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The Dark Forest and the Cozy Web

Last tended May 02, 2020
The Web
Illustrated Notes

The Cozy web is

's term for the private, gatekeeper bounded spaces of the internet we have all retreated to over the last few years.

Venkat first proposed the term in one of his Breaking Smart emails on

, and mentioned Yancey Strickler's companion idea of
the Dark Forest

Loving both of these notions, I felt compelled to bring them together into an illustrated diagram of our current Social Internet Situation.

Layered diagram of the cozy web as a series of underground burrows beneath the dark forest

We create tiny underground burrows of Slack channels, Whatsapp groups, Discord chats, and Telegram streams that offer shelter and respite from the aggressively public nature of Facebook, Twitter, and every recruiter looking to connect on LinkedIn.

It's the digital realm of

Gen-Z vibes.
Casual, comfy, and not trying to kick up a fuss.

The cozy web works on "(human) protocol of everybody cutting-and-pasting bits of text, images, URLs, and screenshots across live streams", hopefully one day evolving "from cut-and-paste to a personal blockchain of context-permissioned, addressable, searchable, interlinked clips" as Venkat puts it.

It's since become a standard part of the Venkat Vocabulary for fellow Ribbonfarmers and Yaks, and remains one of my favourite

of this year.

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Maggie Appleton © 2021