enough

I’m tired of all the social networks. I want to go back to RSS, forums and real communication instead of reading through tonnes of meaningless shit. And by the time you reach the point of being tired - not angry, upset, flooded, but tired - it usually means you really are about to opt out.

UPDATE: My attention was driven to IndieWeb, so I might give syndication another go, but I’ll prepare my site better this time.

I’m tired of the social networks. I want to go back to RSS, forums and actual communication instead of reading through tonnes of meaningless shit. I want things out of my comfort zone, I want the posts and comments to stay there, to be readable after years when I feel nostalgic, the shared links to be searchable. By the time you reach the point of being tired - not angry, upset, flooded, but tired - it usually means you really are about to opt out. Or come up with something else.

Why am I even using {x} ?

I’ve realized I’m using Twitter at least 90% only for tech news and nearly all of those tech news are available via RSS. ( rss2email makes it even more easier anyway. ). The rest is from a handful of friends, about strange animals and abandoned places. I know how important Twitter is in news spreading and what an incredible role it played in the Arab Spring but for me, in Europe, in peaceful times, it’s not vital to have the news that fast. For that minimal amount I cannot replace with an alternative source will be OK after the cleanup of tech part.

In LinkedIn’s case I’ve already removed myself from groups and networks a long time ago because LinkedIn sucks implementing them correctly. They are overly noisy and most of them is extremely useless. Old-school forums or StackExchange sites were designed for this, not LinkedIn.

Google Plus was terrible 3 years ago when I first gave it a go. It’s getting better but it still has a long way to go to be an actual alternative. Although I think those who had enough of the meaninglessness on Facebook will eventually end up on Plus, especially since Plus is not the only product Google has, therefore they are not forced to make it work in a way to favour money above all. But at the end, it’s going to end up the same, because after a critical amount of ordinary people it’s inevitable to be flooded with children pictures, selfies and memes.

All the other I’ve tried ( DeviantArt, Pinterest, Flickr, etc. ) I’ve given up a long time ago already on the social part. For just browsing and looking at art, DeviantArt is still unbeatable. Instagram would be very good for photographers, if only it wasn’t restricted to mobile. Way too slow & problematic to upload REAL photos rather then selfies.

Facebook is the problematic one. I’m getting less and less of those that actually interest me. I mean do I really need to like every singe post of my wife to have them on my wall? Really? I’ve tried convincing some of my friends to move to something else - anything else -, since I know most of them from an oldschool forum/news/etc “social network” site which had been closed down for a while now. So far I’ve failed. It seems that Facebook did an exceptional job to make people believe there’s no other way, since everyone is on Facebook, so why go anywhere else for a smaller audience? Because you’re being scammed, that’s why, because their system is shit and not working reliably at all, because it’s impossible to read back even a few months, and all the other reasons.

An idea: centralize and cross-post all the things!

cross-post-all-the-things

I have a WordPress site ( I had a website for nearly 15 years, old habits die hard I guess ) so why not use it as a base publishing platform and cross-post everything to everywhere? I fulfil the requirement to be present everywhere, have a searchable backup and push one button. And in this case, it would also be a good idea to import my old things from everywhere to have it in one, safe, self-installed place.

So I’ve downloaded a copy of my Facebook data and my Twitter archives and I was stunned. The amount of meaningless things I’ve thrown into these systems alone is massive; at least 60% is garbage and probably shouldn’t have been posted at all. The quality difference between the archives is also interesting. Twitter offers a csv file of all the tweets you ever added which is exceptionally useful in case you want to import it or just simply store it. Facebook on the other side has a bulk message HTML where you cannot even run a regex to get the posts out and has a lot if posts as “Peter shared something via [service name]”. That’s just ridiculous. Anyway, the import will happen, but it will take a long time and it will serve the sole purpose to have a backup of data I currently do not own or have any control over it.

But the cross-posting did not work out. This was not my first try and the outcome was the same both times. Since it’s impossible to actually interact according to the social site ( retweet, reshare, like, + ) it becomes rather useless and feels like you’re not interested in your followers. ( Like you have an audience6, but that’s a story for another day. ) It’s flooding all the accounts you have and since you probably share some of the same friends on all of them ( which should not happen; there’s no reason using different systems if I’m talking to the same people ), they will get very tired of you very soon. And do I really need to be heard, to be seen this bad?

So I dropped this approach and faced the reality: it’s either not going to change at all or I more or less go full retard opt-out and try to build something else. A bridge between old, semi-static forums and the overcomplicated social networks.



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