This is, I think, the third time in nearly two decades that I start a blog for publishing content instead of just toying with technology. The first two started when I went away for a while and wanted to stay in touch. This time might look similar, as I am in Australia as of writing, but it is based on an issue even closer to my heart: Freedom, plain and simple. Let me explain:
I’ve occasionally used Facebook and more regularly used Twitter. I’ve experienced Facebook’s experimentation with my perception using selected news feeds and I’ve seen Twitter users I was following disappearing right and left. Well, on the right, mostly [footnote]tossed out of the Overton window, so to say.[/footnote].
A lot of people have protested that. I was not one of them: I still see no point in protesting on of the social media companies on their or one of their competitor’s platforms. You have to publish yourself. If it is on someone else’s platform, you don’t own it. I know there is a lot of chest-beating and internet-lawyering whether your content belongs to you as the creator, but let’s face it: If they can switch you off, it is not yours. If they can cut you of from your audience, it is not yours.
So: Self-publishing. But if I tell people that they need to do it, I should probably manage to self-publish myself, right? Turns out that even 16 years after I wrote my first content management system, it is still is hard to do. My first DigitalOcean instance stopped working without explanation, and what is currently running here was built from a backup that started from where the first one broke, so it should not have worked but it did. Not reassuring, right? And this is still a webserver reached over DNS, governed by narrow-minded regional laws requiring my to publish my name and address and easily blocked by internet access providers. But it is the most important step to do right now. We’ll get rid of centralized DNS sooner or later and we’ll get some decentralized, censorship-resistant publishing a bit after that.
Will you still be able to reach me on FB and Twitter? Sure. Thats where my friends are, or, from a technical perspective, my audience. I’ll even get an Instagram account and frequent gab.ai a bit. But I will not create content there. Content is going to be mine. I’ll link what I write here and that’s it.