The opposite of noise

A few years ago, I was writing on this blog. Very often, let’s say, at least once a day. At that time, blogs were a few platforms where ordinary people could publish their thoughts without incurring unnecessary costs. For the first time ever, your journal was coming out from the depth of that drawer, projected out there into the world, available to everyone.

I moved my website to WordPress in 2006. That was one of the few platforms that allowed complete control of your content, publishing your website on a cheap hosting somewhere, and pretty much put you out there. 

There were groups of people who were interacting a lot, and there were a few tools, which allowed to build the first blogging communities. Tools like MyBlogLog, a little widget on the sidebar that showed who visited the blog in the previous 24 hours, helped make blogging a little more addictive.

Feedburner allowed you to take the RSS feed from your blog and then syndicate your content in many different ways, from emails to social channels. Feedburner was also keeping stats of the daily views of your feed, creating a sort of celebrity contest about who was hot and who was not.

At that time, I didn’t know many people online. I didn’t have a professional network at all.

When I started writing every day, I was commenting on the news and everything trending on that day. I didn’t actually have a plan.

But something unexpected happened; people started writing back commenting on my blog posts. It also happened that they were writing on their own blogs referencing me as the source of their thoughts.

This was primarily happening because we wanted to grow our page rank on Google. It was a good practice to link others so they would reciprocate at some point.

It was pretty easy to position yourself on Google through this intricate system of reciprocal links. 

At the beginning of 2007, events around blogs started to happen. In Italy, we went from minor local events to larger ones attracting people from all over the country.

I made a lot of friends back then. Friends who are still my friends right now.

What I most regret about the latest years is giving away our position in favor of services that felt easier to use to build our social networks.

Social networking sites have a clear advantage in distributing inflammatory content, creating a more polarised information consumption.

In recent years, I decided not to engage in online conversations, especially when they were happening on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, because I thought that getting myself involved somehow supported the distribution of inflammatory content.

But more recently, after long thoughts and reflections, I reconsidered. If I consider all of these inflammatory discussions as noise, I need to contribute to the opposite of noise.

The opposite of noise is not silence.

The opposite of noise is signal.

As you might have guessed, I’m trying to revive this blog.

I’m not making promises, but if you stay tuned, you’ll read more frequent and deeper content from now on.

I never really understood people who were signing their blogposts, but I feel about ending this post with:

Yours Truly.

Published by Luca Sartoni

Team Lead at Automattic, WordPress contributor, co-organiser at WordCamp Europe, blogger, photographer, geek, nerd.

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