It’s been a #pornocalypse kind of week here at ErosBlog central, between the Patreon news (and there have been further developments I haven’t updated, but nothing that changes the essential core of the story) and the unwelcome but unsurprising news that the ErosBlog twitter account is shadowbanned. For them as don’t know, that latter thing means I’ve been partially stealth-muted; my tweets no longer show up in any twitter searches (even for people who have found the hidden default hide-the-porn settings and turned them off) and when I address people by @name who don’t already follow me, they can’t hear me. So, yeah, I’m now in the same category as nazi bots and people who yell fuck at verified accounts all day, woot go me. Why? Fuck if I know, call it pornocalypse and move on, I have better things to worry about.

Such as: worrying about how the free and independent open web (which means, those of us whose stuff is on our own domains and servers, not on some “free” social media site or blogging/picture service that can change the rules without notice) are going to survive long enough that we’ll still be here when the rubble stops bouncing. Because this shit cannot last. Blockchain tech and peer-to-peer and strong crypto and supercomputers in every pocket and software radios strong enough to bounce streaming video off of hobbyist drone balloons in the jet stream and more awesome cryptoanarchist shit of that sort that I’m too old and slow to understand: it’s not just coming, it’s already here, it’s just not been patched together properly yet. And when that happens, Facebook is dead. PayPal, Visa, Mastercard? Dead. Patreon and all the other crowdfunding middlemen? Dead. Twitter and Google? Dead. Oh, we’ll have things that look like social media and payments and search and crowdfunding, but they won’t be gatekeepers, they won’t be censors, and they won’t suck more than a microfraction out of any transaction. Because if they try, they’ll be ignored and replaced in real time.

The trick, as it’s always been, is to survive in the meanwhile. Head down, shoulder to the harness because the mules are dead, do the work. If you can’t rely on social media, don’t trust it and don’t invest in it; but use it for what it’s still good for, and be ready to skip briskly to shore (or to the next boat) when the party barge you’re on today gives its final gurgle. And above all, keep your home island solid.

Girl On The Net, always brilliant, made a very smart post about this a few days ago in response to the unhappy Patreon news. In Sex Blogger SOS: Share Our Shit, she points out first the problem:

Patreon is not the first – and it definitely won’t be the last – company to try and purge adult content from its platform. Tumblr has done it, Twitter does it in drips and drabs (stripping adult content from search, banning accounts with adult avatars and headers, etcetera), Facebook has always been a giant prick about adult content so no change there. Payment providers are usually clear from the outset that they don’t want our money. Ad platforms like Google Ads and Amazon Affiliates don’t want our traffic or money either. No one likes us. We’re just too goddamn sexy.

Alongside being really fucking difficult to make a living from, adult content is also really difficult to market.

And then she offers a solution:

However, when platforms like this strip ‘adult’ from their services, they are banking on the fact that you won’t care. That it won’t make a difference to you because adult content is embarrassing and shameful: no one’s going to share a link to their favourite porn site, or their favourite bit of erotic writing, so really who’s going to notice if all that shit disappears?

I’ll notice, gang. I will notice. And I hope you will too.

So here’s my SOS: share our shit. Share your favourite posts, images, videos, tweets, facebook updates. Links to porn sites where people can pay for amazing stuff. Recommend great erotica to your friends. Make it clear to large platforms that the consumers who click on Amazon and Google ads, who buy clothes and books and video games: these consumers also enjoy porn! And erotica! And other forms of sex! It is not utter fantasy, just a boring and simple truth, that the venn diagram of ‘consumers’ and ‘adult consumers’ is a circle. This is important because when platforms push sex content into a silo they’re effectively telling people that sex is different to anything else that humans do. It should be separate. We should take a surgical blade to our brains and our lives and neatly slice sex from the rest of it.

So find your favourite sex content, and share that shit. Retweet it, promote it, email it to your friends. While we’re getting stripped from search results and pulled from Patreon and told that we can only do our thing on Facebook if we shroud it in censor bars and euphemism… we’ll see you sharing our shit, and it will help us keep going. It will bring more people to our websites, and perhaps help us either make more money or build more traffic and that in turn will keep us going too.

She’s aiming this plea outward, rhetorically speaking, from the sex blogger community, and I think that’s smart. But I think it makes almost as much sense internally. We who have our own websites could stand to do a better job of strengthening our internal networking, not just with the passive and outdated “blogrolls” that are becoming rare (with good reason, since few read or click them anymore) but by means of more active engagement with each other’s writing and work. To that end, I am proposing a new blog meme.

I’m going to call this one “Saturday Share Our Shit” (#SSoS) and I imagine it as something like the old link roundups that used to be popular. But I want this one to be optional, occasional, fun, and easy, much like Follow Friday in its heyday. So you don’t have to do it every Saturday, it isn’t mandatory, there’s no set amount of links or set amount of discussion for each one. I’m thinking maybe three links with a sentence or two about each, but here’s the core notion: you put this on your own website, not on a tumblr or a blogspot or facebook or any other social media. And the content you share and promote? Should likewise be content that’s on the independent web, not on anybody’s “free” social media server anywhere. Once your #SSoS post is up on any given Saturday, then, sure: promote the shit out of it on any social media that will allow the promotion. That’s a given. But this meme is all about promoting what’s left of the open web, on what’s left of the open web. And then we use social media to promote our content, instead of using our media to promote their content. Capiche?

I’ll see you tomorrow!

Update: In honor of the fact that I haven’t been able to keep the hashtag straight twice in a row yet, which bodes poorly for the notion that anybody else will either, I have uttered a lordly proclamation:

See also:

In short, don’t worry about it!