From Users to (Sense)Makers: On the Pivotal Role of Stigmergic Social Annotation in the Quest for Collective Sensemaking


The web has become a dominant epistemic environment, influencing people’s beliefs at a global scale. However, online epistemic environments are increasingly polluted, impairing societies’ ability to coordinate effectively in the face of global crises. We argue that centralized platforms are a main source of epistemic pollution, and that healthier environments require redesigning how we collectively govern attention. Inspired by decentralization and open source software movements, we propose Open Source Attention, a socio-technical framework for ‘freeing’ human attention from control by platforms, through a decentralized eco-system for creating, storing and querying stigmergic markers; the digital traces of human attention.

ACM Hypertext and Social Media, Barcelona, 2022 (2nd place, Blue Sky Ideas track)