This blog post is basically my Twitter replies to my friend Jocelyn’s Tweet above.
If the “fix” is something to replace this bloated social media websites that employ 2039482 people, I don’t think we can do that. But if we seek focused, sustainable, and healthy sites and events, I think we’ll be fine.
I don’t believe the answer is a daily newsletter with links to cool things that our creative friends are doing because it’d be so easy to lose track, then we’re not even opening the email, and it’s just one more thing we archive / delete. I also don’t believe it’s private Slack channels where it’s like a run-away group text, where you leave for an hour and then there’s 234,902,984 new messages.
Because we can’t do the “real life” thing if we’re scrolling through an app for hours a day. That’s not “keeping up” or “staying informed,” that’s taking time away from our creative pursuits! And emailing friends! Calling people. Have coffee with friends.
What we need is hyper-focused print. Video channels. Occasional email newsletters. Gatherings. Retreats. Live streamed conferences for accessibility and budgets (* see also ‘The End of the Conference Era‘).
And any creative media endeavor that’s “hey, this is about ART!” or “MUSIC!” is too broad. No one is lacking for “we interview creative people” podcasts.
Give me magazines and zines devoted to noise rock, pottery, or band posters. These would be small operations, quarterly, sustainable – the exact opposite of Instagram, or any social media outlet. Online things updated multiple times per hour ain’t doing anyone any favors (as well as using unpaid labor for all that attention). It’s time to slow the heck down.
“Aim for the edges,” as Seth Godin says (back in 2015).
“And that’s the secret to thriving on the edges: Build something that people will look for, something that people will talk about, something we would miss if it were gone.
Not for everyone.”
The more it’s for “everybody,” the more it’s for nobody.