When The Bubble Bursts
When a bubble bursts, the plop tells us how much air escapes. I want to reveal to you what I'll craft with the empty balloon skin of my bubble.
Told differently: In disruptive times, when dearly held forms of communication explode can be especially hard. We remind similar situations from the past. The school clique breaks up because the best friend suddenly bullies everyone. Or unforeseen, the local pub is bankrupt. Mailing lists go out of fashion. And the beloved platform connecting you with the whole world is bought up and wiped out. It happened to Geocities after Yahoo bought it. Many people don't remember. But they are experiencing a new extreme with the takeover of Twitter by a single man, not a company.
I don't want to bore you. Many of you don't need Twitter, don't need Social Media. Many Twitter users still have bulging bubbles and are not interested so much in background stories. Everybody's experiences are different.
As a journalist, I have disheartening insights into the deliberate conversion by a single too-powerful man who destroys democratic structures, shadowbans activists of human rights and pampers the alt-right mob. The mob already threatens and persecutes opponents and vulnerable minorities (not only online). That was a red line: I can't support such a toxic and anti-democratic system with my name or data. My account is a data grave now. (I only keep it so that no one can take it over abusively.)
One problem remains: I depend on social media for my job. Twitter was not only important as a real-time collection of human knowledge, politics and cultural heritage, but it was also a connection machine. I got a job with an editor (unfortunately cut by the pandemic), published an article in the USA, found two masterclasses for my profession (podcasting and nature writing), and contacted people who recommended me. All this happened by Twitter. When I had a scientific question for my podcast, I found renowned specialists for every topic on Twitter, and I could ask them directly. Nevertheless, I had a fairly small account with nearly 5000 followers (dropped to 3700 since the takeover).
But for a new and unknown podcast, reach is crucial for survival. Countless players are competing for listeners with the podcasts of major radio stations. We are at the mercy of the streaming platforms: Only if a minimum number of people subscribe to and like a podcast do the algorithms make it visible at all to potential new fans .
Whether we are makers or users, this is precisely the problem of our time: we have made ourselves dependent on a few commercial platforms whose goal is not our well-being but maximum profit, or in Twitter's new case, political power.
In short, I took the radical approach and got off Twitter. I swapped my 5000 for zero when I restarted on the so-called Fediverse with Mastodon (I had already joined it in 2008 and left again because it was still too nerdy). At the moment, I have about 650 followers, and I am happy (knowing that there will be still a lot of work). It's not the numbers, it's the interaction!
My bubble burst, and it was good. During the last weeks, I learned a lot about dependencies and the free internet, about communication interested in people and pure consumption of media driven by algorithms for the profit of the richest ones.
Social Media will change even more (I hope for the good). I can't wait so long ...
It seems odd that I came back to an internet similar to Geocities in the 1990s. I invite you to follow my work even if you must now choose actively and autonomous instead of being conveniently served something from a platform.
Listen to my podcast NatureMatchCuts, find you favourite platforms and all information you need by clicking here! (Opens in a new window) In my November episode, listen to the first interview (ever?) of a bacteria blob!
How does it work?
The centre of my work is my podcast NatureMatchCuts (Opens in a new window).
You can help the podcast to continue:
- By subscribing with your podcast app or on a podcast platform,
- By liking it on your podcast platform,
- By recommending it to others,
- By supporting the immense work financially as a member here.
Because of the holidays the December edition will appear on New Year's Eve. Then new episodes continue to appear on the last day of each month. The next episode will be about hope!
The co-centre of my podcast will be my blog/newsletter (Opens in a new window).
Yes, the good old-fashioned (?) blogging! Independent, hosted on my website. Technically merged with this newsletter, so you never miss an article. You can read my blog:
- On my website (Opens in a new window),
- Via this newsletter,
- Via RSS feed reader (address on my website).
Everything on the blog is free, but there will be extra content only for my members: articles about traditional knowledge and tutorials how to reconnect with nature.
In my blog (Opens in a new window), you will find what I can't present in a radio show: images and short videos. Therefore also more art, hopefully inspiring for you. But I will also record a few selected articles. These will be available in the podcast feed. You can recognise them by the label "Precuts (Opens in a new window)".
A blog can be more spontaneous, but you'll find the same topics:
- Cultural Heritage (with nature art and traditional knowledge)
- Reconnecting with nature (with earth beauty, selfcare and how-to)
As a plus I want to contemplate about the multi-crises of our time and present you facts and solution approaches.
My work is intense, especially in research. I am happy about any support! You can reach me now on Mastodon as @NatureMC@mastodon.online (Opens in a new window)
Thank you so much for listening to NatureMatchCuts! (Opens in a new window)