André Staltz

Back to the Web

I used to blog a lot more. There are a lot of reasons for that, perhaps the biggest one is the standards I hold myself to. Ever since my articles started getting viral and being mentioned in the news, writing on my blog is not a light activity anymore. I want to change that.

We are currently witnessing the most fragmented environment for social networks since the dawn of Twitter and Facebook. The two reasons are: Twitter is in decay, and decentralized alternatives are alive and thriving. This is good and bad. Good because, hey, we’re finally decentralizing this space! Bad because it’s unclear (at least that’s how I’ve been feeling) where to publish your content.

I used to be very active on Twitter, but Twitter is ruined for me now. It’s not about mister Tesla, actually. It’s all the changes that they’re making to Twitter that makes it objectively worse than before. A quick list of complaints: “For You” tab is visually bugged on Android, long form tweets with “read more” button are a huge departure from the “Twitter concept”, “For You” is too algorithmic, and I highly suspect that my tweets get less engagement because I don’t pay for Twitter Blue. And then, there’s a lot of people who left for Mastodon, so Twitter itself isn’t the same place anymore.

About Mastodon, I can’t like it. I’ve tried, and I don’t like it. Ever since I have experienced PHP forum dramas in the 2000s surrounding forum admins’ bad decisions, I have been forever changed. I fundamentally don’t trust any system that has an admin with sudo powers, be it centralized social networks or forums or Fediverse instances. That said, I trust small server admins less than I trust a large company. Someone bored, at midnight, with sudo powers can do a lot of damage. I may have an account, but the more I pour value into it, the less safe I feel about its future in the hands of that admin. I personally haven’t seen Mastodon admin drama yet, but my background makes me not comfortable with the system to begin with.

I have a BlueSky account. But it’s on iOS only, and that’s not my main mobile device, and many times I prefer to use desktop. Time will tell what will happen with BlueSky, but I’m not holding my breath.

I have tried Substack Notes as an alternative. I was excited about the idea, but it has a few technical quirks (I wasn’t able to copy my own text from the mobile app), and the audience there is not the same as the one on Twitter. I’m not sure if I’ll continue using it.

Obviously, I have posted on SSB (Manyverse) quite a lot, and often long-form. But I would like to link folks to those posts, but SSB is a secret garden, by design. And that’s a good thing. Just not for broadcasting ideas to the world.

So, back to the Web. My blog is something I own, I can shape it however I want, I already have an audience for it, and I’m the admin. Everyone is already familiar with the concept of sharing web links, so there’s no learning required from anyone. You know what, the web is still awesome at letting you share long-form documents. That was it’s original purpose, so let’s do this!

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Copyright (C) 2023 Andre 'Staltz' Medeiros, licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0, translations to other languages allowed.