My blogging experiment: How I think about what and where to post

I’ve been blogging at my own self-hosted WordPress blog for a few months. Before that, I did it on Google+, and before that various other platforms. I simultaneously post to Facebook, Tumblr, Medium, Twitter, and Google+. Here’s how I think about what to post:

Almost all of my blog posts are links to external content, with comments of my own. They’re short, sometimes just a sentence or two. Many of my blog posts are just an embedded tweet, image, YouTube video, or Tumblr post.

This kind of thing used to be called “tumble blogging.” There used to be several services for tumble blogging. Tumblr is the last man standing there.

Tumble blogging means posting a lot of fast, frictionless, off-the-cuff posts. Just say what’s on your mind, no matter how long or short the post might be.

In the past few years, I’ve seen people say they don’t think they can blog because they don’t have the energy to write long, organized, coherent articles. That makes my teeth hurt. Long, organized coherent essays are not required for blogging. Those essays are called “articles,” and they go on “magazines” or “news sites.” Blogging can include long, coherent, thoughtful essays, but it’s meant to be fast and off the cuff.

Personal blogging has mostly moved to Facebook nowadays. Which is great, because it brings people together and opens up blogging to people who would not otherwise do it. But it’s not entirely great because it gives Facebook far too much control of the situation. Remember a short time ago when Facebook employees suggested the company should block a Donald Trump Presidency? And remember when Facebook said nope nope nope we don’t do that. What happens next time if Facebook says yes? And they do it to a candidate or issue you like?

Facebook isn’t the only blogging platform, of course. It’s not the only social media platform either. But Facebook has the vast majority of users. Everybody else is by comparison a niche.

Earlier:

My blogging experiment: The history (which some of you already know about) and a status report

I’m blogging again. Blogging is cool.

 

Teen shoplifters find community on Tumblr

We R Cute Shoplifters [Good – Tasbeeh Herwees]

Shoplifting has a long history of political activism. Attitudes toward shoplifting parallel attitudes toward women and respectability.

Or maybe it’s just petty theft.

“I lift because I’m poor,” Lifterslife responded. “I’m at that age where I feel bad when I ask my parents for money that they can’t really spare. ‘But why don’t you just go without?’ you ask. Because in today’s society dressing like you’re poor and a bum will get you nowhere.” Members of Liftblr feel empowered by a sense of social justice. They reblog Bernie Sanders memes and post anti-racist screeds. When one anonymous user threatens them with “karma,” they turn the thread into a conversation on the cultural appropriation of non-Western concepts. Feminist rhetoric infuses their language. And they’re extremely anti-corporatist. “Shoplifting can be an act of civil disobedience,” writes one user. “If you do get caught, tell them: This is not petty theft. This is non-violent resistance to a violent and oppressive economic system in which we are trapped.”

Britney Summit-Gil, a Ph.D. candidate and researcher of digital media, gender representation, and consumer identities at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, says the lifting community is participating, knowingly or unknowingly, in a historical practice of theft as activism. “Shoplifting, whether you mean it to be or not, is an anti-capitalist action,” says Summit-Gil. “You’re undermining one of the basic tenets of capitalist ideology, which is that it’s a mortal sin to steal or to get anything you didn’t work for.” This idea infiltrates the earliest anarchist doctrines, which called it “individual reclamation”—resistance to what activists of the time saw as a violent capitalist ideology. Late 19th-century French anarchists implemented individual reclamation against the Parisian elite, squatting in their homes and setting fire to their belongings. More recently, in 2000, a group of Spanish anarchists formed Yomango, which means “I steal” in Spanish slang, and billed it as an anti-consumerist movement.

19th Century women, many of them affluent, began shoplifting as a reaction to the newfound freedom that the ability to shop gave them. Middle- and upper-class women were considered respectable by society, “and to label them criminals would undo a social order the elite establishment held precious to its survival. So they were labeled ‘sick’ instead.” And that’s how “kleptomania” became a thing.

My blogging experiment: The history (which some of you already know about) and a status report

In late February I decided I wanted to control the posts I make to social media. For several years before then, I posted to Google+, and used a service called Friends+Me to copy, or syndicate, those posts to Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

This Google+-first strategy worked out well in a few ways. It was fun for me – and that’s the primary reason I do this, for fun, although I do get some professional benefits. I accreted a modest but decent-sized community. I got in some great conversations. I got in touch with old friends and stayed in touch with them, and made a few new friends.

But I was unsatisfied in that I didn’t control my posts. If Google+, Facebook, or those other guys disappeared or changed their business model to exclude me, I’d be screwed. Also, I couldn’t control the layout of posts. I couldn’t insert a simple link, or image, or video. And it was hard to find old posts when I wanted to refer back to something I’d written about in the past. Annoying.

I decided to go back to blogging, something I’d done sporadically before the social media era. I’d made a return to blogging once before in 2014, but went back to the Google+/Friends+Me method after a couple of months because I noticed all the conversations were happening on Google+, Facebook, and so on, so I figured there was no point in doing it on a blog.

This time, I had a reason to do it on the blog: Because it gave me control over my work. I hoped people would come to the blog to read and comment, but I’d be fine if the conversations continued on social media. Indeed, I’d be fine if the number of conversations reduced, because I was starting to get Internet-famous enough to attract rude strangers to my posts.

It’s been more than two months of the experiment. How’s it going so far?

Quite well, actually.

I still get in a lot of good conversations on social media and I have the blog, mitchwagner.com, as a hub. In addition to the pleasure of posting and conversations, I can fiddle around with WordPress, and its plugins and themes and stuff, which I like.

The right tool for the right job

The right tool for the right job

I was doing an experiment for a couple of months sharing links and off-the-cuff posts on this blog. It’s the kind of thing people usually post nowadays to social media. But I liked the idea of having my own little corner of the internet for “tumble blogging.”

Turns out people aren’t interested in that kind of thing here. They want to see it on social media. So I’m going back to that.

Find me…

View On WordPress

The right tool for the right job

For a short time I experimented sharing links and off-the-cuff posts on this blog.

Turns out people aren’t interested in that kind of thing here. They want to see it on social media. So I’m going back to that.

Find me daily on:

My email newsletter – a daily spam-free roundup of my posts.

Also:

http://plus.google.com/+MitchWagner

http://Facebook.com/Mitch.Wagner

http://Twitter.com/mitchwagner

http://mitchwagner.tumblr.com

I post the same things on all those places. Pick whichever you like best and follow me there.

And you’ll find my best work on Light Reading, for news and insights about the telecom industry.

This blog isn’t going away, but it will update slowly.

New Orleans newsroom, around 1900
New Orleans newsroom, around 1900