Owning your digital garden
It seems the web is finally slowly moving back to blogs and personal spaces, greatly due to the general enshitification of platforms like Medium in their relentless run toward monetisation.
Still I'm always surprised how many "thoughts leaders" or professional still use those platforms as their only way to reach out, discuss and exchange, alienating more and more of their users.
This craving for more and more money lead to a general destruction of any good reading experience on a lot of websites. Articles on press websites are barely visible behind the ads, pop ups for their newsletters, cookie banners and other stupid things. Medium enforces login and article limitations globally, not on a writer basis, ...
I think it's more and more important for every one to be able to rebuild their own digital garden and to go back to the roots of the Internet. RSS never left, it was always there, but most of us decided that it was dead along with Google Reader while it's still the best way to pick the exact flowers you want to surround yourself with.
Owning your digital garden is also the insurance that it won't be destroyed for shareholder's profit or sudden change of heart of a crazy new CEO in search of glorification. Owning your garden is a unique chance for you to be able to speak your mind and express yourself beyond censorship or random moderator decisions.
Perhaps you won't be able to track how many people read you. Perhaps you won't have thousands followers instantly. Perhaps you won't have feedbacks at all. But we we lived without all those before web 2.0., and it was far from terrible. In fact it was often way more interesting and rich than the current enshitification machine the web has became.
There's hope for a better Internet and slowly people are (fucking finally) leaving toxic platforms and finding safe haven elsewhere. For a lot, this looks like discovering a new world after years inside a bunker.
We became so used to have everything brought to us without questioning it, without any effort. We have to learn to rediscover unknown territories, to rebuild our garden ourselves, learn also to ignore what's brought to us. It's not that hard, but those platforms made us believe it is.
Go out, pick some digital flowers, gather some seeds in a RSS reader, discover new voices (Bearblog's Discovery is great for that), learn to be curious and adventurous again, the wild web is still there and is so much better than the hell platforms built for their stakeholders.