Focus on your platform, not someone else’s
I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and it’s apparent lack of care for it’s users. To the platform you are a potential revenue maker. Selling you to advertisers and not putting in controls to stop hate and harassment.
I’ve been looking to remove myself from it, then it dawned on me. Why are we adding value to the very platform that doesn’t respect us? Wouldn’t it be better to build this content on our own platform. My platform is this blog, instead of sharing my thoughts on here I’ve been adding content to Twitter, something I’m going to be doing less of going forward.
When ever I get back on the blogging horse I invariably have the thought that I wish I stuck to a single platform. Had I done that it would have been easier for people to view all of my work in one spot, and on my platform no less. Who knows, maybe it would have even grown my readership, or at the very least retained more people. I have tried my best to migrate my work every time I move platforms but I am sure there are plenty of things that fell through the cracks over the years.
I decided a few months back to hide the Twitter app from my home screen and turn off notifications. I can say without a doubt that it has absolutely limited my Twitter usage. Now, I spend more time in Reeder looking at the blogs I have followed for years and seeing what they have to say on their platforms.
Even places like The Verge has made it a point to link out to other publications and blogs, which I feel is a refreshing take on how “news” should be shared.
Our goal in redesigning The Verge was actually to redesign the relationship we have with you, our beloved audience. Six years ago, we developed a design system that was meant to confidently travel across platforms as the media unbundled itself into article pages individually distributed by social media and search algorithms. There’s a reason we had bright pink pull quotes in articles and laser lines shooting across our videos: we wanted to be distinctly The Verge, no matter where we showed up.
But publishing across other people’s platforms can only take you so far. And the more we lived with that decision, the more we felt strongly that our own platform should be an antidote to algorithmic news feeds, an editorial product made by actual people with intent and expertise. The Verge’s homepage is the single most popular page at Vox Media, and it should be a statement about what the internet can be at its best.
So we sat down and thought about what was really important to us and how to make our homepage valuable every time you open it. We also thought about where we came from and how we built The Verge into what it is today. And we landed on: well shit, we just need to blog more.
So we’re back to basics with something we’re calling the Storystream news feed, right on our homepage. Our plan is to bring the best of old-school blogging to a modern news feed experience and to have our editors and senior reporters constantly updating the site with the best of tech and science news from around the entire internet. If that means linking out to Wired or Bloomberg or some other news source, that’s great — we’re happy to send people to excellent work elsewhere, and we trust that our feed will be useful enough to have you come back later.
I am not saying that blogging is getting a new resurgence. What I am saying that as someone that thinks a lot about platforms it’s cool to see more people to care less about going viral on Twitter and care more about making their corner of the internet the best it can be.