Brian Kardell
Betterifying the Web
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Posted on 08/20/2019
2 Minute Standards

A short explanation of a new effort

For a while now, we've been running some 'outreach groups'. Originally started informally by my colleague at Igalia, Dan Ehrenberg, it's become a set of monthly meetings with various groups of stakeholders in TC39 and the Web at large which I really look forward to. The groups are meetings of people who work on Tooling, people who work on Frameworks and Libraries and Educators, with folks who work on standards. The goals of all of them, at the end of the day, is to figure out how we all work better, together.

The Educators Group has talked a bit about a number of efforts, but there's one conversation we've been having that I think is pretty interesting. I dont know of any developer who isn't interested in what is going on in standards, but the economics of this is currently kind of hard. We're interested in a whole bunch of other things too. There's lots of good content - too much in fact, coming at us from a million directions and it's all competing for our time and attention. We have jobs, and families, and pets, hobbies and lives. I love a lot of long form things, I'm excited when I see them in my stream, but they pile up and I have to choose. I only have so many slots of time where I can actually afford to consume 10, 15, 30 or 40 minutes worth of information. It can feel a little overwhelming sometimes.

So, we're going to try something new: 2 Minute Standards. Think of it as "standards news, in brief". The basic idea is pretty simple: Like a news segment, it's got to contain pertinent facts, more than a tweet - but it's air time is limited, as the name would suggest, to 2 Minutes. That can come in a number of forms: An article that is 500 words or less, a two minute video, or a short web comic/zine. The idea though is to ultimately give developers some channel with reasonable economics for staying 'generally informed'. In the end, that's frequently what we want anyways: We can't know everything, we just need to know enough to know what it is, why it is, and that it is there when we're ready to learn more. We'd like to be able to roughly understand it if it comes up. A maximum of 2 minutes per day, and almost certainly not even that much, seems... unintimidating and managable.

So, that's the idea. We're still discussing many of the details about how to make this really 'click' in a bigger way: How to create as a sort of channel you can follow? For now, it seems better to start with something simple and perhaps to begin to get feedback on the idea. To this end, we'll post things with the hashtag #StandardsIn2Min, and others can too. If you see something fly by with the hashtag you can always find it again later on the twitter feed and, hopefully, expect that it will take no more than 2 minutes to consume. However, we will also manage the Twitter account @StandardsIn2Min, where we'll work to curate those hashtags too and create a manageable (honestly, probably slow) pace that never asks for more than two minutes of your attention in a day to keep up. Let us know what you think about the idea!

Thanks to the educators group for all of their help discussing and creating, and especially to Laurie Barth and Jory Burson for helping get this post put together quickly!