Web Independence

March 11, 2024

There’s a lot we took for granted with the web. It enables us to do so much, and then we promptly forget it whenever “easier” ways come along: Apps, web apps, web services.

I’ve talked about this before.

I don’t have a LinkedIn account. I don’t like the idea that we both need an account. I need one to post my résumé, and you need one to view it. How does that benefit me to have my résumé behind a login wall? It doesn’t. It benefits LinkedIn. Now, my résumé is on my website, displayed more beautifully than LinkedIn lets me.

Dribbble went from a screenshot-sharing network to a formalized portfolio website. And when it did, it started paywalling our portfolios. We didn’t make the money, Dribbble did. It doesn’t benefit me to put my portfolio behind a paywall. So now, my portfolio is on my website, once again, displayed more thoroughly than they allowed. And without comments, because I don’t want criticism on finished work for a client. That doesn’t help anyone.

When Medium came along, and then Substack, people quickly flocked to them for how easy it was to write, publish, and send newsletters. But I gotta tell you: it’s not difficult for me to publish my blog and have an RSS feed. So that’s what I do now too. And in doing so, I avoid the heartache of having to claw away from Substack when they reveal themselves to support Nazis.

Every new thing that I add to my website works to regain my internet presence away from companies that do not have my interests at heart. And I will avoid future problems like a company deciding to put login walls or paywalls in front of my content. Or putting Nazi content beside mine. I can avoid all of that by self-publishing.

It’s worth thinking about not just how little effort it takes to get started with an app, web app, or web service. But how much effort it always takes for you to migrate elsewhere when it turns out to be shittier than they originally advertised.

Be independent. We can build things on the web without them. Better things.

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