You know, years ago, Kristen Lamb wrote this little book called Rise of the Machines: Human authors in a digital world. It’s all about how to control your content as a content creator, and building your platform on your terms. She points out that social media is transient and always on the way out, holding up MySpace as an example. (Who remembers MySpace, anyway?). She says to have a website or blog where you post your stuff and talk to people, and use social media to point back to it.
Well! Kristen Lamb is being proved right once again. I hopped on Twitter this morning, and my feed is full of people trying to move their art and books off Twitter, but they’re going to Instagram. Instagram is an algorithm-driven black hole where you can’t even see stuff from the accounts you follow.
Facebook is also an algorithm-driven black hole where you can’t see stuff from the accounts you follow, no matter how many times you click ‘like’. Zuckerburg is so hellbent on turning the VR Metaverse into the Matrix that he’s just letting the other social media sites languish, and their userbases along with them.
So people go to Tumblr, which hasn’t fundamentally changed since, what, the late 2000s? You can see posts chronologically, but good luck finding any content older than a month or two, unless some kind soul reblogs something.
And then the great Deviantart exodus began. Oh man, Deviantart, where do I begin? The devs have been implementing a fix to keep AI from scraping art from the site and using it in those AI art programs. But the devs phrased it as they have 5 billion artworks that they sold to an AI company. I’m still not exactly sure where the truth of this actually falls, because they SAID it. Anyway, folks are leaving DA by the truckload over it.
But what’s happening is this giant swirl of people who can’t escape the stuff they’re trying to flee. There’s nowhere else to post art or talk about stuff. Artstation is designed exclusively for the hyper professionals in game and movie design. Artfol is still tiny and app-based. Gab is too conservative. The other social media platforms are too small and don’t have any communities on them, and they’re just as algorithm-driven as the big guys. Twitter is being changed by Elon Musk into something approaching usefulness and therefore is driving away all the smut producers (imagine that, he’s actually going to obey the law, haha).
So unless all these people actually go carve out their own shingle on the internet and start using it, they’re just going to circulate around as social media continues its implosion. I’m sitting over here on this blog I’ve had for years and years and chuckling. It’s still here, guys. No social media has wiped it away. Why don’t you consider picking up Kristen Lamb’s book and taking control of your online life?
Also, have a pretty black and white Destiny fanart.