From Blog to Blocks

A while ago I created a Python script that threw a chunk of my blog posts into Are.na. Each post was turned into a text block that was placed in a channel called “CJ's Blog.” Satisfied, I left the experiment sit for a while. After checking back one day, a notification appeared:

Lluvia Machuca added Bricks and Software to Design.

What did that notification mean?

“Bricks and Software” was one of my blog posts that I turned into a text block. I hadn't revisited that post for a long time. Lluvia Machuca connected my post to her own channel called “Design.” Going there, I am taken aback by the associative trail of media that Lluvia is creating. At first the presence of my post makes no sense in this channel. But then I find myself thinking about what I wrote in context to these quotes and images and diagrams. New ideas start to emerge.

This was an altogether different experience than if Lluvia simply “liked” my post. The way interactions happen on Are.na, connecting other people's blocks to your channels, allow my words to live a stranger life than they simply did as blog posts. Crossposting augments my writing to not only exist as something else (blocks) but to interact with more types of media (not just other words but images and video) in a different way (connecting blocks to other blocks).

This experiment can continue on many paths — adding & deleting more blog posts to my channel, creating new channels from those existing posts, interacting more with other blocks & channels on Are.na to introduce more multimedia collision. Wherever it goes, it excites me to even see a glimpse of what the potential of crossposting can look like.