If what is happening on Twitter hasn’t demonstrated it, our relationship with these social media platforms is tenuous at best. The thing we are using to build our popularity today could very well be destroyed and disappear from the internet tomorrow, and then what?
What happens to all the content you have created? Where will the archive of all your funny memes and jokes be? What is going to happen to all those selfies you felt cute in but didn’t delete later?
The answer is we don’t know because we don’t control Twitter (or Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or TikTok). If one of these companies decided to shut down their service permanently, there would be nothing we could do about it.
Owning your content and controlling your platform is essential, and having a personal blog is a great way to do that.
This blog started out on the managed platform Wordpress.com. Wanting to own my own content, I spun up a new self-hosted Wordpress.org site called The State of Gaming (tsogaming.com) which would eventually become Zero Counts. In 2020, I migrated from Wordpress to Gatsby due to (amongst other things) a strong desire to get my content out of a database, into Markdown files, and stored in remote and local repositories, thus backed up via Time Machine, Drobo, Backblaze, iCloud, etc. Zero Counts and my career as a writer may not go anywhere, but it’s important for me to own, catalog, and control my work.
I genuinely appreciate the sentiment of Judge’s piece — I want to invest much more time blogging on Zero Counts in 2023 — but I struggle to understand how personal blogging crosses the chasms of connection, discoverability, and elevation. Perhaps surfing the web is a muscle I haven’t exercised for over a decade thanks to Big Algorithm, but I’m not exactly sure where to start with finding new blogs and outlets. Twitter was my primary source for new and interesting voices through retweets from my favorite writers and outlets. I think Mastodon has become my go-to community, but I don’t find myself connected to the zeitgeist, finding new content, or even engaging with my favorite creators on the network due to the lack of an algorithm. And that’s OK. It’s actually nice! I just hope I can find a way to find and consume the work old favorites as well as new and diverse voices.
I found Judge’s post via my RSS reader Reeder, so that’s a start.