This is gonna be a radical and controversial statement but in 2024, anything posted to the internet at-large, should be considered a “social post”. In fact, the same could be said for anything posted on the internet in 1994 too. Only the technology and methodology, and yes, nomenclature along with vernacular has changed. We don’t “upload to a site” or “update via FTP” so much anymore; we simply “post to the internet” or “tweet/tiktok/instagram” something. But the same effect is true once it leaves our thoughtstreams and becomes pixels/waveforms/electrons circuiting the internet: if the content is interesting to someone, it’s going to be interacted with whether you realize it or not.
This may be the rub for a lot of folks, especially those in marginalized and vunerable groups– how to be able to post something online without fear of harassment? How to put forth valuable (or just ancecdotal) content, opine, or just shoot the breeze without catching a flamestorm? I get it– I’m a card-carrying African-American, and we constantly catch hell from certain factions whenever we bring up uncomfortable truths, both online and IRL. Being able to have a refuge where one can air out an incedient, write about something experienced, or just vent –without persecution– should be an inalienable right! …right? I think so, but also I’m not sure the internet is that place, at least in the sense that protection in the form of someone not having a view counter to yours won’t get all stalky, bitchy and rageful about it won’t be there. There’s always the risk a “keyboard warrior” or worse will show up with that bullshit and start harrassing the OP and everyone else. Anytime you post anything even a gnat-booty-hair towards controversial, assume you’re gonna draw these people out, no matter how protected you think your space is.
Now of course you should expect someone to reply, repost, and click on all the icons to make your post go “brrrr” if you’re on a social media site somewhere, but what happens when you’ve commented on a blog that happened to be tied to a social media network and your comment gets exposed to a wider audience? Some argue there’s an expectation that one’s comments in places like blogs, forums and other so-called “closed discussion sites” shouldn’t show up in other places unexpectedly and there’s a reasonable expectiation that “what’s commented there, stays there.”
Are Blog Comments considered Social Media?
My opinion has always been and will remain the exact 180º opposite: Anything you post online is liable to be propagated, remixed, rebroadcast, and otherwise indexed somewhere, and wherever that some_where_ may be, some_one_ may be talking about it if there’s enough interest. This includes the main post and any ancillary posts (comments) about it. The internet is a public square and while there may be buildings and paths branching off of it, I always assume whatever I say in one place (an instagram post for example) will wind up being discussed in other place (on twitter). This actually happens all the time, even from the social media silos like TikTok and Facebook. For example, I don’t have a Tiktok account, no have I ever felt the need to have one because almost all the content I’m interested in coming from there, winds up being reposted on Instagram or YouTube anyway.
What’s a blog in 2024?
This blog in particular is also an ActivityPub instance. Pretty much all the posts from here can also be tracked at by searching for and following
@firstname.lastname@example.org in the client of your choice (which at the time of this writing, likely means a Mastodon instance, but there’s lots out there!) Local commenting is not allowed, but you can interact with the post from anyplace you see in the syndication line (denoted by the links after 📡🔀) It’s also a full-fledged #indieweb site with Webmention commenting as well; you can post on your own site and it will find its way here as well. (there’s a textbox on the page if you don’t have webmentions set up on your blog locally; just put a link to this post somewhere in your reply, then read the instructions there and I’ll handle the rest!
I try to PESO my posts and POSSE the resulting comments so what may appear as one article here is really the nexus of a cloud of similar posts elsewhere (for example Facebook, BlueSky and Micro.Blog) and their resulting discussions all filter back here, the “primary” article.
So.. Is a connected website the “future of blogging”?
…When was a website ever NOT connected? 😜
- UPDATE 20 JAN:
Added a link to Ryan's really good post that tangentially describes context collapse from an ethically thinking app development point of view.