We Can All Be Phoenix

Twitter is in meltdown. Hundreds and maybe even thousands of people are scrambling to find a new digital public square where they can broadcast their thoughts on politics, the movie they just watched, and their cats. They’re exploring and revisiting Tumblr, Mastodon, Substack, TikTok and old school blogging. While I haven’t been very active online for the past couple of years, I’m one of these digital refugees.

I’m currently exploring and enjoying Mastodon. The friendlier, nerdier atmosphere invokes memories of the early days of social networking sites. It was a time when people were more interested in checking how others are doing, reviewing the TV shows they’re watching, and sharing the food they’re currently eating instead of the next meme they’re going to make or the next person they’re going to dunk on.

Those early days were about sharing and connecting with other people. Recent days have been about performing and seeking popularity.

Incidentally, the early days of social media were also my halcyon days of self-hosted blogging. The current social media dumpster fire — notice that I didn’t mention Facebook and Instagram two paragraphs ago — has inspired me not just to explore new digital town squares, but also to revisit writing longer, more meaty pieces on a platform that I own.

This brings us to this blog right here on ginocarteciano.com, a website that was just supposed to be my one-page online profile. While I already maintain (I’m using this term loosely) a blog at Long Box, where I talk about comic books and other geeky things, I ache to write freely about other areas of my life and other things out in the world in general.

Let's be Phoenix by running a blog!
from Uncanny X-Men #101

I don’t have a lot going on, but perhaps I can offer the digital public some value with my opinions and knowledge gained, forged, and sharpened through four decades of existence. Maybe I can also be funny? Anything is possible.

I may even salvage what I can from the multitude of other blogs that I had over the past 16 years (yes, I started blogging and poking around WordPress in 2006), which is just what I did from the mini-site I made a couple of years ago. Behold, my Inktober 2020 drawings! Needless to say, room for improvement is gigantic.

So it’s true that it feels like the whole digital world has been an A+ dumpster fire for a while now, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to rise from the ashes. If we want, we can leave the blue bird behind and be red birds instead. We can all be fire and life incarnate. Now and forever, we can all be PHOENIX!

This is just a long-winded way of saying this: a self-hosted blog offers ownership, freedom from maddening algorithms, and total control. So a self-hosted blog — another one — I shall maintain.

Or maybe I’ll just terrorize everyone by dancing sexily on TikTok.

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