Why you (yes, you) should.
For every discipline-with-depth that I care about (software/Internet, politics, energy economics, physics), if you want to find out what’s happening and you want to find out from first-person practitioners, you end up reading a blog.
They’re pretty hard to monetize, which means that the people who write them usually aren’t primarily bloggers, they’re primarily professional economists or physicists or oil analysts or Internet geeks. Since most of us don’t even try to monetize ’em, they’re pretty ad-free and thus a snappy reading experience.
Dense information from real experts, delivered fast. Why would you want any other kind?
Timi Bray on.
You choose the web you want. But you have to do the work.
A lot of people are doing the work. You could keep telling them, discouragingly, that what they’re doing is dead. Or you could join in the fun.
Brent Simmons on.
I’ll note here that “work” might be as simple as “move to an independently run platform” or as complex as “rent a VPS and build a website from the server up”. But the point is the only person who’s going to make the web you want to see is you.
That smart important take blasted out in a Twitter thread is going to quickly sink down though the chummy social media seas into the deep never to be seen again. Yes, some people might bookmark It. Others might bookmark the thread reader version. But this is no substitute for hauling those important thoughts out of the private social seas on to dry land of your own Blogging Island. Safe. Permanent. Secure. And most importantly — Linkable and Searchable.
The reality is, by the time the Labour leadership election roles round. The only content that people will immediately be able to find will be the takes in the mainstream press. And this is a major part of the problem.
Yes, the Chakrabortty take today in the Guardian is worth reading. But it isn’t the only piece/take in this moment that will be worth finding and re-sharing in 6 months.
It might unfortunately turn out to be the ONLY take that you can find that was useful reading produced in this moment. Written by someone and broadcast by an entity that already has a large platform. The mainstream media cannot continue to own the historical and indexible record.
It’s vital that more than ever we build out an independent media. The first step is to make your own media independent.
Start a damn blog.
Jay Springett wants you to.
Somewhat ironic that this take is already “out-of-date” by the time my blog queue will get around to posting it but, like. That’s kinda exactly the point. It’s still findable, and relevant, and there. Because it’s on a blog, and forms part of the historical record of a particular moment. And just because that moment has passed doesn’t mean the thoughts and emotions it elicited are no longer worth reading, and remembering, and learning from.
The constant ephemera of social media takes is damaging; to our polity and our discourse, to our fandoms and our political systems.
The history of your thoughts matters. Start a goddamn blog.
A look at the boom and bust of.
On the one hand, this is definitely grudgewank on the part of the author. But on the other… she’s not exactly wrong, either…
A brief history of… and what came before it.
According to the date on the profile page, exactly twenty years ago today I made an account on LiveJournal and posted my first blog post.
So, uh. Happy blogaversary, me. I guess.
If you want to know why I’ve pretty much never seriously run my site on a third-party host,2 this list is basically the answer.
So hey did you ever notice that the decline of blogging not only seemed to coincide with the rise of more “informal” social media… but also with the advent of large media outlets actually, like. Paying for blog posts?
Relatedly: So about six months ago I met my friend’s girlfriend, who normally lives halfway across the world from both myself and Friend, for the first time. I only knew Friend’s Girlfriend by her first name, but she nonetheless looked extremely familiar. Eventually, I got enough courage to ask, “So, hey. Weird question, but… did you used to write for The Border House?”
For those of you who don’t remember, The Border House was basically the first website to examine videogames through an intersectional lens. Nowadays it seems almost forgotten, in part (though admittedly not whole) because its market—and its writers—got gobbled up by commercial publications like Kotaku, Polygon, and so on.
As it turned out, Friend’s Girlfriend was, indeed, the person I thought she was, and we had a nice little reminisce about the site. And how it ended. Small fucking world, turns out.