Yesterday I was interested to see that, for various reasons, an esteemed friend of mine had made the decision to walk away from Facebook and continue his electronic journey in the blogosphere. Please give a warm welcome to Mr. Bloom.
This seems to be the way of things, all forms have their cycles, their peaks and troughs and extinction events. I’m not saying this is happening for Facebook yet – it’s still a good place to communicate with people, organise gatherings, catch up and share jokes and other stuff – but it’s starting. Ever since Facebook was created, it was starting. And the increased urgency to make money, to advertise, to push for Shares and Likes to make stuff visible worldwide, is slowly making Facebook into a bad Geocities website from the 1990s (just with better bandwidth, so you can cram more ads in, faster, animated, and not lock up your computer). Not to mention the increasing weirdness of promoted posts stealing your opinions and making you Like things from beyond the fucking grave.
So, we’ll see how it goes.
I can’t speak for Mr. Bloom but I’m sure it was the right call at the right time, and I hope this gives him the spur he needs to get on with shit. Having recently been kicked myself, I can understand the tremendous reviving effect it can have on the attitude, and creativity.
I also understand why they didn’t make single-use disposable spurs.
Anyway, welcome to the Neighbourhood, and perhaps in time, depending on your WordPress settings (I couldn’t Follow as normal since you have your own domain, but I’m sure the idea is the same), you too can become a citizen of this crazy e-country. Entirely up to you. I will say it’s extremely low-maintenance, but a nice illusory feeling of community. Avoiding attention and commitment is all too easy. If you want a bunch of people to know what you’re doing and eventually form the core of your readership (or master-film-maker-cult-following), that buildup takes work. I’m one of those lazy ones who tries to just let it happen organically. Best to focus on making stuff, and then promote yourself later.
(In other news, did you know I’d written a book?)
And, as with Facebook and every other social media ever invented, it can eat up as much of your time and effort as you want to let it. Try not to get too bogged down in answering every comment. I only have two readers who comment regularly (hi Aaron, hi dreameling), so it’s not a big deal, but if and when you collect more subscribers and followers and commenters, well, it will definitely become a Thing. And if you’re going into movies, it’ll be a Huge Thing sooner or later. Most of the people I know are giant nerds (hi Aaron, hi dreameling).
I can fully relate to the waste of time and effort that Facebook can become, and how overwhelmingly important it can feel when someone is Wrong on the Internet. Back in the day, it was Usenet. I poured hours into it – weeks, months when you add it all up – and although it was also hugely rewarding and taught me valuable skills and introduced me to some of the best friends I’ll ever have (not to mention a lovely wife, with whom I spent many of those aforementioned weeks and months), it was also a colossal, ravenous time-sink. I never really tore myself away: other media arrived, everyone else left, the technology failed and Usenet essentially died around me.
Facebook has been the Usenet of the late Noughties and early Teens. It’s not quite so anonymous, reckless and freeform, because the Internet has moved on and we’re all a little more cynical and fearful and consumed by our First World Problems. But it, too, will change in time.
Not blogs, though. They’re totally permanent.