Pluralistic is two
Today is the second anniversary of the founding of Pluralistic, my multiplatform, non-metrics-driven, solo blog, founded in some haste after my unplanned (but overdue and amicable) departure from Boing Boing.
For two years, I’ve been putting out a new edition nearly every day (550 posts, or 75%). Each edition has one or more posts, and many of the editions have consisted of one or two long essays.
In some ways, Pluralistic’s long form essays are the dividends for the 20+ years I’ve been a daily blogger. All those short pieces I’ve written over the preceding decades are available for me to search and reference in longer, synthetic pieces. The database isn’t solely digital: every time I blog something, the act of writing it up for strangers helps me remember it and bring it to mind later. I call it “The Memex Method.”
I also run a daily “This Day in History” feature in which I revisit my blogging from one year, five years, ten years, fifteen years and twenty years ago. This is an invaluable tool for understanding the evolution of my own thinking and the long-run changes in the causes I care about:
The “pluralistic” in my Pluralistic strategy is twofold. First, I practice “POSSE” (Post Own Site, Share Everywhere). That is, while my posts appear as threads on Twitter and Mastodon, and as articles on Medium and Tumblr, the permalinks for each post live on my own site, which I control.
That is a lot of work, because the platforms firmly resist it. Platforms want to enclose our work. They don’t want to be our distributors, they want to be our publishers, with the power to control our audience’s access to us, and our access to our audience.
When I started Pluralistic, I did all the cross-posting by hand. It was an absurdly complex process, and I made gross errors every day. Thankfully, a reader named Loren Kohnfelder volunteered to make me some Python scripts that automate vast swathes of that work away: