After Social Media

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

(File under: Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush / LESS Less Energy Stuff Stimulation)

The collapse of the internet has been on my mind a lot as I seek to quit my year long twitter experiment come 2020. I had avoided all social media -excepting blogs & forums, email lists (many seemed to have slowly withered)- until last year when I joined twitter at the behest of my ham radio club, because I had taken on the role of PIO -public information officer or PR- for two years with the club (stepping down now as well to focus on other things). I also thought maybe it would be a way to promote my projects. Mostly, it’s just been a distraction.

There are other ways to get work out there, and I think an email list, which can eventually be turned into a print newsletter is the way to go (for me).

In the Green Wizards book one of the exercises JMG asks the reader to do is imagine her or his life against the backdrop of collapse over what would be the course of the rest of their life. Having networks is a great thing. I love communicating with people long distance -hence radio, and letters…

Through a friend I have in the shortwave/ham radio community I was asked to join an Amateur Press Association this coming year. I’m about to send off my first batch of materials to the Central Mailer. in the next week. For those familiar with ham the Central Mailer is similar to the Net Control for a radio net. Only the Central Mailer gets all the material for his mailing list and then sends it back out in bundles to everyone who is part of that APA. The wiki breaks it down pretty well:

I’m looking forward to being a part of this the coming year, and then using what I learn to see about setting one up myself down the road. It will also give me the practical knowledge I need for a project that is taking formation inside me.

Getting rolling with this stuff now will hopefully mean that it can grow and be in place as the other systems falter. The mail system seems very robust and can deindustrialize with time. I also happen to be working in what I call “The Mercurial District” now that my workplace moved: right across the street from one of the entrances to the CSX railyard, down the street from Union Terminal, which is a museum now but also still the place to go to catch an Amtrak, and catty-corner from the main post office which is an awesome Art Deco buidling. (Cincinnati is the home for Decopunk).

I'm curious what other peoples takes on Social Media is and what they might do to prepare for changes in service to the internet?

David Trammel's picture

Something that is in the back of my mind is how to offer a low band width way of accessing the Green Wizard site eventually.

Everyone is aware of how phone services offer data caps. They are less noticed right now because service providers are subsidizing unlimited plans in the hopes of making money off your personal information and reselling it to advertisers. At some point they will begin decreasing the amount of data you can see. Or many of us will simply not be able to afford a personal Internet account and be forced to use the local library.

There are several methods which can be used to decrease the load of a website. I usually use one here which is compressing images. (Techie talk follows) Most images coming from your phone camera are in the "jpeg" format. That's one that can be quite large, sometimes 3-5 megabits. Pictures are also often 4000x 4000 pixels. The photo editing software I use can compress that. Most pictures can comfortably be downsized to 1000x700 pixels and resized to 40-50 kilobites. When you see me replace one of your uploaded photos with a photo displayed in your post, that's what I did.

I could also offer an alternative version which has all the photos as clickable links. Those of us old enough can remember the old BBS forums.

Ultimately we'll have to go back to the option of a weekly email, with a physical mailed version too. Seen some software for this recently and will look into it next year.

For now too many younger people view sites via their phones or tablets and want the pictures and videos.


On a different point, my photo host is claiming their servers are down for power issues, and yet if you watch Internet security news, more and more big companies are getting hit by ransomware attacks. Its possible that we won't have to deal with affordability issues but access issues soon.

Indie writers are encouraged to maintain email lists and publish a monthly e-newsletter to keep in touch with fans.
The email list and the newsletter are controlled by you, the writer.
We've seen lots of feedback on how well it works. It still works well enough that most writers end up with an e-newsletter.
It's important if you go this route to grow organically. Have people sign up on their own because they're genuinely interested in what you are doing.
If you get sign-ups because you're giving away something free, those sign-ups will drop you (which is fine) but they may drop you hard by saying your newsletter is spam (which is not fine).
Older writers, like Lawrence Block, used to use written newsletters that they mailed via snail-mail every month to their subscribers. That method still works and as the internet shifts, the post office is still there.
The post office used to work without any automation or digitizing and it still could. They'd have to hire a lot more people and it would take longer, but it could be done.

Already, Bill (my dear husband) has seen sites he used in the past vanish behind a paywall or vanish entirely.
We have both seen sites where the information we remember from a previous visit changed on the next visit. Usually a little, but sometimes quite a lot.
The written word doesn't change on the page.

Teresa from Hershey

ClareBroommaker's picture

It's a small thing, but I have snail mail addresses and phone numbers written on paper. Sometimes I even write letters, postcards, greeting cards.

I'll miss four forums I read, but this is the only one where I participate much, so I figure I won't suffer their loss too much. I do not participate at all in the big social media such as facebook, instagram, tictoc, snapchat, etc. Never have, so I won't lose any connections there. Blogs seem sort of easy come easy go. Books and maybe subscription publications would probably fill in.

David Trammel's picture

Very timely article about the future of the Internet

Can The Internet Survive Climate Change?"

"In a tiny apartment in the Spanish coastal town of El Masnou, just outside of Barcelona, Kris de Decker runs a website completely powered by a small solar panel crammed into the corner of his balcony. With its light blue background and low-res imagery, the site for Low-Tech Magazine is intentionally retro—a callback to blogs and self-hosted sites from the mid-to-late 1990s. Each web page uses only .77 megabytes of data, making it more than 50 percent leaner than the average web page. It is also static, meaning it lives entirely on its locally hosted solar-powered server and as a result is only generated once, requiring less computing power than a dynamic site that generates anew for each visitor. Low-Tech has no ads and doesn’t use cookies. Even if the site were not powered by solar energy, these choices would make it that rare thing: an environmentally friendly web page. "

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

I've set up a newsletter with mailchimp for anyone who wants to get it monthly. I plan to give updates about my writing, music, and radio activity and also to promote other interesting books and music I come across at work, as well as any articles I may read, or anything else I'm just excited or stoked about. This is a first step towards building an analog newsletter. Please join me at Sothis Medias. I plan to put the first one out in January.

Thanks to Teresa, Clare & David for adding your thoughts to this thread.

(Enthusiasm is an Energy.)

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Thanks to all who have subscribed to the Seeds from Sirius newsletter (of course I had to give it a name!)