How to Read the Internet by Robin Rendle

Robin Rendle:

Folks now seem to recognize the value of having your own little plot of land on the web and, although it’s still pretty complex to make your own website and control all that content, it’s worth it in the long run. No one can run ads against your thing. No one can mess with the styles. No one can censor or sunset your writing.

Not only that but when you finish making your website you will have gained superpowers: you now have an independent voice, a URL, and a home on the open web.

Robin here writes an ode to RSS—an under appreciated technology in my opinion. I’ve long believed in writing on your own website. I’ve written this blog since 2013. Before that I wrote on my personal site. These days, I’m also paying more attention to how I consume content.

We’ve seen how social media algorithmically suggests content, and how damaging that can be. I for one am done with allowing a bot to tell me what I should read or what I need to be interested in.

As Robin remarks, it would seem that the blog is coming back this year, and just in my personal experience, I’ve seen many write for the first time in a while. I hope more people understand how toxic social media has become and start writing on their own sites.

Writing on your site obligates you stop and think about what the hell you’re writing before actually publishing. And then there’s the thread trend that’s become extremely popular on Twitter where people write full blog posts in tweet form—an absolute absurdity to read.

Sadly, some of these threads are well written and important, but they’re quickly forgotten due to Twitter’s inherent focus on the disposable. Where on a blog, writers often carefully curate the content they publish, social media is riddled with a confusing cocktail of thoughtful posts and the mundane.

I sincerely hope 2018 will be the year of the blog. The year those of us who love the web will decide to own our content and control the way we consume it. In return, not only will we have refined our “independent voice” and cemented our home on the web, we might even recover our sanity.

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