Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
Like a lot of people, lately I’ve been struggling to figure out the best ways to connect with other people online. Social media and the internet seem to be in a really weird place right now, and I’ve been trying to figure out how I want to participate (or not). My personal choices are complicated by needing to connect people with DIY in PDX, so I thought I’d go over the best ways to keep up with me and my projects.
If you’re like, “What’s an RSS feed?” I’ll go over some of these options and my thoughts below, but here’s the short version.
Best Ways to Keep Up with DIY in PDX Blog Posts
Subscribe to Blog via Email
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Social media reservations aside, I’m very grateful to anyone who takes the time to read and follow DIY in PDX, and love connecting with readers! In person, too–shoutout to the gal who said hello in the grocery store the other day 🙂
I know I’m not the only one who has felt angry and betrayed over the roles that Facebook and Twitter have played in allowing malicious forces to divide people and bring out their worst tendencies. Instead of bringing us together, social media is pushing us further apart. Instagram has shown us that it’s not wise to rely on it for traffic and engagement, since they can change their algorithm whenever and however they want. And because they’re owned by Facebook, we should expect them to exploit us for profit and sell our data to the highest bidder.
Sorry if that sounds dark, but it seems to be the way social media is going these days. The other day I started thinking about how I wish someone would design a non-profit, advertising-free social network supported by break-even membership fees. But until someone does that, we’ll have to figure out how to deal with what we have now.
I’m sticking with Twitter and Instagram for now, but I’m thinking of removing my Facebook presence. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed that my presence there is already really sparse. Honestly, the only reason I still have an account at all is for this blog, and it is set up to post automatically. I don’t want to abandon anyone who relies on Facebook to keep up with DIY in PDX, though. So if you use Facebook for that, I thought I’d suggest some other options.
One option is to subscribe via email. Above there is a box where you can enter your email address, and then get posts emailed to you automatically. Well, at least the first paragraph and image of each post. You do need to click through to my blog to read the rest. I’ve been considering setting up a weekly digest version, would that be useful to people?
I read tons of blogs, and to track the ones I want to check regularly, I use old-fashioned RSS feeds. If that sounds like technical jargon, you can think of the chronological stream of blog posts from any blog as an RSS feed. An RSS feed reader allows you to set up subscriptions to blog feeds, topics, or news you want to keep track of. The advantage is that instead of going to 20 different sites to read posts, you can go to one place. I think that’s kind of what some people use Facebook for? But with an RSS feed reader, no algorithms control the order in which you see anything, and no one pays for access to your eyeballs.
For content creators, the downside is that if your readers aren’t visiting your site, they’re not seeing your advertising, and their pageviews aren’t being counted. So like a lot of creators, my compromise has been to have the preview image and first paragraph sent out via RSS, and then to read the rest of the blog post, you need to click through to the post on DIYinPDX.com. As a reader, I would prefer to see everything in my RSS reader, but it feels like a fair compromise to me. How do you feel about that?
These days I personally use Feedly, which allows you to organize your subscriptions into categories, view them in different formats, and even bookmark and make notes about posts. It’s free, and there are mobile versions, too. No algorithm controls what you see, or when you see it, and there is no pressure to follow anyone you’re not actually interested in. You can even set up filters to mute posts or articles about stuff you don’t want to hear about. There are other feed readers out there, and if you click the RSS link above, it will suggest some. I know a lot of people use Bloglovin’, too, though I personally don’t.
Feed readers and subscriptions aren’t social media, but despite my distrust of social media platforms, I definitely love to hear from readers! So please feel free to leave me a comment here or on Instagram, email me, send me a tweet, or even say hi if you spot me in person.
How are you dealing with the changing social media landscape? Are you deleting accounts, or limiting the time you spend on them?