Exactly a month ago, I decided to stop syndicating my posts to any social networks. What have I learnt in this month?
The interactions on my posts have significantly gone down. Every post had some replies earlier. No surprise, most were on Micro.blog. A few were on Mastodon. Both have naturally gone down to zero. I have received a few emails (and fewer comments through Commento). I responded to each of them, which is something I cannot say about the earlier replies I received on the timelines. My genuine lack of interest in checking my mentions and responding to them was why I had stopped syndication.
How about traffic (yuck!)? I have no clue. Though I have analytics enabled with Tinylytics, I don’t follow the numbers. I don’t know what the numbers were earlier and how they have been impacted. There is also a possibility that most follow my blog through RSS. Whatever the case, I don’t know, and I don’t have any interest in finding out.
The most noticeable impact has been on my writing – I have stopped writing for a timeline.
Earlier, I subconsciously filtered all my posts through the lens of how they would look on a timeline. Or to the folks who tend to reply to my posts frequently. Is this too long? Too short? Does this interest all? Or some? Or anyone at all? My mind was always crowded with such unnecessary doubts. I observed this behaviour first a couple of years ago.
Writing publicly, with the voice of your readers chirping at the back of your mind, is ineffective. You write for interaction – that’s futile. Most social media posts belong to this category. You are reined back by the voice — you write for someone else. The response you expect from them, your readers, provides you the lead. You write not what you like, you write what you think your reader likes.
I even mentioned people through their social media handles in my posts. Futile, I agree. But the whole experience felt unnecessarily limiting, and I lacked the control to not let it feel.
What does all of this mean for my no-syndication experiment? As of now, nothing has changed. I like this unshackled feeling while I write. As if no one’s watching and weighing up my every word.
How about taking my writing to the readers? I am yet to find an organic way to do that. Automatic and passive syndication is not that.