Well that didn't last long.
It's not that following my loud declaration that I wold not use social media for "reach", I recant that specific element, but it's pretty clear to me just two or so weeks after doing so, that there's simply no fun or point to the craft if you're not spreading your stuff like a weed wherever you can.
So, I am going to have to turn that dial back a little on my complete abandonment of social media and "continue analyzing the landscape".
I think the blog should increase its luminance, yes, and maybe that understanding will be a key positive takeaway from the Twitter shipwreck that spawned all this contemplation in the first place. But blogs and personal websites like this also have a duty to inject themselves into the broader digital conversation, wherever that is happening.
Twitter's morphing into something more akin to a closed service has definitely fragmented online conversation (not an accident I suspect, the status quo or the "Illuminati" or "UFOs", however you choose to define the mysterious powers-that-be, was terrified by a unified public square, in my theory of demise), and everything I said before about the independent publishing platform is truer for it.
But for me at least, in the capacity of a show, which I've always considered the online version of myself, I can't isolate my stuff which otherwise disappears into the nether when suddenly I croak and GoDaddy realizes that the recurring charges for the hosting are failing.
Especially when it comes to my personal blog. Understand that my voice in IRL matters is very much squelched day to day. I've grown keen over the course of my lifetime that people are kind of afraid to just "let this fucker talk." For me, it's about slogging through naked filibustering and diversionary obfuscating tactics just about every minute of my waking life. And maybe 20 percent of the time or so I would actually agree with people for wanting to stick a cork in me. It's this freaking Mars in Gemini I've got.
Putting it more eloquently though, I am not free or brave enough to spout off in certain circles even when it would be the more just thing to do. And while my online voice doesn't replace my guarded sentiments, it does serve as an omnipresent warning to everyone that my acquiescence is a frail matter of reason, when not an outright bypass outlet.
Like any writer, I consider my big mouth, my writing and my publishing, one of the few inherent powers of my nature, that I posses. Despite my quip about GoDaddy above, I'm likely to find a way to keep doing it beyond the grave (kind of like this guy but probably with a little more focus, and, oh yeah, without the apparent criminal insanity - I mean what a pretty crazy story). It would be cool to figure out a way, 'specially with all this AI business now.
My good audience, for better or for worse, I am meant to ooze through the gears of online conversation and must continue doing so as a matter of personal therapy, positive - or at least benign - narcissism, and to be feel "free".
My New Online World Order
So, with that all being brain-dumped, I'm going to try something a little closer to what they call "content syndication" in the blogging world. This is just a fancy way of saying that I do something like post here first, then and only then, echo through various social media channels as I see fit. Or at the very least, make sure that whatever order that I do it (because sometimes platform attribute drives the lead), that I do it with synchronicity with this platform ultimately being the dependable reference hub. This blog is what you want to follow if nothing else.
I've revised my follow information section to reflect this, accordingly, and yes, you'll be hearing from me on Twitter, Threads, Instagram, Facebook, yada yada. Oddly enough though I've canceled my Mastodon subscription because all this proved even more to me that it's a (correct-in-principle) blogging platform that I already happen to have here with this Battle Blog. If this platform fell through though, I'd sign back up and point my domain(s) there. Redundant in my case, it's perfect for anyone else looking for that independent resilient voice online.
By Dave for Personal Blog.
The broken or maybe deliberately dismantled embed feature of Twitter has really thrown me into a digital tizzy. That feature allowed me to keep at least some component of my website here updated at a far more frequent rate with all forms of media. Text, images, and video. I actually paid for Twitter because when you consider the latter two components, images and video, for purposes of instant publishing right from your phone, Twitter was a hosting bargain.
My first instinct was to wait out Twitter's issue (which I can now safely affirm what everyone else has been saying around me, seems to have a name called Elon Musk). But then in short order I found myself seeing the break as an opportunity to finally move my reliance and focus on any commercial conversation or content platform, and "perfect" my activities on my personal self-managed websites and blogs.
As I mentioned in a previous post, in doing so I seem to have stumbled into a growing community of people who feel the same way and are, in my interpretation, giving up the "reach" of commercial platform services in favor of a more vertical presence involving their own hardware and software, or at least managed services that they directly control.
For example, I signed up with a managed Mastodon instance hoster for my own Mastodon instance. Mastodon has a method for embedding (look in the right column of my blog), so that I can once again instantly publish media or the short quips I think need to be included at my website seamlessly as a matter of pure congruity.
But then again, I also worked on my Battle Blog code (Battle Blog being the official product name of the self-written engine you are reading this from now) so that I could in fact, albeit in a very controlled way that I would not have to deal with if I used, say, Instagram or Twitter again, immediately post media directly from my phone whenever from wherever.
That new capability sort of competes in function to having the Mastodon feed since it might not be clear why if I have an "instant publish solution" built right into the blog engine itself now, that I need Mastodon or even the old Twitter embed.
That might be a valid reason to dump Mastodon as fast as I signed up for it, but we'll see if there's anything to it before I do. I think that beyond the embedding feature, producing and having record of your content out there in the Fediverse is important too.
To wrap up this record of thought, I want to call attention to the restoration of Dave's List of Blogs Done Right, which is an effort to list all the commercial-free active blogs I happen to encounter or have my attention called to. If you like casually perusing content without fear of sensory intrusion (ads, pop-ups, etc.), this directory will keep you busy with a cup of coffee for awhile.
By Dave for Personal Blog.
In my exploration of Mastodon something's become clear. The body of people out there who value a non-commercial, self-controlled, decentralized, and a more manually curated web, is much more real than I imagined.
Having spent so much time flowing in the monetized commercial web for the past 15 years, and bitching about it the whole time while in so, I am pleasently surprised to discover that there does indeed seem to be an emerging fork in the marching column of humans in digital civilization where one bend continues on happily looking to big tech and pop-culture platforms to define the limits of digital life - to whatever benefit (and I have to imagine that despite the pitfalls, there is one) -, while another intuitively bends toward a culture that values the efficiency of all those elements I mention above.
I thought Mastodon was on its own merit a refreshing reprieve from ads, but when I follow the links of fellow users, I land at places that are also free of ads -- blogs, papers, lists, and general information sites. Kind of like the early days of the web before advertisers decided to own the web, yet, with the maturity for simplicity, and perhaps most importantly an explicit sensitivity to the dangers of commercialization.
After just a few minutes of clicking around from place to place I could literally feel the fog of a cluttered horrible experience dissipating. I found I could click a link without "sensory anxiety" for pop-ups or challenges to sign up with newsletters. I was...web surfing.
I forgot web surfing was even a thing in feeling. I remember it well enough in commentary, ranting about the good old days and the fall of the web an all that, but truly and apparently forgot what it was like to click from place to place on whim, and to keep on going.
So, yeah, with Mastodon as a kind of apparent gateway to people with the same evident philosophy, because you kind of have to "get it" to even find Mastodon an attractive platform (and notice that I avoid saying "alternative" platform, because it's not a Twitter or a Threads, or an Instagram alternative which are places where blind reach potential is paramount in rating the quality of conversation).
Mastodon doesn't just reintroduce a non-cluttered web experience, it also introduces the value of a human mind behind every decision to link and interact, and to present information. The people who believe that the future rich web is a curated and more manual one, are on to something.
By Dave for Personal Blog.