This May will mark twenty years of my blogging, with more than 4,200 posts behind me. But for the last few years, I’ve been writing very little; I hope to change that, sparked by recent events by one well-know social media outlet, and a bit of encouragement I found there.
The meltdown of Twitter is not complete, but even if it survives and even if it prospers, it’s hard to imagine that it could have the appeal it did in its early years. Indeed, through the Trump administration, it increasingly became a vehicle for horrors, and the case for it being good or useful in spite of this became harder to justify. But so long as it had a critical mass, leaving it in a huff more more performative than useful. Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter changed this calculus, leading millions of people to seek alternatives. His sabotage of its technical capacity puts its continued functioning at risk, and the exodus of advertisers makes it financial viability even less likely. It might collapse even if it’s “reformed.”
I chose Mastodon (introductory guide) as my way out, as you will have seen in my last two posts. I’m finding an enjoyable community within a Mastodon, a distributed community with certain features like Twitter, but the change once made leaves me wanting even more. I want the writer- and reader-driver community we had before the large tech companies, including Facebook and Google and all their products, became identified with the internet itself. So Mastodon is good, but having a set of reliable long-form authors whose sites — often blogs — are worth reading is even more valuable. As an author, not having space limits or seeing your ideas vanish down the conveyor belt of attention is much more rewarding. This idea is bubbling on Mastodon, with wistful memories of what we had and might have again. (1) (2)
We may never have a new “golden age of blogging” but we don’t need one either. We just need good enough. And for small minority interests, like Universalist Christianity, having thoughts shared in the public, open web is invaluable. So I’ll take the “three post challenge” for January at bringback.blog.https://bringback.blog/. If you have a dormant blog, might you?