Decentralizing my online presence

Starting this year, I'm going to cross-post to my blogs:

  • everything I post on Instagram and

  • most of what I tweet (and retweet) on Twitter.


Two reasons.

1. I'm sick of the walled gardens that social networks force you play in.

It’s great that I can post stuff so easily to social networks. That’s where most my non-techie friends and family members are too – which is super cool.

But, once I do post stuff to a social network, there’s almost nothing else I can do with this content of mine. I can’t archive, index, search, tag, export, or repurpose any of it. And I certainly can’t share it to any other social network. So, once my content is in there, it stays in there.

That’s not the way things used to be, back when the web was more decentralized.

In the words of Tom Eastman: “I’m old enough to remember when the Internet wasn’t a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four.”

Now I’m still a massive RSS user (yay NewsBlur!) so, for me, most of the web still is decentralized. I want my content to be part of this easily accessible, decentralized web as well.

Which brings me to reason number two…

2. Social networks are internet black holes.

If a post of mine isn’t in currently your social news feed or isn’t pinned to the top of my social profile, it might as well not exist.

Unless you’re willing to go to my profile and scroll through years of posts, there’s no easy way to see what I’ve posted since I joined Flickr in 2007, Facebook in 2007, Twitter in 2008, and Instagram in 2012.

None of my social network posts appear in Google or Bing, either. So, as far as the broader internet is concerned, this content of mine has disappeared into a black hole that you need to be a member of to access. And, even then, there’s no easy way to find what I’ve posted there over the years. (Though, to be fair, Flickr and Twitter do have fairly decent built-in search engines.)

I don’t want my content to be this thoroughly inaccessible.

So what next?

Initially, not too much is going to change. I’ll still keep posting regularly to Twitter and Instagram.

But, because I’ll be cross-posting most of my stuff to my blogs, too, you’ll be able to go to my blogs (this one and my professional one) and look through all the great stuff (mine and others’) that I’ve been sharing on Twitter and Instagram.

The best part: this blog content will be archived, tagged, and backed-up. And it’ll be easy to search for, export, and share to any other social network.

Yay for a more (re)decentralized web!