I want to try to make the internet a better place, both for myself and for people who visit this website and view my work (that’s you!). It’s not an easy task, but I do think it’s an important one.
The way the internet has evolved means there’s an outsized importance placed on posting anything and everything, mindless commenting, analytics, endless streams of video, tracking, extra personal advertisements, and intrusive notifications. It’s undeniable that the internet has done a lot of good over the years, but it’s also done a lot of bad.
I don’t want to contribute to the bad stuff. What I want to do instead is create meaningful relationships, share bits of my personal life, and publish what I find to be interesting and worthwhile.
I think the internet is important. It should be accessible to everyone. However, the fact remains that increased access to the internet and the ability to instantly beam your thoughts online has turned much of it into a not so great place. It lacks beneficial intention. It’s turned into a machine that can monetize our usage and personal information. I don’t like that and, as much as I’m able to, I don’t want to contribute to what it’s become. My efforts should be placed elsewhere.
Since moving Dandy Cat to Micro.blog, I’ve been able to enjoy crafting a website that reflects my always evolving interests, thoughts, and style. I’ve gotten to meet and talk with loads of great people. I’m happy to be a part of that community.
I consider this website my online home. I curate where I can and let it flow everywhere else. It won’t always be perfect because I won’t always be perfect. However, I’m always going to try my best to do at least these two things:
Meeting those two goals will ensure that this home remains an open, thoughtful, and tolerant place (even when I feel the need to be intolerant of intolerance).
I’m always open to understanding my shortcomings, and I invite others to help me fill in the inevitable gaps of my knowledge. I want to learn, and one of the best ways to do that is through communal teaching. I’m not perfect, but I’ll always try to be as good as I can be.
On the flip side, I intend to maintain a considerable amount of control over what my online home is and can be. These are my opinionated stances on Dandy Cat.
My life is my own, and I will always do my damnedest to keep it that way. Likewise, I strive to respect that fact with you. This means that you’ll have to be okay with only receiving what I post, and not demand what I choose to keep to myself.
I value a private life, especially when so much of the internet encourages constant openness.
The pervasive nature of online advertising means that most of what we do online is tracked, cataloged, and used to place nonsense in front of our eyes at all times. Indeed, that information follows you from place to place always leeching more from you.
If I ever decide to monetize my work, I’ll endeavor to make it through direct audience support, à la Patreon or Memberful. If you want to or do use ads for your work, then more power to you. Sincerely.
They just have no place here.
I’ve used Google Analytics before, but then learned a lot about the extensive profiles that Google can make of a person through that service. I dropped it shortly thereafter.
I’m a fan of the privacy-focused analytics services like Fathom Analytics and Plausible. I think they do good work, and all while respecting people’s personal information. The thing is, I don’t think I need them. A more meaningful way to measure engagement with my work is through emails I receive and comments I get on Micro.blog. That’s all I need.
Occasionally, a nasty tracker may slip through. For instance, if I’ve embedded an interesting video from YouTube in a post, they may be doing some clandestine trickery. Rest assured, I’m going to make it my mission to figure out how to always prevent this stuff from showing up on Dandy Cat.
Micro.blog scratches the itch I have to communicate with others online, so that’s all I need. I’ve used most of the social media services and have always come away feeling that they’re unnecessary at best and harmful at worst.
Likewise, there are no links to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other social network service to be found here. This site doesn’t need them and I don’t want them. I’m actively trying to remove those places from my life.
It wouldn’t necessarily be wrong to consider me an old man yelling at clouds. A lot of what I dislike about the internet is exactly what’s creating every new hotness, e.g. Instagram, TikTok, and whatever weirdly named service that’ll appear in the next five years. That’s okay. Call me whatever you’d like. I’d rather spend my time looking for that which brings a smile to my face. It’s more important to devote my efforts to creating a space that makes me feel proud.
Occasionally, I’ll receive an email asking if I’ll include links to other blogs online, or even write whole posts for them. I immediately delete those emails. They’re always copy-paste jobs—they’ve clearly not read anything I’ve done and are only contacting me because I’ve used some keyword they track.
I get that we’re all trying to “make it” online, but there are better ways to do it than spamming my inbox.
I have no time for those who seek to do anyone else harm. Those people are not worth my time or my thoughts. I wish only that they’ll soon learn how to be better, and make amends to those they harmed.
I think a good starting point for us all is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There are bits that could use a modern update (it’s an old document and nothing in this world is perfect), but it’s still an impressive, necessary work.
I will always appreciate the time you give me. I’m going to strive to make Dandy Cat as enjoyable for you as it is for me. I welcome your thoughts. Furthermore, I would love to see what you’re doing to help make the internet a better place.
I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it.