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Doing Everything My Way Because Social Media is Become Social Cancer

That experiment is a failure.

I started blogging in 2003, right here. Blogs were a mainstay of how smart, independent, unindoctrinated people got eclectically informed and educated, for a decent 10-year run. It was simply assumed that the writer or creator owned their own content and your option was to either take it in, or pass. Simple pimple.

Even the early social media sites like My Space appear to have followed that simple idea.

But then; whereas, it was the smartest who initially adopted high tech: desktop moved to laptop, to phone, then to tablet…that basic greatness also ushered in economies of scale and cheap prices, which opened the door to the legions of stupid people around the world, room temperature IQ (in Celcius). And so, social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google, et al, began to see it as their mission to protect morons, indoctrinated, credentialed, connected, et al. That might seem like a list of strange bedfellows, but you have to think to the base essentials. It’s the marriage of the stupid who want to be controlled with those who want to control them. In terms of dollars and cents, it’s a far larger market than smart people stuff. Just look at the self-debasing gutter shit on Tik Tok or OnlyFans.

What happened is that creators—those who write, podcast, and/or do videos—began running up against the meat grinding machine, which is global multinational corporatism. Out of perfectly businesslike necessity for the new social media to monetise (actually make money for investors), they had to take on advertising. But here’s the rub by way of understanding this. Back in the day, print, TV, and radio was 100% sponsored by advertising, mostly big corp. But, all content was being done by a single broadcast company service provider. It was very easy to keep advertisers happy. A news company could toss in bits that criticise the advertisers but no worries. That only lends credence to the facade of objectivity. Other “studies” will be forthcoming.

The new business model was that users are the content creators, for free, and not a staff on payroll. So, it’s a cat-herding exercise. They could no longer control and guide the narrative. It’s all over the place. Some content can go viral that pegs an advertiser—the one paying the bill—as an evil equivalent to Satan. In plainly pragmatic business terms, it’s perfectly rational for that business to dislike that sort of thing. The solution—rather than replace advertisers—was to keep that revenue and try to curtail messages advertisers deemed harmful to their business. This is really all according to conventional business logic applied to new things not fully understood.

I don’t blame them if I stop and think about what values each player is likely acting for.

But that leaves creators like me a bit out in the cold. Our blogs, podcasts, and videos aren’t what they used to be, and we face no end of push back when we use these social media companies as hosts for the content we create. BECAUSE, we don’t own the content. They do.

The conventional approach, now, is to fight back in various ways. I understand all that. Even a Supreme Court Justice is talking about making the biggest social media companies akin to public utilities. But here’s the problem with that. Proctor & Gamble doesn’t pay your phone, water, or electric bill.

So I have a better solution: own your own content.

I’ve been migrating for a while. My blog content has always been owned. There are thousands of WordPress hosts. I’ve already switched maybe a dozen times over 18 years, and you never knew it. I can do a switch in a few hours and the only downtime is the few minutes for new DNS entries to propagate.

But here’s the thing. Various capabilities I want have always been 3rd party solutions, and they can cut you off easily. Two big ones are payment processing (money) and email (push messaging). I have the latter solved, still evaluating for the former.

I used to use MailChimp for my 5,000 email subscribers. But it’s expensive, about $150 to send an email to everyone. I shopped, went to SendInBlue for a better deal, but they are the most pathetic bunch of pussies I ever did business with. Constantly policing me and finally, said, “you can’t talk about diet.” Fuck off, pussies.

So, I found tools. Integrations that are 100% within my own WordPress installation. And for sending email, it now costs 50 CENTS—NOT $150—to send to my whole 5,000 subscribers. You may have noticed a few extra email over the last days, since I got everything humming along.

And that’s just the beginning. Eventually, I’ll just host my own damn videos, too, once I scale enough. My goals are simple.

I’m looking for 10,000 smart folks, 110+ IQ, who choose to follow my stuff, with some percentage offering a few bucks monthly, and I’ll build my own damn platform that can not be fucked with, and where I can create and put it out as I want.

I did a video a few weeks back sitting on my patio here in Rawai, Phuket, speaking to just this thing.

Onward.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

12 Comments

  1. MAS on April 10, 2021 at 22:37

    I’ll be interested to learn how you are solving the email issue inside of WordPress. The legal and security issues makes me hesitant to roll-my-own.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 10, 2021 at 22:56

      Hey man. First, Site Ground is the best host ever.

      So, here’s what I’m using:

      FluentCRM
      FluentSMTP
      FluentForms

      That’s the core. CRM to manage and segregate your contacts database, Forms for new contact subscriptions (it also turns your comments form on blog post into an optional subscription for newsletter).

      Now, you can set up your own email server but not recommended. There are a bunch of services (just like WP hosts, so easy to set up another in minutes, just like easy to switch WP host in a few hours), like Send Grid, etc., but the least costly is Amazon SES as part of AWS. Took a bit to get the green light…they want to make sure you are legit and not a spamer…but it’s crazy cheap and my limits are 50k emails per day, rate of 14 per second. Cost is $0.0001 per email, so 50 cents to a list of 5k.

      Let me know how it works out should you try it.



  2. MAS on April 10, 2021 at 23:51

    Thanks for the info.

    I have one request for FTA. The ability to subscribe to comments for a post. I use the plugin “Subscribe to Comments Reloaded” and it seems to work pretty well.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2021 at 08:47

      Well I don’t know how that happened. I didn’t even notice it. That’s probably why I got little comment action for some time.

      Anyway, back up an running.

      Question for you, Michael. I see on that plugin that there are 2200+ current active subscriptions and in total, 6600+ subscribers (that adds those who were at a point, not active now). I see no way to download a table of this data via the plugin and even the subscription management panel only displays the first 1,000.

      I want to import all these into a segregated section of the CRM so I can hit them up to subscribe to the newsletter.



    • Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2021 at 09:54

      OK, nevermind, got it done. Plugin called Comments Import Export. Exports the entire comment database by selected fields (you only need the few pertinent, certainly not the comment content…HUGE file). So, for the FluidCRM import into a separate clean list, you map the fields, and out of the 110,000 comments, I ended up with 10,500 uniques.

      Now I can reach out separately and gingerly, inviting them to affirmatively subscribe to the newsletter.



    • Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2021 at 14:53

      Tried to send an email to your ***@D******C*****.com email and it bounced.



  3. edster on April 11, 2021 at 05:52

    One of the few upsides to the year of craziness is the push to decentralization, critical as the fuckers are taking over every layer of the tech stack, from the DNS upwards.
    https://mirror.xyz/
    https://cardano.org/
    https://hiveonboard.com/what-is-hive
    https://urbit.org/
    https://den.social/
    https://shiftnrg.org/

    • Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2021 at 08:07

      Agreed. Everyone though these all-in-one publishing platforms were going to be just great and in some cases, like YouTube, you could even make lots of money by working really hard creating content and building a huge platform. Same for payment systems, like PayPal. Until one day, you learn that you own nothing. Hell, you can’t even download subscriber or customer data to move elsewhere. Plus, they can turn you off just like that. Twitter deleted my account with 7k legit followers without warning.

      This blog was on TypePad from 2003 to 2009 when I realized they could just turn me off and the data download was a joke, and included no images. I paid a company $900 who had developed a series of scripts to move from TypePad to WP in a matter of hours. They said their first transfer of a large blog took 60 hours but by building the scripts they got it down to a few.



    • edster on April 11, 2021 at 08:44

      And not forgetting those Wix fuckers too!
      https://ma.tt/2021/04/wix-dirty-tricks/



  4. ChristinaMM on April 12, 2021 at 20:48

    Hi, I just got your email. I’m interested in reading your content on your future platform.

    On the day that fb decided to ban Trump, I deleted every single personal and business social media account and website I had, except for personal Gab and Quodverum accounts. It was a relief to be free of the tyranny. Since then, I have been helping my husband strip off the old roof and put on a new shingle roof on our house. I’m late 50s and I feel like a million dollars.

    I like reading people who think and work outside of the box.

    Best wishes!

  5. kileko on April 13, 2021 at 03:00

    I just got your unsolicited email, whining about censorship.

    Unsurprising.

    It was YOU who banned others, me and many others, for nothing more than asking a pointed question.

    That’s right.

    You could not even handle simple questions because they rattled your cage.

    Comical man.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 13, 2021 at 09:50

      Hmmmm.

      Well, it doesn’t appear you care to provide the details.

      Out of the total 106,950 comments on this blog, 19,116 are mine, 18%, about 1 in 6. Hard to say I’m not engaged and responsive.

      Also, thanks for, nonetheless, subscribing to the newsletter 7 hours ago, after receiving my “unsolicited” email.



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