognition = open inquiry graph

A (network) graph, is the product of processes and social cognition. Social cognition is how we coordinate ourselves in networks, and how we coordinate networks.

“…a species of firefly that lives in Southeast Asia, in which the individual flashing behaviour is synchronised at the group level through the visual influence of the collective flashing pattern on the individuals.”
Hanne De Jaegher and Ezequiel Di Paolo

Yes. It is of the essence that you understand social interaction, eg how virtue signalling can become a thing on social media and some of the reasons why it can be subtly dangerous, in order to get the most return on engagement, out of your engagement. This is true for any which platform you consider joining and applies even more, to your platform participation.
In short, don’t be a firefly, be a human. If you find yourself too often going “ooooh, shiny” then please think again.

Processes (not a full list)
The processes are very straightforward and we are almost all of us relatively skilled in using them already, from years of practice in social media.

- onboarding
- researching
- writing
- reading
- article posting
- article (re)sharing
- commenting
- responding
- communicating
- conversing
- interacting (eg through “liking”)
- reviewing (scores, views, dashboards)
- participating
- framing and reframing (language, sensemaking)
- signal processing

I’ve chosen these processes in order to outline our social cognition (weaving, coordinating, signalling) as taking place with and inbetween processes. Also, the whole set is compatible with the field-tested pattern language that sits underneath the posts themed Participatory Inquiry. Which means that here, Inquiry is shorthand for the Graph turned social interaction and Participatory is the social disposition we bring to the table, the platform, turned place.

Understanding How To Thrive In A Next Gen Platform
Understanding the above processes and how they will be, on eg the new Insurge platform, both similar to what we are doing here on FB and
CCFB — as well as understanding some of the ways that they will be
different — constitutes the core of the onboarding process.

The key difference, with precision, is this:

FB: Gamed Social Graph
You having 5k FB friends.

Insurge: Open Inquiry Graph
You adopting a win-win-win disposition
- social learning (engagement and return on engagement)
- social cognition (everything weaving the processes together)
- social media (next-gen, next level media)

A New Platform? How Do I Make The Cut?
The invitation to all those who’d like to join the Insurge Platform, is to participate in the above outlined processes, in and through a win-win-win disposition.

win-win-win disposition

Social Learning
The first win is optimising if not maximising your own return on engagement, out of your engagement. Eighty percent of success being showing up. You actually have to give a damn in order to achieve this.

Social Cognition
The second win is all about adding considered (high-quality articles and comments) and considerate (social cognition) comments on other people’s posts. Most of the people who’d like to join, yet who will not make the cut, will fail due to their social cognition being messed up by remaining unaware of the effect the FB gamed social graph have made and/or their unwillingness to let go of whatever social capital games they still find worthwhile playing “there”.

high-quality articles

Social Media
The third win is initially a responsibility for us platform and place developers, doing our best to optimise platform performance, and then increasingly through an extended and extendable set of processes, through insight, formats, benefits, value, tokens and currencies — all in service to the unfolding, evolving wholeness.

Your Participation Will Count
One of the most important differences is extremely simple to outline. Inside old, proprietary platforms, you as part of the product, stand to gain zip. Inside next-gen, next-level platforms, your participation will count. Yes, there will be scores and ratios and tokens and actual cocreation of value and building of actionable insight and bundling of assets of lasting value. If you actually read the previous sentence, your mind will now begin to coalesce around possibility!

Significantly Less Suckage
Simply put, traditional social media is in a shambles. You know it, everyone else knows it too. We will not be able to fix everything that is wrong with social media in one fell swoop. We will work together, towards making social, suck less.


- article posting
- article (re)sharing
- commenting
- responding
- interacting (eg through “liking”)

Repeated Failure Is One Way To Go…
These five processes form a fairly well integrated set, both in FB and in Insurge. This is also one of the subtle yet profound challenges. Eg how some participants will experience and learn, only from repeated failure, that you can’t just bring your FB habit over to a new platform. It will look and work almost the same but will be different.

…Until You Get The Hang Of Social Cognition
This is why it is of the essence to understand social cognition.
Social cognition is what happens between all the processes.

social cognition = what happens between all the processes

No worries though, I will outline with excruciating detail in a series of posts (themed Social Media), everything that is wrong with FB (the gamed social graph) in general and with your FB-ified social cognition in particular, with the goal of not only give you one h of a great indepth understanding around the things that really matter, but give you ample time to unlearn some of your FB habits, particularly those that would otherwise risk seriously hamper your progress in the new platform, the new place.

From where I sit, you need to fully understand why you should join a new platform. If you don’t understand the why, no amount of what will persuade you.

Pretty Please?
The onboarding as it is commonly explained, eg “please complete your personal platform account details and please add a picture of yourself pretty please” — well, of course we will have that as well.

What’s Insurge? Is it a new Platform?
Yes. It is a news platform. Closer to the launch, I will outline some of the essential features, what you will need to know in order to join and in what ways you will be able to participate. This post outlined part of the core Why. The What will follow. More details later, stay tuned.

Vincenzo di Giorgi



Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities & immersive productions.

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John Kellden

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities & immersive productions.