float It's been awhile since I decided to post things on the internet for strangers to see. Like most folks, I got siloed into corporate social media and let it mirror my real life. I foolishly believed that I must have a Facebook in order to remain connected to friends and family. It quickly became a site where I, and everyone I was connected to, performed our lives for every person we had ever known, be it close connection or passing acquaintance.

Eventually, I found that it made me feel more isolated and alone than actually fostering connection. Asking "what have you been up to?" when meeting in meatspace became obsolete - it was all in posts and photo albums, painstakingly polished for the curated audience of everyone's lives. Everyone became their own kind of influencer, posting self-righteous rage and self-indulgent hot takes to grind that algorithm into giving them more likes and shares. There was rarely substantive discussion, if any at all, and the discussion that did happen was everyone waiting for their turn to speak and not listening to anyone else.

I've been in computer-driven spaces my entire life, from my first logon to a BBS in elementary school, to Prodigy and AOL dial-up communities, to webrings and the earliest days of social media, back when it was called "social networking." There used to be sites dedicated to providing a directory of interesting pages on the internet and sorting them by topic, and when sites life Friendster and Myspace appeared, they were typically referred to as "social networking" sites. The term felt self-reinforcing - you were networking with others in a social capacity.

Now, the preferred term has become "social media" and it has a more sinister connotation. The strange and beautiful diaspora of online communities were slowly colonized by a handful of corporations that understood the core tenet of capitalism: anything can be monetized. We did it for food and water and soil and everything that fulfills a human being's basic needs. The obvious next step was to colonize the sense of belonging and intimacy, and use it to make obscene piles of money. So we gave our lives to the unholy Algorithm, who in turn taught us to nurture our narcissism and value our voyeurism. It trained us to forget about the humanity in the person on the other end of the comment thread.

Instead of socially networking with our fellow people, we turned our lives into a billion channels of garbage television. The magic of connection on the internet seemed to be lost, but I stubbornly refused to cede its disappearance. I knew that social media had taken a Good Idea and perverted it for profit, but that didn't mean the original Idea wasn't Good. It just wasn't being done with intention.

Enter the Fediverse: a rekindling of the quirky diaspora of the internet. Instead of a single site with hundreds of millions of users, moderated by a profit-driven corporation, the Fediverse is an archipelago of servers that all interoperate with a common standard. Each is a community unto itself, with their own customs and rules, and each self-determines how they interact with other communities. Like in real life.

I had signed up for a Mastodon account years ago to see what it was about, and I really liked what I saw, but didn't engage with it very much. I was still stuck in the mindset of Social Media, thinking I was supposed to be looking to appease the Unholy Algorithm. Only recently did I realize, after detoxing from Facebook and reconnecting with people in a genuine way, that the Algorithm has had holy water thrown on it. It's dying, which is good, because it never should have been born in the first place.

Now, I'm making things again, including this website. A silly little blog to ramble about whatever I feel like. I'm relearning to simply be a person rather than try to be a broadcast agency. And I keep finding weird and wonderful things all over the Fediverse, all of which have inspired me to create weird and wonderful things. It feels like a rebirth, and I'm elated to be able to breathe freely.

Hi. I'm Enron Hubbard, and I like to make stuff. Welcome to my portfolio.