Photograph by Seth Werkheiser

Thinking a lot about the old web, and world building. Our blogs used to be an extension of who we were, and how we operated. Then we gave everything over to “social media profiles,” where we uploaded the perfect photo for our avatar, wrote a cute / informative / snarky bio, and then fed the machine one or two sentences at a time.

Now we’re writing 400 words again, or more. Sometimes on Substack, or uploading a video to YouTube. We’re going offline, spending less time on our phones, craving a little more that consuming 10 hours of video every day in 15 second clips.

I say this, and try to live it, and yet I keep thinking of the “yeah, but” people. The folks who will say, “well that’s good for you, but what about…” and then list 100 different reasons why we need a new platform to inhabit. That somehow we’ll all agree on the next website to set up shop, and we’ll hand ourselves over again, like a cult.

I know some people will say that’s Substack, and that I’ve really drank the Kool-Aid, but my friends, the work I’ve put in there since October 2021 is an email list that I can export and use elsewhere. The investment had a payoff, unlike so many other social media platforms that have popped up (and gone away in short order).

All that to say, I can’t worry too much about people who want to say on an app, who want to consume and subsist on what an algorithm deems worthy of their attention.

This blog is on a magazine rack the size of Nebraska, and if you’ve found it, rad. If you’ve come back, or every typed my name into a search engine, I appreciate it.

But I think that’s it.

I don’t want an algorithm to determine my listening habits. I’m gonna trust my gut and my intuition and listen to what I want to listen to.

Oh, but Seth, how will you find new music?

Have you heard of… friends? They have great taste in music, and they know me much better than any computer algorithm, so when they suggest something, it’s worth something.

I’m an adult. I can find the things I want to find, and read the things I want to read.

But it’s all made better when it’s on the free and open web.