Cory Doctorow says in “So You’ve Decided to Unfollow Me”:
“…Instead of trying to figure out what some “demographic” wanted to read about, we wrote what we wanted to read, and then waited for people who share our interests to show up and read and comment and write their own blogs and newsletters and whatnot… In the golden years of internet publishing, the point was to find the weirdos who liked the same stuff as you. Freed from commercial imperatives, the focus of the blogosphere was primarily on using your work as a beacon to locate Your People, who were so diffuse and disorganized that there was no other way to find them.”
This blog started in 2012. That was the twilight of “the golden years of internet publishing.”
I keep that ethos. This blog makes friends, not money.
Doctorow says that dream is dead. Me? I don’t think so.
The blogosphere doesn’t socialize like it did a decade ago, but newcomers still pop in here. Most leave, once in a while someone stays. Maybe I’m too set in my ways to notice the withering of the blogosphere, but if so, other dreamers wander with me.
I’ve avoided the social media platforms which ‘curate’ what I see through algorithms (except Medium, in moderation, ironically that’s where I read Doctorow’s essay). I still follow some old-fashioned link blogs which curate the internet by hand.
My weirdos are welcome here, always. If someone doesn’t like this blog, they are welcome to bounce.
I don’t depend on this blog for financial support. If I did, I’d have to chase subscribers or readers who can draw advertising money, or use this blog to sell products. My freedom to do the heck I want with this blog rests on not commercializing it.
As long as some people keep non-commercial blogs running, these beacons will shine to draw our tribes.
If more people become interested, the choose-your-tribe blogosphere will rise again. If not, that’s cool too—as Doctorow says, we’re fine with unfollows. As long as the basic systems needed for old-school blogging exist, old-school bloggers will stick around. We don’t need to be commercially viable.