Crumbled infrastructure.

Looking back at the “lost infrastructure” of pre-social media blogging.

One of the things that’s striking reading this — and remembering how things used to be in Ye Oldene Dayes — is just how many small, interesting services no longer exist. They pretty much uniformly got bought out by one of the big players (mostly Google, sometimes Facebook) and either dismantled or vanished into the silo of walled-garden social media, or both. The web is now much more consolidated and much more boring but also, conversely, weirdly fragmented because of it. It is legitimately hard to find independent blogs nowadays in the way it wasn’t ten or even twenty years ago, when there were far fewer out there but also far more services designed to try and connect you to them . . .

2021-07-01T06:10:36+10:0018th July, 2021|Tags: , |

On blogs.

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 blogging.

2020-08-23T20:56:10+10:004th September, 2020|Tags: |


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 the web you want.

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.

2020-05-12T07:03:18+10:0016th July, 2020|Tags: , |


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 start a blog.

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.

2020-10-21T10:33:33+11:0017th May, 2020|Tags: , , |

A long (and somewhat awkwardly formatted)1 list of third-party content host “deaths”.

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.

  1. And also incomplete; I can find at least one oldskool blogging/proto-social network site that I’m 99% sure is dead and isn’t included on this list. []
  2. I had a short flirtation with Squarespace and circa 2014-ish, but… mostly nah. []
2019-03-05T09:42:13+11:0030th August, 2019|Tags: , , |
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