February 15, 2021

Aimee Terese comes back as a blog (and the return to blogging in general)

It's happening, lads and lesbians -- and on Blogspot, no less. :) It was always the cooler of the two majors (interesting people on Wordpress were rare, it was more for pretentious types).

Here there's nothing of the claustrophobia, anomie, disease, and cacophony of a densely packed cyber-metropolis like Twitter. No junkies strung out on takes, no vagrants squatting in your mentions, no peeping Toms hate-reading your feed. The population here is more modest in size, comfortably spread out, tightly knit, and trusting of one another.

Welcome to the otherworldly ruins of the blogosphere, Aimee, the ideal place to indulge your Gothic / Romantic side.

* * *

I'll post further thoughts & suggestions in the comments as they occur to me, but for now, that itself is my best advice on how to format your blog. More structured ideas on a common theme in the main post, and updates, tangents, ADHD content in the comments section. That will keep the number and flow of posts digestible, while also allowing for variations, riffs, and other forms of expanding on the basic theme.

Almost no one will actually post in your blog comments section these days -- they'll go to a large-scale reacting platform like Twitter, Reddit, etc., where they hope their half-baked and kneejerk takes will garner more likes from the larger user base, and give them enough dopamine to stave off suicide for another 15 minutes. So it's better to use your own comments section for secondary content, and the main post as the primary content.

Word count doesn't matter either -- it's a cope to say blogs are longform while tweets are shortform. Blog entries can be just five paragraphs, while tweet threads, feeds, and podcasts go on endlessly. The real difference is structured (blogs) vs. unstructured (social media), and again you can use your own comments section for the less structured stuff (or make an open thread post).

Still, if you've already got a decent-sized following from social media, you should encourage or bully some of them to comment on your blog posts, even if it's just a few words. And especially if they have a decent following of their own. It would be a bigger "get" for Genie to make an appearance in your comments section, than an egg with a dozen followers.

If you get writer's block at first, you could always mine your content from the social media accounts (including non-electoral stuff, like the horror of commodifying surrogacy). By the nature of the platform, it was never super-structured. Now on a blog you can put it all together (perhaps across a series of posts), and express yourself better as well. Plus, if you're coming to blogs because you were censored off of social media, re-writing your old stuff as blog posts will preserve what would otherwise be erased.

One final stylistic suggestion -- your iconic avatar near the top of the page! It's just not an Aimee Terese outlet without it. That's the only branding the site needs. Or perhaps a pic of yours from circa 2008, if you want to recreate the blogosphere's heyday.

* * *

I'm writing this all at length in public, rather than privately, just in case anyone else wants to get off of social media, but still express themselves online, and would like a few pointers and encouragement (Heather Habsburg, Alison Balsam, Caroline...).

If enough people join, you all can resurrect the blogroll -- a sidebar of links to other accounts and sites to explore. This curated list was more trusting and intimate and rewarding than some algorithm of "similar items" -- what if you want to send your readers to a place unlike your own, but which you find worth following?

Machine learning can never replicate that behavior, since it can only pattern-match. It can tell you which others are like you, but you can do that already. However, among the vast swath of the universe that is not like you, it has no idea where to guide someone who was originally interested in your neck of the woods.

It occupied the sweet spot between, in social media platforms, the retweet (too narrow and brief to be a lasting stamp of approval) and the following list (too long to navigate dozens or hundreds or thousands of endorsements). All of a sudden, there's a sense of community among the refugees of the social media apocalypse.

1 comment:

  1. Also, mod your comments! Otherwise you'll attract bratty subs who'll shit up the comments in order to provoke you into domming them.

    From the Blogger dashboard, on the left column, click Settings, scroll down to Comments, and under Comment Moderation select "Always". Then you can approve those who are good faith, and screen out the bratty subs.

    To see if there are comments in the queue, on the dashboard's left column, click Comments. If there are none, it'll display those already posted.

    To screen out garbage from the comment queue on Blogger's dashboard, click the trashcan icon ("Delete this comment") rather than the X icon ("Remove content of this comment").

    The latter leaves the bratty sub's footprint -- a comment box in place with the bratty sub's name, time, etc., and a form message that "the owner of the blog removed the content". The former erases the footprint entirely.

    If you're deleting while looking at the blog post itself (not from the Blogger dashboard), you'll click Delete below the comment. But then when asked to confirm, check the box that says "Remove this comment forever," which erases the footprint entirely (if you don't check the box, the form message will be left about you removing the content).

    There's already one bratty sub there ("Obama").


You MUST enter a nickname with the "Name/URL" option if you're not signed in. We can't follow who is saying what if everyone is "Anonymous."