Although I wasn't here for most of it, there was a time before Facebook and Big Tech - and it's making a comeback
I've written about a similar topic before - a take on internet communities, but when I read an article about the "Artisanal Internet" on Wired, it really resonated with me. I didn't use to spend our time in the internet on mass-scale networks - I met up with my friends in private online games. People didn't get angry about political bots and large-scale audiences got formed by popularity, luck, skill and persistence, not spam, money and growth hacking. Simpler times.
Facebook was just the beginning. At some point, online creatives got lazy, piggybacked off large platforms and signed away their own presence. Blogging started to happen on Medium, communities got built on Facebook, every Youtuber got signed to a network, instead of personal newsletters, large-scale news feeds got curated. Things got impersonal, but anonymity was dead. A weird trade-off.
I'm really happy that things are starting to change again. People start consuming content from independent creators again, and these creators are just now starting to build their own presence, their own blogs (thanks to Ghost for keeping it nice to write), re-connect through personal newsletters. DMs on Twitter often times stay open - qualitative connections are being valued more than likes and comments.
Podcasts are getting bigger than ever - so is video content. It takes time, hard work and persistence to produce these things. They're different from a Facebook post.
I strongly believe that with this generation change, qualitative content will be valued more and more. We're not looking to be connected with everyone at any time - we're making our friends online anyways, so it can be good to disconnect, listen to a good podcast or read a good friend's e-book.