Building networks

Jacob Bryant writes:

Substack is only a partial replacement for social media. They make it easy to start a newsletter and charge money for it, but they aren’t much of a network—they don’t really help connect your posts with interested readers. So yes, this means they have less responsibility to prevent bad information from spreading, but it also means their users have to go elsewhere to grow their audience. And wherever information spreads easily, rage will be an issue. So Substack hasn’t solved the rage problem, they’ve just left it for others to handle.

Jacob elucidates the problem with the networks well. Established networks (like Twitter/Facebook) act as moats to prevent a different competitor from emerging to challenge them. These moats are intense to prevent users from migrating away. Herein lies the crux – social media acts as reverberation echo chamber that compels the users to stay.

Substack has a coercive narrative – build networks and get paid for it. In return, they offer a subpar CMS and integrated billing system, which is also possible on this blog. Your “brand” remains subservient to substack, unless you can port your own domains and the billing relationships stay with Substack. You are working for them while they create a system to palm off your earnings. In return, they are offering a system that can be scaled indefinitely and without much incremental cost. No wonder there is much hype around with the VC’s. This extractive business model is plain stupid.

It only validates my long term thoughts on sticking with blogging system. As I have mentioned previously, paying WordPress for hosting and incremental updates is worth it for the peace of mind. As you discover reading (and then writing), it would serve you in the long term. I hope more people find time (and understand the value) of blogs. Social media is here to stay, but there are better avenues to make your voice heard.

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