One piece of ancient internet advice states; “Don’t start a blog.” This has morphed over time into advice about how starting a blog isn’t a good way to make money… and I’m honestly shocked that even needs to be said. I’m not starting a blog with the intent of profit; I’m starting a blog for the purpose of being in control of at least some of my presence on the internet.
I’ve failed to follow this advice dozens of times and I’m going to keep doing it forever, more than likely. So this post is a quick dump on why I think I might need to do it, and what I expect to do with it going forward.
I’m upset with social media on so many levels. A big part of it is losing control over the content I see. It’s also having to have the same conversation dozens, if not hundreds of times, in limited formats, and finding locating those conversations again difficult.
It’s also impossible for me to sort and thread my ideas properly, especially on Twitter. There’s no guarantee that I’m posting at the right time of day for interested people to read it and no tools for people to sort my content – For example, to appreciate my Synthesizer ramblings but not see the commissioned anthro art I post of my characters, or for people to see those but not my retweets of art content I find interesting.
There’s no way to sort collections of media from tweets I like or reshare, or categorize or tag my content, and that kind of control and ability to sort the experience of internet content – for myself and others – is a huge part of why I hate those tools.
There’s also just a component of Control of the actual system. I am ceding a lot of control here, to WordPress and Dreamhost, but the site is still ultimately my responsibility. I can pull the entire thing and rehost it somewhere if I please, even on my own hardware if I need to. But it’s not just one account in an ocean of a system that I cannot easily withdraw my content from, nor abandon. Social media is like having a park to socialize with everyone, but you only get a single blanket to spread out on, and the park can kick you out or remove everything you leave there at any time.
Maybe most importantly, social media will abandon safety tools and your personal safety and privacy in order to make a profit every single time.
The failings of social media aside, what do I plan to do here that I can’t do there?
Well, I expect it to be a place to put:
- Micro-essays on interesting topics
- Long-form reflections on current events, trends, or Internet Discourse
- Tagged, curated aesthetic content (to feed Aesthetic-specific RSS feeds)
- Things too long for a twitter post
- Things too lewd for a Medium post
We’ll see how much of this comes to pass, but mostly I needed to sit down and start removing excuses and barriers for myself to write and shove content onto the internet anymore.
The fear of my content on social media being owned by others, lost in the firehose, not seen by interested people because of The Algorithm, or just having my privacy violated in some way has been a bigger barrier to producing content than anything else. It has sapped my motivation and enthusiasm for self-expression in unfathomable ways, and maybe this is the tool I need to fix it.
So here’s to more posts.
Snowmiaux, November 26th, 2020.