- Written by Alison
- Category: Meta
The recent apocalyptic weather seems as good a time as any to sweep away bad ways of doing things, and move to a new publishing model. Well, actually an old way, as I ran a blog from around 1999 onwards until Facebook made it difficult to get externally-hosted content into their platform.
Several sessions I attended at linux.conf.au 2020 in Brisbane reminded me just how terrible the large internet companies really are. They allow us to access their massive platform for free, and yet make billions of dollars. How, exactly? Well, we aren't the customers - advertisers are. We are the products being sold. Don't get me wrong - the reason I've moved away from the blogging I did in the past was the same as everyone else - it's easy and social to just use their platform. But then there's the ads. The fact that anything you have searched recently suddenly appears as ads. Perhaps (not conclusive) even things you have said around your phone. And I've become complacent.
Of course we can put photos up there and anyone can see them, be tagged in them, and even facial recognition software can scan and store that you were in them, where and when. Still convenient, but at what cost. I already knew all this, but had just used their closed-source code that does random things I can't audit anyway.
So I'm moving back to the POSSE model - Publish on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. This means I'll be posting here on a server I pay for and administer, and then linking into Twitter (@FemmeOnAFarm) and - for a while at least - Facebook as well. I'm working on scripts to move all my old content out of various old blogging software and Facebook, just so everything is in one place, and I can control it. The backlog is considerable, so this will take some time.
It is un-doubtably ugly (I'm not a web designer). It will be somewhat less convenient, and more clunky. But I can't keep selling myself out for less than I'm worth, and just like everything else in life, I'm going to lead by example (both failures and triumphs), and work out how to make this simpler for everyone to control their own content, and take back their privacy.