Recently, Dave Winer wrote about the current problems with Twitter and what a new social home should look like:
“Our new home should be built on RSS. We know how it works. We have the ability to produce billions of feeds at scale, and there is lots of software that interops Basically DNS, RSS and email.”Dave Winer on Scripting.com
He isn’t the only one that has been thinking about this. Aral Balkan wrote about Reclaiming RSS as far back as at least 2018. This isn’t a new problem. It is just a problem that has resurfaced because of the recent Twitter turmoil.
The Indie Web movement has been telling us to own our own content for some time. They even devised the pragmatic POSSE (Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere) system realizing that large social communities are going to exist so we may as well interact with them. But the key is, it should start on your own site. You should own your content.
As a community, we don’t often follow the advice of “own your own content.” This is the reason on Twitter, many people are frantically trying to download an archive of everything the posted on Twitter. Other social sites have similar features such as Google Takeout and even Facebook has the ability to download an archive of your posts.
A panicked downloading of your content is a reactionary endeavor and it can get exhausting. With the problems all of big tech seem to be going through right now, maybe it is time to embrace the concept of own your own content and POSSE. I like the idea of Dave Winer’s DNS, RSS, and Email. It exists now and people know how to use it. I also like the pragmatic approach of the Indie Web and POSSE. I will probably develop both moving forward.
What finally tipped the scales for me, besides the obvious Twitter upheaval, was reading this article Use RSS for privacy and efficiency. When added to everything I have already said, it pushed me over the edge. So I have made changes. First, I have create a microblogging section of my site. It needs some design work, but it exists. It will, for now, be syndicated to my Mastodon account, but likely other areas in the future. Most importantly, I own the content. I have been working through this when it comes to photos as well with a photo’s section. My hope is to replace or syndicate to Instagram at some point. Of course longer form writing, like this, is linked right off my home page. Finally, to bring it all back to RSS; everything has an RSS feed. You can subscribe to the full feed or just the individual feeds. Here is a complete list:
- Full blog feed
- Just my notes feed
- Just my photos feed
- Just my microblog feed
- Since Mastodon offers RSS by default, you can subscribe to just my Mastodon feed.
The important thing is I am taking my content back. I encourage you to do it also.