Hello world! This is my first blog post on this fresh new instance of my site, Arcane Endpoint. I started writing this because I needed to see how blog posts look, but while I’m here, I may as well talk about some interesting things!
First, I suppose an explanation of why I’m writing words here, rather than somewhere a bit more… normal. The long and short of it is I’m tired of how social media sites feel. They’ve grown to become this impersonal, yelling-match environment where people fight for attention, and that’s not the kind of place I want to give my energy to.
Instead, I’ve packed up my bags and moved to “Kara Island”, a place where I can breathe, think and make on my own terms, entirely indepenent of others’ expectations. I deserve that, and nobody’s going to just give that to me, so here I am, making it for myself!
So, that leads into some further questions! I guess the most concice one would be “What value does this site add to you, Kara?” Well, I’m glad you asked, Kara! It’s beneficial for a few reasons. It gives me a pretty place to put my words, a place whose existence is entirely governed by me. The benefits of that alone are quite high - I can arbitrarily add new content types if that’s something I’d like to do. I can change appearances and structures and do all sorts of cool organisational stuff. I can delete older content on my own terms if I feel it’s no longer befitting this site. I can edit stuff, and add things, and generally just grow this site like a beautiful garden of my own direction.
That’s a really empowering thing, I think.
It’s also a cool thing to know that whenever I sit down to add content to this site, it’s with zero expectations on that content being “consumed”, or “digestible”, or even approachable at all! I can write really esoteric, in-depth stuff and not care if it’s seen or not - there’s value to me in simply writing what’s on my mind.
Another thing is that there’s no alarmingly-large megacorporations automatically feeding my words into algorithms, to figure out how to manipulate my friends into spending more time on evil hellsites.
The second thing I wanted to talk about is microblogging. Sites like Twitter and Mastodon are microblogging sites in that they let you post chronological updates, but instead of being longform and lengthy posts like this one, they’re very small, very granular and act more like snapshots of an account’s story.
I really like that style of writing. There’s a lot of wit that can emerge from shorter mediums, and there’s no shortage of funny tweets out there. Unfortunately, I think that there’s a lot of nuance missed in the connections between people on microblogging sites. Mastodon is a decent example of how a high character limit helps (around 500, I recall?), but does not entirely eliminate the loss of nuance in communication. Plus, both sites have their own “social context weighting” that shifts people’s natural behaviours into a more collectively-accepted standard, and I don’t really like that! (That’s more of a general social media thing, but it definitely applies to microblogging sites too.) Not to mention the variable quantity of bad actors in both environments…
Why am I talking about microblogging, then? Because I’ve added my own microblog to this site! It’s a separate section that only shows microposts, which are written entirely differently. I’m intending to use it as a more raw “stream-of-thoughts” sorta deal. This is a particularly exciting thing for me personally - I had a thought of allowing both regular blog posts and microposts on the one site, and through clever use of my tools, I was able to turn that into a reality.
The third and last thing I wanted to talk about is RSS feeds. These are a cool, older web technology that expose a chronologically-sorted list of a site’s content, that you can subscribe to with an RSS reader. You can find RSS readers on practically every platform (mobile, web, desktop, whatever), they’re quite simple from a software perspective.
I’m realising that that paragraph didn’t actualy convey the concept I indended it to, so here’s what RSS feeds actually do - they let you read sites’ content like a news feed. Specifically a news feed that’s always chronologically sorted (unlike certain other sites), free of ads, never has suggested content… You have complete control over how you read content with RSS readers. There’s no site buy-in, since RSS feeds are pretty much always free and public.
At any rate, RSS readers are pretty easy to set up and they’re a cool way of keeping up with sites that aren’t ingrained into your day-to-day app perusal behaviour. All this is to say, with no expectations from myself, if you’d like to keep up to date with this site and you’re not sure how to do that other than manually checking it, RSS readers might be a good solution for you.
I’ll put some RSS buttons in and around the page, to make that process a bit easier, but you can typically search a site with modern RSS readers and they’ll show you all of the feeds they’ve got available. I’d be happy to talk more about RSS readers if anyone has questions!
That’ll do for now, for a first post. I have more things to talk about (I always do; if I don’t, something is very wrong), but they can go in other posts.
Until next time!