The more things change…
So I’ve decided to bring back this blog. Almost five years ago I intended to use it but never really got around to keeping up here. At the time I was still happy enough with existing social media. That’s changed. Facebook is fairly blatantly selling its users as ad consumers. Not an unfair practice but when money interests determine what you see from people online it’s fundamentally broken. It’s no longer social media, it’s consumer media. And twitter is just going to complete hell. They’ll be MySpace 2.0 before the end of next year if not much sooner. Five years ago the options for alternative social media were limited. I think Google+ just came on the scene and never really made it anywhere big other than continuing its existence because of a huge backing from the parent company.
Things have changed.
Diaspora* is a great idea but the entry barrier is a bit too high for most users. Synereo is still under development but it looks like people have figured out how to make social media have a heartbeat without basically being whored out to corporate interests. And most important GNU social is finding an increase in interest as twitter goes down. Long and short, I see the first big generation of social media giants collapsing soon. And as a technologically inclined person I want to be part of the future, so I figure why wait for things to get bad (Digg, what?) before finding something better.
There’s also a more philosophical reason. I read an article about a blogger who was imprisoned in Iran for writing about the government. He was recently let out after five or more years without access to the internet. He was shocked by what it had become in only a few short years. He mourned the loss of the “blogosphere” and the rise of the soundbite instant-gratification social media. And he was right about a lot of stuff. The “decline” of the internet (really, the users) over the last few years is probably related to being lead by shaped internet feeds. You get stuff fed to you instead of going out to find what you like.
So, I’m “returning” to blogging. These days it’s trivial to share links. If somebody really cares about what I have to say they’ll come here. That’ll be very few people. But it’ll be better for those who do want to see it and I’ll at least avoid polluting social media with uninteresting noise. Why try to have a conversation with 500 people who will give you only a second of their time if you could have a nice long talk with five people who actually care?
That all being said, I’m going to push the idea of jumping ship from Twitter and joining GNU social. That’s a topic for another blog post, but in short it’s more like social media really should be, like email. You choose your server/host but can still follow people on other servers. I’m @firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s one server, there’s plenty others. (Avoid quitter, but again, that’s a story for another post.) Let me know if you sign up for GNU social and I’ll probably follow you back. It’s been great so far.