Own your own content

  • January 1, 2023

For some time I have reflected over the evolution of social media and their efforts to present me with content I am not interested in. Maybe I am somewhat special kind of grumpy, but the amount of “Suggested posts”, reels, recommended posts, etc. that is presented to me when I open an app instead of giving me a chronological feed of content from the people I actively choose to follow only makes me disengaged and less likely to publish anything at all.

In a discussion over the holidays someone linked a post by Chris Coyier titled Bring Back Blogging and it reminded me about an earlier post by Scott Hanselman on why ownership of your own content is important.

“And still you tweet giving all your life’s precious remaining keystrokes to a company and a service that doesn’t love or care about you”

It has been years since I cleaned out everything from my facebook account (but kept it purely for the messenger app to keep in touch with people), with Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter, and new competitors either failing miserably in short time or being more spyware than anything else (hello TikTok) I feel the message of the Scott Hanselman’s post is even more relevant today than it was when it was originally posted 10 years ago.

Instead of being part of some monetizing idea from the social media companies, I prefer to have complete ownership of my own words content, being able to publish it where I want, formatted the way I want without silly restrictions like low resolution images, character count or mingled with advertising I have no control over.

I have spent a bit of time the last days to split the content of my site into two categories:

  • micro is for small posts. Call it tweets, toots, ideas, tips&tricks or whatever
  • posts is for longer posts on a tech subject is worthwhile putting some research into, who fills a gap in documentation, or provides a more thorough walkthrough of a topic

I have also added RSS feeds and tags to all content so visitors can subscripe to either everything or a filtered selection of content, and replaced the Twitter button by linking to my (mostly) empty Mastodon profile. While Mastodon is both confusing and not without flaws it seems to be one of the better alternatives to Twitter.

2023 will probably be another year where the “Year of the Linux Desktop” and “Year of the VDI”-jokes still lives on instead of materializing, but maybe it is the year where RSS and tech blogging is resurrected.