I’m Back To Blogging

I’m Back To Blogging – Petra van Cronenburg

You know, I’m a great Snoopy fan! And I do love Peppermint Patty since my childhood (we share the freckles and the thinking tree). For New Year, I wish us all some of Peppermint Patty’s courage, optimism, and hope. And even if we struggle: I wish you help from other „Peanuts“, dogs, or yellow fluffy birds (and everyone else) and a blanket of comfort. A blanket of comfort is very important in these times!

socks with rainbow design
Comfort socks can be a good substitute for a blanket.

Last year was so difficult for me that I had to neglect the work on my podcast NatureMatchCuts. Many people may have already forgotten about it. That’s why I would now like to look ahead and tell you what awaits you here in 2024!

I’m doing my best to make my podcast NatureMatchCuts regular again: always on the last day of the month. If you don’t want to miss an episode, look for it on your podcatcher and subscribe! BTW, if you give it likes on the platforms, it helps. Unfortunately, podcasts are dependent on algorithms. They are only presented if they have a minimum of fans and likes, and the concurrence by professional radio stations is big.

I’m back in blogging – here at this place! Re-welcome to NatureMatchCuts, the blog. Finally, I got help for a Gordian brain knot because of WordPress. I struggled so long with a clean entry page and other technical stuff. Now I understand the connections between my theme, the WP blocks and the customizer (which was the bad guy), and shortly: it works. That means for you: You can stay informed by subscribing the RSS feed (in the right menu you find the link). You can read it with every Feedreader App (some browsers have extensions).

I sell my art. I shut my E.tsy shop like many others because of their new conditions and settings. I still look for alternative ways. Until then please contact me if you are interested in a commission. You find a virtual exhibition of my project Shrines Of Biodiversity in the main menu. A surprise awaits you in 2024.

Floral Collage: Sie hebt die Zeit auf und schert sich auch sonst nicht um Grenzen.

I am working hard to become independent of obscene billionaires and their platforms of greed and propagandistic disinformation. I admit that not everything is easy, because I also have to make a living from my work and still need some structures. (For example, I wouldn’t be able to pay for hosting my podcast on my site at the moment because the higher traffic would increase the costs too much.)

Let’s speak about independence in the internet.

I don’t want to repeat all the good articles in media showing that today’s internet isn’t anymore the free quality place of its beginnings. Corporate structures and the programming of algorithms for pure profit (they could program different ones) change nearly every bigger structure into a swamp in which the worst voices shout down the good and, above all, democracy in an increasingly dangerous way. Whoever is the most provocative, the most abusive, or the most naked and brazen in holding products up to the camera will be recognised. It’s not quantity before quality. It has become loudness, greed and destruction over quality. Only we, the users, can change that. We must become more radical in our love of democracy. Some people may be comfortable looking the other way when billionaires propagate its destruction and promote anti-democratic extremists. In history as now, it is an ethical question.

Readers of my older blogs know that I left Facebook and Instagram long before because of this. I left Twitter, meanwhile a political cesspool. And when I restarted with Mastodon in the Fediverse, I felt suddenly in a different world. It had changed from the small IT „nerd“ community that I knew from the beginnings, into a variety of fields of interest. Withdrawing from the algorithm-driven platforms, caused me the same problems as others who gave up immediately. Nearly no likes? Enormously fewer followers? Could that work if you need an audience professionally?

It did! It’s all communication skills and interaction. You remember: the good old quality over quantity. And especially, it is independence. Yes, I’m also very tempted from time to time to use WhatsApp, and go to Bluesky or Threatds: just because „everyone“ does it that way. Because I feel small against all these user numbers. But hey, Meta and other companies haven’t become more democratic or better just because they invent new products. On the contrary! And hey, am I everyone? Nope. I’m getting a bit unruly in my age.

The learning curve was steep but exciting. It brought me back to what I’ve been preaching for umpteen years: make your own web space the anchor of your actions, the community. Now new technological developments are helping to create decentralised networks. One is called Activity Pub and it works now with WordPress. I don’t want to bore you but tell you what I can do concretely (I still didn’t install it).

Like every server of the Fediverse is a planet where you can live and travel/communicate with all other planets of the Federation, your WordPress space becomes a planet, too. With the plugin it can become a part of Mastodon and the Fediverse. I can do much more with my website: I can install a newsletter and keep these contacts with me, not for a platform. I don’t need Substack or Medium to be read: My blog is on my space. I console myself with the fact that I’m not famous enough to earn money there. Only time will tell whether I am wrong.

Yes, being paid for writing can be a problem. It still is a problem. At the moment I count on voluntariness. Whoever wants to can buy me a coffee via ko-fi (the pink button) or Paypal (the button yet to be installed), for my work or the provider costs. Yes, I do plan special offers behind a paywall but my blog will stay free.

So my plan is to stay clean (no big platforms) and build my personal imperium (hahaha) on Activity pub. Stay tuned, subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on Mastodon (my one-and-only social media channel) for not missing news. I know that my step will take an enormous stamina. But if I don’t become rebellious now, when will I? I firmly believe that the future lies in cooperation and even more democracy!