In which I turn my gaze inward...
why the weblogging Renaissance under the guise of SubStacking?:
What Does SubStack Say That Its Mission Is?:
Hamish McKenzie: Welcome, Facebook and Twitter. Seriously: [When] we started Substack… we were concerned about… the attention economy…. Our addiction to social media is having negative effects on both individual and collective thought… doomscrolling… rage-monsters… conspiracy theory-addled mob[s]… poisoned information supply…. We have set out to show that platforms that put writers and readers in charge are just better. Substack… a calm space that encourages reflection… free of advertising or any other distraction… no addiction-maximizing feeds, autoplaying videos, or retweetable quote-retweets to suck you into a psychological space you never asked to be in…. Information… put into your brain based on… writers [who] reward your trust, not… a dopamine hit… performative posturing…. Calmness… is the real killer feature…
SubStack is… classical weblogging—but. What is the “but”? The “but” is:
A very aggressive push of the post to the email inbox of the recipient, rather than waiting for the recipient to come surfing by, with perhaps an rss-flag tickler to remind readers to come by. A subscription email with a website attached, rather than a website with a push RSS feed attached.
A very, very aggressive focus on what used to be called the tip jar, which hath now fed upon that meat upon which Cæsar doth feed and grown great, and morphed into a paywall.
A focus on longer-form—a newsletter rather than a log of readings and reactions. (That, however, may not turn out to be the stable form of whatever medium it turns into: Adrian Hon’s <http://mssv.net> used to have three columns—links with a phrase or a sentence, paragraphs, and essays.)
SubStack is—like Medium <http://medium.com> before it—at one level an explicit reaction to the consumption and destruction of what appeared to be a growing weblog-based public sphere by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and company—each of which consumed part of the space, and each of which succeeded in generating superior dopamine-hit random-reinforcement engagement, which turned what I at least regarded as a functional and improving intellectual ecosystem into: the Net of a Million Lies.