Well umm… Welcome to my new personal blog. I used to write a bit on my other blog about development topics. Well… sometimes. Ok, maybe once a year. Ok even less and I tried to reboot it multiple times… but this is different now!
In that other blog I always wanted to cover specific topics in my development endeavors I did in my spare time. But as it turned out, that time was really rare. Writing about such topics always needs a lot of time to prepare, create samples, test etc. I did not have the time to do all that, or I was to lazy, most probably it was a combination of both.
This blog is supposed to be different for me. I want to move away from all those „social“ networks and be the owner of my content again. Let me explain you why:
That privacy thing
I’m a Facebook user since 2006. That’s a long time and I encouraged a lot of people to join Facebook in the beginning. I shared a lot: status posts, rants, photos, locations… everything. But not just since recent changes in Facebook’s privacy terms I got a bad feeling about Facebook. I’m concerned about all the data that gets collected about me, where I am, what I do, what I like. There’s so many things that get collected about each and every one of us. And none of us has even the tiniest bit of a clue what really is captured and what really is done with it. Nobody can say what happens with all that stuff in some years. Who owns it, who can read it, what do companies do with that information? I don’t have to tell you much about it, hopefully. And that lead’s me to the second reason I want to kick off this blog.
That ownership thing
I use Facebook as an example here, but most of it is also true for Twitter, Instagram or any other social network of your choice. They’re all free… and remember: If something is free for you: you are the product being sold.
When you post a photo to Facebook, it’s not yours anymore. When someone else posts a photo that includes you, Facebook knows that you are in the picture. It knows when and where it was taken, and even if you don’t want Facebook to know where you are and what you are doing… it knows. I guess the only way to solve this particular problem is to ask your friends not to post photos with you.
When you post anything on Facebook, it’s not yours anymore. It’s somewhere on a server in some country with privacy „laws“ that are nothing but a joke. Imagine you want to have an archive of all the things you shared one day…
Have you ever downloaded your data from Facebook? I bet most of you didn’t even know they can! I suggest you try it out! You’ll be very much surprised what you will find there. Stuff you „deleted“ years ago! And all that is just a glimpse of all the data they store about you. Here in the European Union, they are required to give you all the information that is stored about you. They refuse to do that. You could get it… theoretically. But in order to get everything I would have to send a copy of my identity card to them. Oh the irony! Some people got their data and it’s huge! It’s just a little more than just you’re little „that burger place is awesome“ posts.
That content ownership problem on the other hand can be solved easily. This blog is my first step to become the master of my own content again. When I post text, it’s mine. When I post photos, they’re mine. When I want to delete something, I delete it. Everything is stored on a server I pay for each month (yes people… things cost money and guess what: you can even pay for things you like! But that’s a whole other story). That server is owned by a small company in my country under my country’s law. Theoretically my content is not supposed to be automatically served to the NSA, but who knows. I run blogging software of my choice on it (I’ll get into this some other day). Everything is mine! I’ll have to adjust my posting habits a bit because not everything I want to share is supposed to be seen by everyone on this planet, but I hope to have a solution for this in future (again… more on this later).
That brain fart thing
A blog is also better suited for longer posts. I’m a fan of longer posts. They provide value, information and insights. Most of the crap everyone – including and probably first and foremost me and myself – posts is just a bunch of nonsense. But there’s also value in stuff like that – sometimes a good rant is the best you can do for yourself… Most of what someone posts on Facebook or Twitter is ignored anyways.
That social thing
Recently I cleared my Facebook timeline from everything I didn’t care about: sports teams, bands… stuff like that. Can you imagine what I saw after that? Nothing. Almost nobody ever posts anything to Facebook. Easily 90% of everyone on Facebook doesn’t get the point of a social network: To share information, keep in touch, keep friends up to date… At best, they are creepy stalkers that just like to see what others do, but don’t want to share anything themselves. If they don’t share, are they even interested in my sharing? Are they bored by my posts? Maybe they even ignore me and I just post into the big void of Facebook to feed their data mining after all!
Long story short
I don’t like my content to be taken away from me. I don’t like my privacy taken away from me. I try to shift from posting only brain farts to creating more valuable content, maybe even for a different audience. The only reason I’ll really keep my Facebook account around is to stay in contact with friends all over the world. Today, there’s almost no other way to keep them close even they’re on the other side of the planet. I’ll cross post to Facebook and Twitter as long as I see people actually read it. I’ll try to set up a system to close down my private content to only share with my friends… until then there will still be occasional posts on Facebook, but I hope the days of my nonsense posts that nobody cares about have come to an end.
That’s a journey. I’m curious how long I will be able to keep this up. I tried some times before already and failed. But I really feel that it’s different this time. There’s simply no viable social network for me out there that suits my privacy preferences. I don’t want to be the product of some american company anymore.
This place will change in future, getting a little more sophisticated. And if I fail again this time, maybe it’s just not worth sharing at all. Maybe I don’t have that much to share and write about. I don’t know who’s interested, if there are any. I guess we’ll find out! I’m happy to welcome you on board! Let me know what you think about all of this.