Art and Design Meta The Internet Websites

Expanding the blogroll, owning my follows

Over the years, I’ve followed hundreds of artists and interesting people on Instagram and Twitter. Social media platforms don’t make it very easy to see everyone you follow, even as they constantly change the way they show you information so you don’t know what updates you’re missing. They also reward frequency and recency. The idea of an algorithm is nice — ‘it’ll show me posts I missed from people I care about!’ — but in practice it’s more like ‘ok thanks for showing me that five people I follow liked a political meme’.

As I move away from regularly using Twitter and Instagram, I don’t want to lose track of everyone who I followed there. So, I made my own lists of people who I follow — their own websites, not their social media accounts or profiles on other platforms:

Cool Artists – artists and craftspeople of all varieties

Interesting People – people with interesting and helpful things to say, from a range of backgrounds (science, art, advocacy, interior design)

Some of these people may also have newsletters and blogs that I don’t know about or am not following, or may have no way to follow their activity at all outside of social media — but at least I’ll always be able to find them. (Presumably anyone who’s bothered to set up a personal website will keep it?)

And maybe a list is a way other people can find new folks to follow too. The main bummer is not having images to represent everyone’s art, but that sounded like a helluva lot of additional work 😉

How I collated these lists

I went through my Twitter and Instagram following lists — which were much longer than I had realized 😨 — and opened bio links to personal websites for everyone who had one. There was probably an easier way to do it, but I manually opened everyone’s profile to remind myself who they were. Instagram’s interface to see who you’re following is Terrible if you’re following any large number of users.

Because I’m into the IndieWeb and everyone having their own website, I decided to be a stickler and only include personal websites, not BigCartel shops or platform profiles or linktrees. That meant a number of artists did get excluded — but honestly the lists are plenty long anyway 🤷‍♀️

I also didn’t duplicate my blogroll, so the websites of people whose blogs and newsletters I’m following aren’t currently on this list… I may go back and add personal websites of people who write newsletters instead of blogs.

When we in the IndieWeb talk about owning our content, the focus is often on the things we have posted ourselves, or saving our likes and bookmarks — but keeping track of who we follow is also useful.

Also posted on IndieNews

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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