Independent blogging

Andy Baio writes:

…a few reasons why I’m sad about the decline of independent blogging, and why I think they’re still worth fighting for.

Ultimately, it comes down to two things: ownership and control.

Last week, Twitter announced they’re shutting down Vine. Twitter, itself, may be acquired and changed in some terrible way. It’s not hard to imagine a post-Verizon Yahoo selling off Tumblr. Medium keeps pivoting, trying to find a successful revenue model. There’s no guarantee any of these platforms will be around in their current state in a year, let alone ten years from now.

Here, I control my words. Nobody can shut this site down, run annoying ads on it, or sell it to a phone company. Nobody can tell me what I can or can’t say, and I have complete control over the way it’s displayed. Nobody except me can change the URL structure, breaking 14 years of links to content on the web.

But the ecosystem for independent publications is fundamentally broken. Getting discovered, building a readership, and profiting from your work as an independent writer are all much, much harder than they used to be.

I’ve considered Medium, too. It feels like such a mess, and ultimately so unpredictable. An enormous investment of time into someone else’s platform that likely will leave my content stranded in the future. It’s the same sort of thing I worry about with Flickr, and what pains I might have to deal with in terms of migrating 13 years of content depending on what Verizon does to it.

I’m not writing for an audience at the moment. I’m still basically just writing in public. It feels good to be doing it on my terms.

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