The reason why retweet-style post creation is important is because it turns every post into a prompt.
Normal people need prompts. And social tools like Mastodon need normal people participating.
A blog with IndieWeb tools means that everything on the internet becomes a prompt. The entire Internet is my fuel for thought and writing, not just whatever people shared today on the socials. Everything is part of the “conversation” I’m “participating in” — just today, I’ve used a Mastodon post, email newsletters, and blog post as prompts — all from my home base online.
Of course, anyone on social media can pull in content from outside the silo — but that extra step adds friction. There’s a reason so many people are lurkers.
The practice of writing builds and reinforces an engaged, participatory mindset. The more you write commentary on whatever you feel like, the more comfortable you feel doing it: a virtuous cycle of writing and thinking.
In reading others’ debates over QTs in recent months, I’ve realized this is one of my main ways of interacting with content online: the quote as inspiration for another train of thought. “Reply” is not a good description of much of what I write here; I’d class most of my posts more as commentary than direct response. (To that end, I often post writing others might consider a reply as a like instead. My blog isn’t synced into the Fediverse, so this comment won’t feed back there — but that’s fine because I’m treating his post about QTs as a QT 😉)
A blog also feels like a safer place to write than social media; it’s a space I control, I’m not constrained by character count so I can add nuance, and it’s less subject to context collapse given the formats readers consume it (directly or via RSS). Sure, I reach fewer people, but virality is not something I want. Quality over quantity. (I might prefer a little more feedback than I get now, but I love my current approach to blogging too much to quit at this point.)
2 replies on “With a blog, everything is a prompt”
Totally agree with this! In IndieWeb parlance, I most often use “bookmark” posts for this kind of thing – post a link (sometimes with a quote), and go off and add some extra commentary (or at least summarise the post and why I wanted to save/re-share it). I do also like how just posting stuff to my own site feels lower-stakes than posting directly on social media. The difficulty of interacting via webmention seems to deter “reply guys” 😉
Tracy Durnell mentioned this like on tracydurnell.com.