So here we are, facing the end of another year and the beginning of another. I was going to let it pass, but found myself wanting to say a couple of things.

Thank you, my friends

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who has followed me (or continued to follow me) during the past year. Some of you I’ve known for years; others are newer acquaintances, but I appreciate you all. It’s noteworthy that many of you are people I’ve known since the halcyon days of App.net, the best little social network there ever was, with the most utterly clueless management. Ah, well–it’s water under the bridge at this point. Glad we’re still in touch. Over the years, you’ve been a source of inspiration and support, and I am immensely grateful for both.

The year in social media

It’s hard to overstate how much the world of social media was impacted by Elon Musk’s takeover of The Social Network Formerly Known As Twitter. He’s such a genius that he took the world’s pre-eminent text-based social media platform, drove off its top advertisers and most active users, and turned it into a Gab/Truth Social clone. Nice going there, Melon Husk.

What it all means, of course, is that social media is as fragmented as it’s ever been. Those of us who have been online for the last twenty-five years or so should have known that nothing lasts forever, but the speed of the collapse has been something to behold.

I finally gave up my Twitter handle in 2023; there was no reason to keep it anymore, and you can’t have an account everywhere. I’m no more concerned about the fact it belongs to someone else now than I am about whether the same handle exists on Truth Social. Either way, I’m not going to be there nor do I want to be associated with those who are.

What the fragmentation has done is spur me to move towards consolidating my content online on a domain that I own; if there’s a lesson to be learned from everything, it’s that building your presence on someone else’s domain is a roll of the dice.

At first, I thought I might set up my own personal Mastodon instance, but Micro.blog offered the ability to both host my social posts and my blog posts in the same place under the same domain–an online hub–which proved the stronger attraction. I’m an infrequent blogger, but I do post on social media regularly, and the notion of putting everything under one roof was attractive. So far I’m pleased with how it’s working out.

As for the other platforms, Bluesky and Threads? By staying invitation-only, Bluesky lost momentum and will likely be relegated to a niche role. Threads has Meta’s backing, with all the good and bad that implies, and will almost certainly be the choice of the masses. It will also almost certainly be the first one I abandon, make of that what you will.

Oh, and there’s Tumblr, I suppose. I still haven’t figured out what to do with that one; for now I’m just crossposting from Micro.blog.

The world at large

What is there to say? The world continues to lose its damn mind. Right-wing extremism on the rise, ethnic cleansing in more than one place (including Gaza), and in the US we’re staring down the barrel of the threat of a second term for The Former Guy. I don’t much like this alternate timeline we’re in.

Conclusion

That’s about it. Best wishes to you and yours, I hope you all have a good New Year, and may we all find ourselves in better circumstances this time next year. Cheers!