Keeping your online presence

A few weeks ago, I wrote about moving from Twitter to Mastodon, mainly because the former looked like it might fall over.

While that’s not happened (yet), it has still encouraged me to consider my digital footprint more generally.

It is both the triumph and the tragedy of the emergent technology that is the internet that how we do things is not fixed. The rise (and fall) of social media platforms, the coming and going to various formats, all contribute to needing to avoid falling back on just doing the same old.

Blogging is one area that’s been on a somewhat longer cycle: it’s taken a long decade for the burst of creativity and energy that was partly responsible for us here at ALPS Blog setting ourselves up to start to require serious attention.

Right now, blogging seems to be in an odd place, especially as RSS feeds have turned into more actively push technologies that take new content into your inbox. RSS was never that complicated, but it was both fiddly enough to stop mass uptake and logical enough to stymie innovation for a long while.

But looking around now, it seems like the big blog-ish efforts are going into platforms like Substack, even if WordPress remains a massive presence.

Of course, just because other people are doing something, doesn’t mean you have to too. As my mother likes to tell me.

However, it’s also good to try out new options, so I’ve been setting up a Substack to see what’s what.

As you’d expect, it’s very quick and easy to set up an account and start subscribing to other people’s work, pushed out to you.

It’s also been very quick to create a mirror of my other blog – OUatEU – and even import the podcast I’ve been doing on the EU – A Diet of Brussels. Creating a subscriber button was a piece of cake too.

Right now, I’m still sticking to the original platforms to post, then pulling it through, as and when. Partly that’s about retaining control of content and partly it’s about keeping historic links to content in place.

As for whether it’s worth it, I’m not sure – we’re still far too early in the process to tell. However, the range of tools in Substack is different from those on WordPress (or Audible), that opens up new possibilities, just as soon as I find the time to try them out.

In the meantime, ALPS Blog is sticking to being right here, but if you’d like to share your experiences of other platforms you’re always welcome to share them here.