Port 443 in a storm

I’ve got a private Twitter list in TweetDeck entitled ‘Core’. It contains people whose updates I don’t want to miss. If you’re reading this, and know me pretty well, you’re probably on it.

One of the people on it is Simon Bostock. I got to know Simon through his comments on my blog about 10 years ago. Unusually for the people on that ‘Core’ TweetDeck list, the only way I’m connected to Simon is through Twitter. I don’t have his phone number. We’re not friends on any other social network. I’ve only met him in person twice, and then pretty briefly.

So yesterday, when I saw this, I was a bit shocked. I suppose I shouldn’t be, given that Simon is the ultimate example of someone who employs a ‘small pieces, loosely joined’ approach to digital, meaning that, in fact, he has a pretty sustainable web presence. You never know where he’s going to pop up next, but you do know that he will. Eventually.

Simon Bostock

There’s a couple of things here:

  1. I’ve been thinking for ages that I should have better connections to people whose work I appreciate. I actually created a spreadsheet for this purpose a while back. These days I should probably use FullContact (or similar)
  2. There’s something about personal vs. professional ethics here that I can’t quite tease out. I had an interesting conversation with a teacher this week who came up with very reasonable objections to using Google, Facebook, and the like from energy and privacy perspectives. I’m just trying to figure out whether such things are like vegetarianism (and therefore should be accommodated in a professional setting) or whether sometimes we have to hold our noses.

 (PS: I nicked the title from Paul Ford’s Medium profile that includes the line: ‘Any port in a storm, especially ports 80 and 443’. The former, of course, is for HTTP connections and the latter HTTPS…)