I’m a firm believer in being the change you want to see in the world. I also believe that social media and discourse without any accountability has brought out the worst in (and of) us, but also makes everything subject to public debate without any context or groundrules at all. While that may or may not be a good idea, many enabling entities have bypassed this concern citing “expression” and “connection,” while masking their practices of mining people’s activity for monetary gain.
Put more simply, these free forums—like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and more—use your activity to sell information about you to advertisers. This targeting then follows you around the web as you are the fodder for ad networks, click-based incentives, and the ever-nebulous “engagement” goals of different sites and companies. In fact, any online service you use that’s free probably does something similar. (Non-)Buyer beware.
I think this is bad. And so, rather than taking advantage of a system designed for simple micropublishing (like Facebook, whose leadership makes no effort to protect its users, even when their actions may result in personal or societal harm), I choose to not participate. Instead, I will publish things here. And there are no comments, because anyone who wants to comment can contact me about this – direct conversation is almost always better than drive-by comments. For discovering or sharing content, should anyone want to, I try to use clean markup that’s easily searchable, and provide an RSS xml feed. Otherwise, we have email, web browsers, and search engines. I think that’s plenty.
And so, if you want to read, great. Maybe you’ll find something you enjoy.