It certainly has been the summer of social media, and not necessarily in the best way. This post is basically about how I’m planning to address social posting from here on out, because we’ve descended into utter chaos and it’s wild out there.
First up: I’m not abandoning Twitter per se, (no, I will not be referring to it by the new name. I was here first and it’s Twitter.) but I’m not thrilled by some policy enforcement decisions that have come down during the past week. The decisions made do nothing to protect users, do nothing to properly punish or remove sensitive media, and I simply don’t want to be part of that in any way. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s probably a good thing, but if you must know, here’s an article explaining what went down. There are a lot of technical nuances about how these types of events should be handled by a website’s trust & safety team, but since those folks were all fired… Sourcing my information from a professional in the field, this was just blunder after blunder, and gives me serious concern about the safety of. Well. Everyone on the platform, including me. (Source is https://bsky.app/profile/rahaeli.bsky.social/post/3k3kgtcil672w, however, you’ll need a bluesky account to view.)
So, moving on from here, I’ll essentially just be sending outgoing comic and news update posts to Twitter for those who’ve stuck around, at least as long as I’m able to do that through Buffer. I want to keep my username alive, because I don’t want someone else to grab it for inactivity and do something nefarious with it. So unless you hear otherwise here, it’s still me posting there.
Ultimately, I’ve decided that although Twitter is my oldest audience (but not the biggest anymore!) and I would love to bring every one of you with me on my new adventures, it is more worth my time to set up shop in a place that’s stable, with reasonable moderation, a variety of users (not just artists, not just comic readers), where I can actually grow and have a chance. Twitter’s been stagnant for me for a while, even before the changeover, so it feels like time to cut my losses and accept that this cost is, indeed, sunk.
On to the new and shiny!
This is a complicated moment, and I think art social posting can be really fickle. One site becomes the new hot thing for a minute, and then everyone’s moved on to the next thing. I am hesitant to put all my effort into something new, only to have it evaporate due to popularity. Things are wild right now: we’ve got Threads, we’ve got Blue Sky, Mastodon is holding strong. Even Tumblr’s kind of making a comeback, believe it or not.
For the moment, I’m not restricting myself to any given platform. I want to really try them out and see what sticks. Though I haven’t been feeling my best lately, I’ve been trying to spend some time understanding the unique culture and algorithms going on in each place. I’m having a lot of fun with Threads and Blue Sky; they have the feeling of early Twitter, with more minimal features and users who are thrilled to be finding people to follow, old and new. It feels exciting and enjoyable and I’ve gotten so much more interaction with people than I have on Twitter in years. Except that one time last summer when I accidentally made the CEO of a website named after a street that’s made of a sticky, chewable substance upset, and then my phone blew up for a whole day. Even then, people were less there for me than they were to agree with my sentiment, which is fine! But also not what I was there for, really. (I can’t think of a nice way to say “I was here looking for attention for my art and my comics and I’m glad you all agree with me but likes aren’t dollars,” so I’m just going to say that instead.)
I want to find out where my audience really lives, which is probably going to be a more long-term project than a few weeks exploring the wilds of a couple of new social media platforms. But that’s ok. I’m planning to treat things pretty loosely and sometimes duplicate content across platforms, but probably mostly not. (At least until Postybirb supports some of these sites!) I want to find out what I make that other people want to see. If I have to plant some seeds of fan art and comic updates, then that’s what we do. But the garden is expanding, and there are some nice sunny patches all over the place.
But wherever I am, I’m still just Bug, so come hang out with me in some of these new and interesting places. I’ll be playing around for a while until I figure out what works best for me and the people interested in my work. Maybe at that point I’ll settle down to just one primary place for blabs and posts, or maybe the sun will collapse and none of it will matter anyway.
I have yet again updated the Quick Links page on this website, so you can find all the places I am experimenting with throwing metaphorical pasta at the walls to see what sticks. Metaphorically. I would never waste good pasta that way.