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.