Blogging As An Act Of Defiance In An Age Of Social Media Manipulation

So this website finally had an 11 year overdue overhaul. Total redesign and optimisation. If you need yours sorting out, talk to Thatch, who did this one – he did such a great job. Have a rummage around to behold the goodness and read all of the words.

There’s a bit of me that feels like announcing a website overhaul in 2019 is like shouting ‘hey, check out my MySpace page!’ or putting my ICQ number in my Twitter bio, but we desperately need some push-back against the kind of bullshit that goes on social media, and by that, I don’t just mean ‘there are Nazis on Twitter and Fake News pages on Facebook’, I mean ‘social media algorithms reward us with attention for being blunt, sensationalist, aggressive, shouty and sloganeering‘. So worse than just nazis being there is that it’s built to push us all towards confrontation, to react not reflect, to argue not discuss, to punch each other with nonsense opinions instead of collaboratively researching stuff. All the shit that leads us to Trump and Brexit

So yes, of course Twitter/FB should ban the fash, but if the entire model is set up to gift attention to people with shouty opinions and misleading headlines, we’re all the worse for having to engage with it. At which point, having your own website is an act of defiance. Writing long-form without the dopamine hit of immediate likes and shares and comments, having a comment section that doesn’t reward those commenting with that same load of bullshit, it’s just a space to expand on ideas.

So, yeah, go overhaul your neglected website/blog – we’re all here slaving away in the Zuckerberg Saltmines, churning out ‘content‘ that gets ‘monetised‘. And we think we’re smart if we have a strategy to monetise it, even if that strategy involves capitulating to the horrible terms of engagement that are promoted (man, the tragic irony of this starting out as me waffling on like this on Facebook when I could have been writing it here as a blog post on a site I own… FML)

…anyway, we need spaces to be ourselves, to be quiet, thoughtful, nuanced, unsure, to tell stories & not be baited into shouting at terrible politicians as though they’ll change their minds due to informed snark.

So, if you’re blogging on a regular or semi-regular basis, post a link in the comments here. I’m going to give Feedly another try and see if curating a diverse bunch of daily reads by thoughtful people is even possible. And if you’re a blog reader, grab the feed for this blog from

BTW, there’s a lot of this theme that gets explored in the new MusicTechFest podcast that came out today, an interview with me that could be subtitled Small Is Beautiful.  give it a listen 🙂

7 Replies to “Blogging As An Act Of Defiance In An Age Of Social Media Manipulation”

    1. cool, thanks Patrick! I tend to read your posts when you share them on FB, but will subscribe now too 🙂

  1. Hey Steve – congrats on the look… and yes, I did notice it!

    Glad to see your RSS feed is still working – viva RSS!

    My blog is still chugging along, though it hasn’t had some content in about a month – – and yes the RSS feed still works, though it is thru Feedburner and I haven’t spent the time to remap the subdomain locally!

    Hope all is well with you Lobelia and Flapjack!


    1. hi Mike! Good to hear from you – I’ll add your blog to the list. It’ll be good to catch up with your news 🙂

  2. I’ve recently done a similar thing, for similar reasons. My website was laying fallow but about a year ago I got my new publishing framework working well enough and now I enjoy blogging again, as well as publishing my own stuff on my own site with my own rules.

    Also my publishing framework is open source and written in Python, for anyone interested in helping out on it.

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