Last week, Google announced that they were shutting down Google Reader. Upon hearing this news, I became agitated and behaved in a somewhat undignified manner on Google Plus.
After regaining my composure, I came to accept that Google is perfectly within its rights to shut down whatever services they want, at any time. In short, “the cloud” is unreliable. Google might decide to shut down Blogger tomorrow, and that would be the end of the Free Internet.
Fortunately, I remain in possession of this self-hosted WordPress blog. Unfortunately, I’ve been neglecting it for quite some time. After going through my blogroll links yesterday, it appears to me that many of you are neglecting your blogs, as well.
The reasons for this are fairly easy to deduce. We were all swept away by “social media.” To send a tweet, update your Facebook status, or post a picture of your victuals on Intagram is a trivial task. Composing a blog entry requires a modicum of thought, and at least several minutes of your attention. So, in abject laziness, we abandoned our duties as Jeffersonian Yeoman bloggers, and became digital sharecroppers, churning out content for Mark Zuckerberg and his Hamiltonian ilk.
This migration to content-peonage has forced our readers to submit to dreadful predations merely to stay abreast of our goings-on. If our grandmothers or our friends want to know what we’ve been getting up to, we force them to sign up for a service that will steal their personal information, violate their privacy, and rain torrents of “suggested posts” upon them.
To address these and other concerns, I resolve, forthwith, to write here, on my own self-hosted blog, and to extricate myself so far as is practicable from the myriad social networks in which I find myself entangled. I encourage you to do the same.
While I seek out self-hosted replacements for these utilities, I have hastily thrown together a small compendium of my activities on some of these services. You will find it in the right-hand sidebar. I crafted it from a hodge-podge of WordPress plugins, and had to create most of the icons myself.
It allows anyone with an interest in my goings-on to inform himself without the need to visit the premises of nefarious rogues.
For the moment, its utility is limited to publicly available information regarding my bicycling adventures and reading habits.
In the short term, I may seek ways to include more of my activities in this list. In the long term, however, it is my intention that all information I elect to share with the public at large will originate here, on my own server, and not on the premises of some unscrupulous stranger.
These are dark times for the bicycle-blogosphere.
Go! Ride your bikes!
Update your blogs!
Subscribe to each other’s RSS feeds!
Actually, do whatever you want, but that’s what I’m doing.