Sort of a follow up to my previous post – I had wanted to mention that, aside from making a vehicle for overcoming my fear of writing, part of what's at stake for me here in choosing simple tools and a new format, is that I wanted to get back to self-hosting. In a way it was something I had been meaning to do for longer than I care to admit, but what finally got me to start really taking action on it was when Instagram sort of infamously changed their TOS.
It's not that I'm really so worried about privacy on the internet. The way I figure, if that's really your big concern, about the only thing to do is avoid posting anything at all. I suppose it's partly because I've worked on databases behind web sites for a long time now, and seeing the sausage being made makes me more comfortable with the process. A lot of information that may be personally revealing at the individual level is really most typically either analyzed in aggregate, or any individual targeting is handled algorithmically. In other words, in the end personal data is handled impersonally. I suppose for some people that's the whole problem in a nutshell, but for me as I say it's more or less a nonissue.
In a lot of cases, it also seems to me like a reasonable trade-off. Instagram or Facebook or whoever is providing a service I enjoy at no monetary cost to me. I understand that what allows them to profit from that is selling facts about their users to advertisers or other interested parties, so I'm more or less willing to let them do that so that the service remains available to me. It strikes me as fair enough, most of the time.
That said, I do find something satisfying about hosting my own stuff myself. (Of course, there are compromises here, too. I don't really host this site on my own hardware, I use a hosting company. Still, I'm paying them, so the storage and bandwidth count at least as something like rental property.) I like knowing how the software works behind the thing. Ever since mp3.com went belly-up, I've always preferred to handle my musical output this way. I fooled around with putting tracks on Myspace or an artist page on Facebook, but mainly if there's something I want people to hear, I just put audio files on my own site, and link to them. Seemed like time to apply that to more than just music.
So, I'll still be using Facebook and Instagram and even Soundcloud and the rest, but at the same time I got to a point where I felt a little tired of handing my thoughts over to outside agencies with agendas of their own, and missed running the show myself. I wanted to have my own little corner of the internet that no one else is selling advertising on, and fill it up with words. So here it is.