We might be seeing the impending death of social media, as it has come to define much of American culture over the last decade or so. Some of you found me on places like Facebook. I’m not planning to deactivate my account anytime soon, but over the weekend a number of friends hit their own, personal inflection points about staying.
Used to be, people could say a lot of things on those platforms without trouble. Over the last six months, the fascists in charge of the biggest one went all in on their politics. I’ve had friends who had never gotten put into social media jail suddenly start racking up time. Then more time, when the folks moderating started going back months and years and dinging them for stuff that had been acceptable then.
You will note that one party never seems to face any difficulties on that platform.
I’m not shutting down, but in the last 72 hours many of my author friends have either made their last post, or announced that the last one is coming soon. They’ll keep the account so they can talk with certain folks that they can’t reach any other way, but won’t be around much in the general conversation.
What we are seeing is the movement away from a common, public square, and back into silos of the internet. Some of you are old enough to remember the era before good search engines. Yahoo used to be a great way to find things. Then search engines let you find everyone.
The first real social media platform (MySpace) was adequate for the tools of the day. Then the other one came along and turned into a place where you could find lots of people. Complete strangers in other countries could become what we might call con-buddies. These are folks you only ever used to see at conventions in the old days, and then nothing until the next year.
D**, S**, and T** are tired of being flagged and jailed, but recognize that it is a private platform, and the fascist in charge is free to cater to his fascist friends.
They are leaving. I hope that Liker comes back. It was intended to be a left of center sort of place, but the big gorillas ganged up to try to destroy it. (I’d love to see an investigation into conspiracy to commit computer crimes, which I suspect would be fruitful.) It claims to be coming back in May 2021. We have hope.
In the meantime, my friends are leaving, and going back to their blogs, rather than posting things on the billboard at the square. Fragmenting off, so you and I will be back to rss feeds (you old enough to remember those?) and emails about blog posts from our friends. The world will be a little sadder, but it became inevitable when the bald android went all in on supporting the Trump platform and helping him attempt to overthrow the government.
What does this mean to you? I have been thinking about communications this week, after sending four different newsletters on the 1st. Seriously. FOUR. And none of those were this blog.
As folks move away from that hive of scum and villainy, my best way to reach folks will be newsletters and blogs, but coming entirely from www.blazeward.com.
I control that platform. I get to say what is acceptable behavior. I get to police your vocabulary and politics. Since I don’t generally allow much dialogue, what you’ll see is more of my monologuing, and occasionally approving comments in order to foster conversation.
But not a lot. I don’t have time to police my boards for content, and I am not making enough money to hire someone else to do it. Plus, I have to spam a half-dozen comments a day across all of my websites, just because robots out there crawl around and try to sell things.
(I have found a couple of better plug-ins for wordpress that supposedly cut down on spam commenters. Hopefully, they work.)
So you should sign up for my newsletter. (Anti-Stodgy/Redneck Chef on the 1st. Publishing News on the 15th.) It still feeds out a few places, but that’s just because I’m too lazy to cut the cable on a few of them. If they fray on their own, I won’t miss them.
You should sign up for my blog here directly, so that you don’t miss anything, because obviously I need to spent more time here and less over there, as much as it might cost me in the short term for being accessible to fans and friends like you.
If anyone knows of a social media platform that is to the left of Adolf Eichmann, I would be interested in hearing about it, because the Overton Window has moved far enough to the right, thank you.
Failing that, there is always the chance that someone creates a word-press microplatform where folks can log in and chat with one another, instead of me having to navigate everything. There are a few, but they are a pain in the ass last I checked.
In my various mastermind groups, we try to anticipate what the future will look like, so we can prepare the ground to take advantage of it. We’ve talked about the end of FB as a central place, but couldn’t figure out how or when it would happen.
MySpace got bought by an Australian fascist and promptly got abandoned, because the other options weren’t immediately funding the founder of Fox News. (That came later.) The current platform is even worse, but only got there over the last two years or so.
I’m not sure that any one place will ever replace it. At least not until the government breaks up all the big players (which I doubt, considering the money available to buy politicians) and requires a better platform.
Private enterprise might go through a “Thousand Flowers Campaign” kind of thing shortly, but we all know how that worked out.
So for now, expect a lot of writers to walk. To pick up their marbles and head back to their own URL that they control. Make sure you find out where they are and sign up for their newsletters and blogs as well, because they are likely never coming back. Not in any format you’ll recognize.
Hopefully, I won’t lose to many of you as I pull back, but I can see that avalanche starting to rumble. As people on the left abandon the platform, it will move harder right. Harder than it is today.
You can imagine what that will be like.