Long post about not having comments, or sharing on "social media".
Part of my decision to blow my previous blog/site away and start afresh was technology based. Wordpress was becoming too convoluted. Known (while a lot better) still has too much developer tinkering to get it where I wanted.
Enter Eleventy and the Static Site Generator choice. It still has its learning curve and frustrations, but they stay on my laptop. Everything I publish to the web is a flat HTML file, which is nice.
But what else?
The other part of my decision was borne from the current state of world online. The megalithic silos of Facebook, Twitter, and Google are the web for a large part of those online in The West. And you can see why people stay in those silos to get news and opinions.
Paywall reminders, newsletter subscription popups, embedded advertising, and (shudder) “content recommendation” advertising. This seems to be the make up of most sites outside the silos.
Both options are also riddled with tracking cookies. Harvesting interactions & attention to sell, or leak, to the highest bidder.
So was it a "tin foil hat" decision? No. I've made my peace with the trade-off of privacy and access long ago.
It's more about putting consideration over impulse.
I'm sure there are studies on how the increase in information retrieval speed, has effected us.
A month long pilgrimage to the "local" monastery vs. millisecond glances at the always on pocket computer must have some impact.
Pair that with the ability for almost anyone to contribute and change that information, rather than the monks-Huge!
But with that access and speed has come the proliferation of the "hot take", the "well actually", "virtue signalling", and the business models that feed off of (and in to) this. The dopamine + financial reward of "likes" for impulsiveness is rampant.
This is very recent, even in the silo's history. Early Twitter had stars that, for me at least, doubled as a way to bookmark shared links/tweets. That went out as the potential business models became clear.
This year I logged out of Twitter and Instagram (deleting my Facebook account some time ago) and didn't miss them.
Unsubscribed from certain RSS feeds, YouTube channels, and podcasts. Reduced the amount of stuff I consume.
I also didn't post anything to my site. But I wanted to.
A few words kept floating around me; mindful, thoughtful, measured. But one stuck more than most.
Considered. I wanted consideration to play a part of what I put out.
This is what made the choice of a static site generator the right one.
Removing the easy instant access to post anything forces me to consider what I'm putting out.
I still jot down notes, take photos, bookmark links. But the act of waiting until I get home to generate the file and FTP it to the web is...refreshing.
Don't get me wrong. This doesn't make what I post any better per se, but it does make me think more before I do.
This site is for me. My, considered, thoughts. I put them on the web for any crawler, RSS reader, or browser to look at. For anyone to consume and share.
I'm currently not interested in who/what comes and looks, how many times it happens, or if it happens at all. I have implemented zero analytics on this site.
At this point-in-time I am also not concerned with sharing them into the silos. Or what others think of them.
Amy Hoy summed up how I feel...