The purpose of a website
I woke up thinking, had the most extraordinary day yesterday and my brain continued to think all night long. Who do I tell? Where do I share? and then it dawned on me:
Why would I share something exciting, inspiring, and personally meaningful to me with at least 1000 people (to give a conceivable number) in an office building? Why? Would I do that – walk into an office and broadcast whatever it is? um, no. but yes. I mean social media.
I did have an extraordinary day yesterday and there are things I will write about it and the thoughts that followed, both keeping me up late and waking me early with the cogs in my brain still in motion. Those thoughts are on music, community, talent, and teaching, and I will write them, but not in this post. This post stems from the desire to share and the resulting ‘where’ and why of posting.
Context: A few days ago Ben Wurdmüller posted about his choice to ‘go dark’ on social media, and I agree with much of what he said. Social media use and its impact on people and society will surely make very interesting academic studies in the future, when people can look back on whatever now is. Connection is important, how we do that is also important.
I did share about my experiences yesterday in two very different ways on public platforms. On Twitter I shared this:
On another platform, Mastodon, I posted this:
On Facebook I posted nothing. (I am learning)
The Twitter post was a nod to the organisers, my university, and a general ‘newsflash’ statement. The Mastodon post (toot) was something posted to interested people who would have to undertake several actions to actually read or see what I posted. Was the text the same? No. (and if you want to find out what I put, you too will have to do several clicks)
I was happy and willing to post a snippet of something personally meaningful in a decentralised network with no adds or corporations feeding off of me. You can see that it takes a couple of clicks to see what I wrote. Sleeping on it, I thought so many thinks (yes, I mean thinks, not things) and came to the realisation that indeed having control over what you say to whom, when, and how is important. It is not something we should so lightly give away. For me, this space, my domain of my own, is where I can expound upon whatever it is that floats my boat. I may get only a few people looking at what I write here, but this is where you’ll find me. Not in someone else’s (corporate) shop window.
If I was very clever, I would have several websites, or subdomains, but I don’t yet have that level of sophisticated categorisation. I do have a website for my community orchestra and one for CPD workshops. As for this website, it’s a buffet of life & learning, academic things, performance, even my OER. I’m learning. Being more decentralised is not easier, I don’t think. And there are issues of how to find people – not everyone has a website with their name in the title. Maybe I can use the shops to hang my own stuff – let the companies advertise me instead of the other way around. I don’t have ‘the’ answer, or even ‘an’ answer. All I know is that I’ll be here, on my website.