A Blog Of One's Own

May 25th, 2018

I've been wanting to start a blog for a while now. I keep thinking of really good things to say that don't fit the format of a tweet or a longform newsletter. Then of course, since I don't have an outlet for those things and am chronically, hopelessly, medically distracted, I forget about them completely. Hopefully with this wonderful little site, which I built myself using the Kirby flatfile CMS, I'll stop giving myself the chance to lose track of the surely impactful and thoughtful bullshit floating through my head at all times.

I'm inspired by Jake Udell's excellent Art of a Manager blog, as well as Anil Dash's explication of what the social-media-centric web has lost compared to the highly individualized worlds of Web 1.0. In the process of researching my senior thesis on defunct web communities, I did a lot of reading on the history of networked communication and the very nonlinear, unpredictable way that the web has developed. The web as we know it today, with its static deadlinks and view-only "consumer" mode as separated from the developer mode, wasn't in anyway a natural landing point for the inventive and diverse hypertext systems theorized and workshopped in the late 80s and early 90s. It never had to be this way— but it is, and here we are.

This got me thinking about stuff like how originally, everyone was meant to have their own domain, their own personal space, that they could customize to their whims.

And about how the cybernetic philosophies of the Cold War military-industrial complex influenced the communal counterculture of the 60s and 70s which influenced the digital free-for-all of the 80s and the corporate wreck of the dot com bubble and so on and so forth.

And about how the emergence/convergence of filesharing technologies, networked communication, and the democratization of creation means that the ways in which our society produces and consumes art has so radically changed in the past 25 years that it is nearly unrecognizable.

Okay, maybe I should go to grad school. Don't tell my parents.

But here's what I'm getting at: I'm going to start writing stuff here. You don't have to read it. But in my own straining against the increasingly apocalyptic bonds of algorithmically-driven social media I'm thinking about what it means, in this day and age as a young person, to establish and maintain an online room of one's own (so to speak), where the boundaries and expectations set by the dominant capitalistic enterprise of digital commerce are nonexistent. In one way, radical— in another, totally stupid, because of the absence of what ideas inherently seek: an audience.

Fun stuff!
More soon...
xoxo Allegra