I have never used Linkedin. I have also never been tempted to use Linkedin. But what if Linkedin added some new feature to make me sign up? I quote from a report by Mr. Mauricio B. Holguin on AlternativeTo: “LinkedIn has introduced new AI-powered features aimed at improving professional networking, simplifying networking tasks such as making connections, job searching, and content sharing.” While using AI to help guide users’ Linkedin network interactions will surely (operative word) make Linkedin a better (other operative word) place, I will continue to sit on the sidelines.

I decided to request an invite to Bluesky a couple of weeks ago when I saw that it allowed for using one’s own domain as a handle and had RSS support. I finally received my invite on February 4. I made my account, set it up with my domain, and added my Bluesky RSS feed to my feed aggregator site. Two days after I received my invite and made my account, Bluesky announced invite-free sign-ups.

My privacy-friendly local page-counting solution for WordPress, Koko Analytics, picked up a referral from snapchat.com over at The New Leaf Journal. Snapchat? Really. I thought this was for sending photos. No no, don’t correct me. I am happy living in ignorance. I will just go on living under my assumption that Snapchat is not the best.

Reclaiming the Web with a Personal Reader by Facundo Olano (olano.dev)
I realized that I had been using Twitter, and now Mastodon, as an information hub rather than a social network. I was following people just to get notified when they blogged on their websites; I was following bots to get content from link aggregators. Mastodon wasn’t the right tool for that job.

I came across an interesting passage by blogger Facundo Olano in his blog post about creating a personal feed reader to follow good and meaningful writing from around the web (see the source code for his interesting feed reader project). He assessed his prior usage of Twitter (now “X”) and Mastodon and realized that he was “following people just to get notified when they blogged on their websites,” in effect “following bots to get content from link aggregators.” He concluded that “Mastodon wasn’t the right tool for the job.” I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Olano’s assessment as well as his preference for using personal feed readers to stay abreast of updates from interesting authors instead of social media platforms such as Facebook, X (or Twitter), and even Mastodon. Feeds are the best way for following individual websites and authors (combined with newsletters in some cases). Social media and networking serve different purposes, but I will grant that they can play a limited role in discovering new authors and articles (preferably combined with a read-it-later tool).