Reply to Rethinking My Social Media Use | Chris Wiegman

Replied to Rethinking My Social Media Use by Chris WiegmanChris Wiegman (Chris Wiegman)
Most of you who know me know that I’ve struggled for a while now with how social media currently fits into my life and how I would prefer it to fit into my life. Ten years ago it was nothing for me to sign up for every service and post to them like there was no tomorrow. Heck, during my days at SIU doing so was actually part of my job as I managed all the social media for the Aviation departments. It was fun, I guess. Today I’m not so sure if that was the right approach, or, for that matter, what the “right” approach even means. Over the last few months I’ve scrubbed or deleted most of my online accounts and worked to severely limit the time I’ve spent on the rest (often with even more limited success). I’ve done this not because I want to but, in many ways, because I feel like I have to for a number of reasons.

Chris, many of us have been having the same thoughts for quite a while. Since you’re rethinking things, and you’ve already got your own website/blog, why not just switch over to that and let the internet be your social network? Many of us in the IndieWeb movement have been working on helping others do just that for several years now.

We’ve been working on W3C specs like Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and Microsub to recreate some of the infrastructure offered by social media sites, but that allows website owners more control and ownership over their content–something I suspect you’re behind in using WordPress as your CMS of choice. In the very near future we’ll even have first class feed readers either on our own sites or that allow us to interact with others’ sites using our own.

If you still need to interact with sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, et al. You can still do that if you like by posting to your own site and syndicating out while still allowing comments and interactions from many of these sites back to your own using backfeed via the Webmention protocol with tools like Brid.gy. Slowly over the past several years more and more CMSes are adding these bits of functionality to let peoples’ personal sites become first class social media sites that they can own and control.

I suspect that given your skills and how you’re already using your site, you could be supporting a lot of these technologies with a few simple plugins and without a lot of additional work to give you most of what you’re looking for. A group of us are happy to help if you’ve got questions about implementation.

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