New site, who dis?
I’ve noticed during the past few years that I seem to follow a certain pattern. When I’m looking for work, I’ll set up a new personal website / online portfolio and work on it for a few weeks. Then I get hired, the site gets neglected and I always kinda wait for the inspiration to write more. And nobody came.
During the last five-six years, I’ve abandoned at least the same amount of personal websites after the first few weeks and left them in various states of disarray.
There has also been a lot of talk about how walled gardens and social media giants are rapidly killing off personal websites. Why go through the trouble to run a personal website, when you can have a personal Facebook page and promptly be dropped off by the algorithm faster than a cop chokes a black man to death? Why don’t you post your articles on Medium and get them paywalled. How about posting your thoughts on Reddit or Twitter and get moderated or attacked by an angry mob to whom you cannot explain your inoffensive joke on a satisfactory level within the 280 character limit and get publicly lynched and ruined? Yeah, uh. It’s a shitshow these days.
I’ve always agreed on some level that social media is most likely not very healthy for the human psyche and the way they also shape our societal cultures feels very unwelcome to me. Reddit and Twitter for example have been great breeding grounds for newly accepted publicly open racism as you can hide behind an anonymous moniker. Despite that, I’ve been on (and still am) on most commonly used social media platforms up until recently.
I stopped using Reddit for a few years after finding it very toxic and a great waste of my time. Only just recently did I join back again and that’s only to moderate a music production subreddit that I’ve run with a few friends for some years, that’ll be the extent of my participation there. On Facebook on the other hand, I’ve only kept my account on the off-chance I need to get in touch with people I can’t message anywhere else.
All of this dissatisfaction is amplified by the fact that, while I’m quite open and provide basically every detail of my life freely, I do not want my information to be used for some $BIG_CORP9000’s gain and profit. I don’t want to be spied on, as I hate the strategies the current online businesses and product startups have adopted as their path to profitability. Farming and selling user data to create extremely accurate predictive models of human behaviour. I hate the future these types of tools are indicative of.
Then came Google with their AMP project. My personal and literal anti-Christ, were I a man of the cloth. Google wants to take all the good things about the internet, like decentralization, net neutrality, fair discovery and the possibility to create crazy-ass personal websites? AMP was the last straw for me.
As there has been a few threads on Hacker News about taking ownership of your own content, I finally decided to take the plunge and dedicate myself to write on my own site. Maybe there’s still hope with the rise of indie web mentality, the resurrection of RSS feeds and a general welcome of the good ol’ hacker ethos of showing a huge middle finger to everyone who tells us to get back in line.
The past few years my social media usage has mostly been observing others and less about partaking in it myself. I feel that social media is very ephemeral in nature and doesn’t encourage longer write-ups that require more thought and deliver artefacts of great consideration and personal insight. My thoughts have more value, at least to me, than a random small social commentary or joke doomed to be forever lost in the tides of time.
I’ve set up a RSS Feed and welcome anyone to subscribe, if my innermost thoughts are of interest to you. This will be the dedicated central hub for creations, be it artistic or intrinsic in nature, of my personal handwork.
I’ll open up on the technical aspects on how I’ve built this bastion of mine on a later date, you’ll just have to subscribe or check back on a later date if you want to read about it ;)