Daniel Miller

Where Do You Go When Facebook Is Gone?

There has been a lot of talk about leaving Facebook, something I did two years ago, and I highly recommend. So how does one find online community post-Facebook?

Email

Good old-fashioned email. There are people I don’t see in the course of my regular life, people I (maybe) would have been able to keep up with on Facebook (if the algorithm allowed). I simply email them when I think about them. I find the level of connection exponentially better; maybe because of the infrequency of the communication, but more likely because of the directness and more intimate nature of one-on-one.

Slack and Discord

I’m a member of a number of Slack and Discord groups, not just for work. Some of these are friend groups, most are simply affinity groups.

Meetups

Meetup. There are others. Many have associated Slack or Discord groups.

Alternative Social Networks

I was a member of Uncommon for a while. They send you a hand-written postcard when you join.

I’m terrible at getting plugged into or keeping up with Mastodon, but it is an open, distributed Twitter-like. Same for Micro.blog.

Forums and Forum-like

Indie Hackers, spectrum.chat, dev.to, Reddit (I am currently trying out Reditr to save my eyes, hopefully I get the new Reddit design soon) (obviously Reddit can be bad, but you control what you see), OSMI. There are others I’m forgetting.

RSS

Blogs never went away, and apparently they are making a comeback. I use Feedbin as my RSS reader of choice. There is also the free Feedly.

General Guidelines

There are obvious issues with Facebook and those issues can exist elsewhere. In general it is good to avoid the following:

  • Algorithmically displayed or sorted content
  • Platforms with socially targeted advertising
  • Partisan politics
  • Gossip
  • Platforms for general complaints
  • Platforms used to build brands, corporate or personal
  • Platforms built on your personal data (pay attention to what they request when logging in with OAuth)

The opposites are generally ok:

  • User-defined or sorted content
  • Old-fashioned ads
  • No random political content
  • No gossip or general complaining
  • No corporations posing as people or otherwise trying to be “real”
  • Lack of desire to know everything about you. Ability to be anonymous is a big plus.

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