Daily Links - Sept. 1, 2020

A couple things I found interesting today. Hope you didn’t start to think things were suddenly turning brighter for Facebook.

By now, we should know better than using a single metric to flatten the impact of one company, let alone that’s as big and wide as Facebook. Just like no high watermark on S&P 500 will bring back the hundreds of thousands killed by Covid-19, no amount of dividends paid by $FB will bring lessen the impact of Trump, or Q, or a genocide. The reality is not a two-dimensional spectrum from light to dark; the good in one axis does not make up for the bad in another.

Facebook, The PR Firm

What bothers me most, with all of the PR crises and issues at Facebook, is that it is so dominant, there are no real consequences or recourse. For individuals, there are no real alternatives at the same scale as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Worse, for advertisers, even those who just spend $100 a month, they are scaled so large you are forced to use them, and good luck getting any human support. There is no winning when you have to keep giving money and time to the hate machine.

Facebook plans to block the sharing of local and international news stories on its platforms if legislation requiring tech platforms to pay publishers for content becomes law, the company said in a blog post Monday.

Easton wrote in his post that news represents a fraction of what Facebook users see in their news feeds, and is “not a significant source of revenue” for the company. In addition to investing “millions of dollars” in Australian news businesses, he added, “over the first five months of 2020 we sent 2.3 billion clicks from Facebook’s News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge — additional traffic worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers.”

Facebook may block news from being shared on its platforms in Australia

Facebook’s argument here is flimsy at best. Their entire argument is that people should post and share news links to free content, so that it keeps people using Facebook and earning ad revenue for Facebook. And who owns the ad networks? Facebook and Google. This reminds me of when Facebook told news and web publishers to “pivot to video” a few years back, only to inflate video view counts?

And what about Facebook posts that become news in and of themselves? We’ve seen plenty of posts do exactly that. Do they get ad revenue for the traffic and time they drive? Or do they get blocked at an arbitrary point that is unaccountable to anyone.

Housekeeping - December 2019

As I restart this blog, there’s a few things I want to update you readers about. So many of you wrote emails, comments and tweets thanking me for posting and saying you missed me. It warmed my dark, anti-social heart and brought a smile to my face.

I want to be clear with you about what I am doing and what my plans are. My biggest mistake with my blogging break was that I stopped blogging for five years and didn’t tell any of you that I was stopping. While you might not have noticed immediately, you probably did notice eventually. And while I don’t think it ended the world for anyone, there were probably a few less smiles.

Ultimately, I want this site to be sustainable for me so that I can write consistently for you, my readers and that we’re both getting value here. Here are the big things I plan to work on over the next few months to make it easier for me to write here

Updating the Backend

I’ve been self-hosting this blog for almost a decade. It is a nightmare and a hassle. Customizable WordPress themes are great when you have time and/or money, but I don’t have those right now. I’m taking steps to move the site to a more stable host, and there might be some downtime while I do that.

Once that’s done, that should help to make the site faster and easier to search. I’ll also probably update the design when I do that, so expect a new look for 2020.

Fixing my Email List

Something that surprised me when I restarted my blog was that I still have an active email list. More than 300 of you still subscribe and got an email. Some of you even emailed me back! However, the email list is powered by Feedburner. Let’s just say the experience is antiquated, at best. I am planning to move the email list to a more robust and secure service. If you have a free suggestion, please contact me.

Also, did you know Feedburner is still alive?

Me either! How has Google not killed that yet?

Re-Opening Comments?

Another option I’m exploring is to reopen comments. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this. One of the things I enjoy most is reading and responding to thought-out responses to my pieces. That typically doesn’t happen in comments. I’m open to feedback here, so contact me with your thoughts.

Monetization and Sustainability

When I started The Anti-Social Media, it was feasible to make a living off a blog. I made enough money to pay a few of my bills, but not all of them. I’m sure it still is, but it probably takes even more hustle these days.

Previously, I made money off of t-shirt sales and digital advertising. I estimate I made around $100 a month from those. Those were supplemented with a few additional dollars from affiliate sales and the occasional speaking gig.

With that in mind, I’m thinking about monetization from the start. Now that I’m able to draw and write on an iPad and export in the correct file type, I should have an easier time making the images for t-shirts or other digital printing from the start.

I’m also looking at starting a Patreon so that readers can support me directly, if they so choose. That way, I’m not relying on sketchy digital ads that exploit your data, and I’m not pushing t-shirts at you monthly. I may also look at an advertising model where I sell one ad on the site, and a weekly or monthly email to my subscribers. If I do that, the ad will only be a simple image and won’t have any tracking. I’m just trying to look out for you guys.

I’m looking for ideas here, so if you have a preference, please contact me and let me know.

Schedule and What’s Next

For now, I’m planning to write at least one post a week with a comic to go out on Mondays, That is the minimum I can commit to right now. As I see how people respond, how the monetization works and where life takes me, maybe I can do more! Maybe I can film videos or record a podcast. Maybe I can make a video podcast!

Thanks for coming back, readers. Let’s see where this works out over the next few months.

The 13 Things You Learn When You Don’t Blog for Five Years

I haven’t published a blog post in five years. Here’s a few things I’ve learned since.

  1. No one cares if you just stop publishing your blog one day.
  2. Really, no one cares. Or if they do, they don’t let you know.
  3. Being on social media all day for work will make you feel like you have attention deficit disorder.
  4. You’ll have really mixed feelings about social media and social advertising the more you work in it and see how it manipulates people.
  5. Those feelings will get worse as you understand many people don’t understand what “their data” is and how it’s used to sell them crap.
  6. People will confuse your website for a conspiracy website. You’re not sure if they’re wrong.
  7. People will also mix up your email address and send you job offers and receipts accidentally. None of it is worth pursuing other than a laugh.
  8. You can run 30 miles in a day if you set your mind to it and train for it. The physical act will be miserable, but mentally you’ll feel tough as nails.
  9. If your cat is an asshole, he’ll still be an asshole. Just an older asshole.
  10. Self-hosting your website sounds cool, but is not worth it.
  11. Games like Fortnite will make you question if the game itself is a social network.
  12. You’ll realize there’s a popular social network you don’t understand and that you don’t want to be a part of. You’ll feel terribly old.
  13. You can find a relationship that works for you. You’ll make him happy, and he’ll make you happy, even when times are rough. You’ll get through it together and both be better for it.

I’m sure I’ve learned a few other things, but that’s what sticks out for right now.

What People want from Infographics

What People Want from Infographics

What Marketers Want from Infographics

Is Blogging Cool Anymore?

Am I Cool?

The other night I spent a few hours redesigning my personal website to better set it up as a blog. Call me crazy, but I may want to eventually be known for a blog that doesn’t have a recurring feature called “F*&k You! Friday.”


As if winning some award in 2011 and having a great job wasn’t enough, a part of me needs to be seen as legit by a bunch of strangers on the internet.

But then I started thinking more about who makes it big online these days.

When was the last time you heard of someone making it big as a blogger?



Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Blogging isn’t cool anymore. It’s lame.

I recognize the value of text on the internet. It powers all kinds of search. But we live in an age of multimedia and reading requires effort. Effort that could be spent looking at cute photos. Or watching cute videos.

I recognize the value and power of blogs. But somedays it seems like YouTube killed the blogger.

Sunday Funday! Best Day of my Life

I love this song so much, but this video is why I never drink alone.

F*&k You Friday! Giant Image Headers


When did it become cool to bury your crappy internet writing behind a terrible stock photo?

Somewhere between 2013 and 2014, bloggers thought that they need to make their content look cooler. This probably occurred because of Medium, which features a huge image prominently with each post.

Maybe bloggers want to look cool. I don’t blame them. Blogging is pretty much the lamest thing you can do in 2014.

Maybe that giant image buys you two or three more seconds of a reader’s time. That’s a measurable but meaningless stat you can report to advertisers.

But a giant image at the top of post doesn’t signify great content. Some random person’s opinion does not gain meaning and gravitas because there’s a giant peacock standing on top of it.

Images shouldn’t bury great content. Images and blog posts need to be paired together. Think wine and cheese, not flies and shit.

Make it easy for readers to find your writing. Don’t be afraid to let your writing stand on its own. And use images meaningfully, not just because they boost meaningless metrics.

Goodbye, Comments


I turned off comments on this blog.

We had a good run, but comments no longer add value to this site.

Here’s why:

  • SPAM comments are not worth dealing with, both the robot generated kind and by people looking to be “influencers.”
  • There is no meaningful conversation in the comments. None.
  • There are more than enough ways to comment on my blog thoughtfully through Twitter, Facebook and other social channels, like your own crappy blog.

Some people will argue that a blog isn’t a blog without comments. I say fuck them.

You can’t add to a conversation after skimming a blog post. You’re giving a half-hearted attempt at best. You’re most likely trying to make yourself look smart to a bunch of strangers on the internet.

All old comments will be archived and displayed. But moving forward, I’m done with comments.

Got a problem with this? You can still yell at me on Twitter and Facebook, or god help you, via email.