Frey Thorvaldsson

Getting started

Delicately worded by Frey Thorvaldsson

Hello world. I hope you're doing well. This is my first article on this site, so be gentle.

Why start a blog? Surely there's enough of those around, right? I'm so glad you asked. Let me explain.

Writing to think

When you write something down you get to take thoughts and ideas you were only vaguely aware of and affix it to paper. The painful process of writing down ones thoughts is the valuable part. You need to clarify assumptions as you write and make the implicit explicit, word things well and come up with fitting analogies.

With that complete you can beam your thoughts into anyones brain far into the future, over a network to distant continents if need be. The internet also happens to have a wonderful mechanism whereby if you say x = 2 someone will explain to you, in great detail, how in fact x = 3 and you should be rather ashamed for thinking differently.

Maybe you are wrong, so it's nice to hear the other side.

Recreating social media as it was

I barely use social media.

I deleted my Instagram a few years back and my Facebook wall is barren. I quit because I didn't like how addicted I was to the scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Now, more than ever I'm creeped out by the Megacorps and I'm skeptical that the hyper libertarian CEO's of Silicon Valley have my actual interests at heart.

Safe to say, I'm not very fond of modern social media.

Social media wasn't always this way. The UX research and KPI driven fine tuning that went into social media in the early-to-mid 2010's is, in my mind, what corrupted social media. The newsfeed is a case in point. Initially it was a chronological feed of your friends and the pages you follow - which was replaced by the most viral content available - mixed with advertising. No one except the company benefited from this change.

What Facebook got was:

  • Higher avg time on site
  • Pages that could previously reach users for free now had to pay Facebook for the privilege

The above points translate to more $ for Facebook shareholders. The site became too focused on optimising for advertising money and not focused enough on empowering people. I think we all subtly noticed this, Facebook became a bit less fun and a bit more scrolly.

The good parts of social media are the same things that make people good. Social media fosters creativity. People you'll never meet can read or watch what you've made from any where at any time. You can write a novel and distribute it yourself, you can create your own animation and publish it on YouTube and you can write a humble blog in your own corner of the internet. All without the go ahead of a publishing company or any thought put towards a revenue model.

I miss the creative aspect of putting together a post on Instagram. I miss knowing that people were interested in something I made.

So, this site is here to fill that gap.

Finally

This site, like so many others, will almost certainly languish when life is busy and thrive when free time is plentiful.

I plan to write about whatever I find interesting. Probably history-related stuff, maybe some technical bits and probably about small business.

I hope you, dear reader, will find what I have to say useful or at least entertaining.

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