Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stock and Flow

Turns out Brad DeLong is not entirely lost to the Equitablog wonk-land. He has resumed blogging and cross-posting at his more diverse Typepad site.  And we're better off for it.  Today he has dug up an old Robin Sloan post (Brad says Daniel Davis, but it sure looks like Sloan):

Anyway, Sloan has this really interesting post from 2010, discussing the distinction between stock and flow. It starts with social media, but applies to all of life:
  • Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist.
  • Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
I feel like flow is ascendant these days, for obvious reasons—but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audience and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time running on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got nothing here.
This would be "stock", that post.  As opposed to my linking to it, which would be "flow."  It's worth a read either way.

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