It makes me uncomfortable how people have adopted corporate language when talking about themselves on the internet. You are not a corporation or a persona. You are a whole person.

You don't have a "brand" – you have passions and interests. You don't "create content" – you share thoughts, words, ideas, knowledge, and a whole galaxy of other things.

There are plenty of people out there who want to categorise you and put you in a box. Don't help them to do this.

You're so much more than that. 💚


See, I wanna make things that I like. I don't wanna make things to earn metrics I don't care about.

@InvaderXan i feel like us IT folk are at least partially responsible for the use of the word "content"

there's many such words that seep out from our programmes into the world. "user" is definitely one of them that i also resent a lot

We can’t solely blame IT for their jargon escaping. A lot of blame lies on the self-described “social media gurus” who used to infest early twitter to “help you build your brand.” 😒


I for one am too magnificent to be put into a box.

@InvaderXan I definitely think this is a great sentiment, but I can also see why people do it. They talk about concepts like branding, content and audience because they're useful ideas when trying to maximize income. Lots of people want to make a living by making stuff online, and there's nothing shameful about that either.

If you’re literally building a brand (i.e. the face of your own business) then that’s understandable. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about random people using those things to describe themselves and who they are.

@InvaderXan Ah, okay! Personally I haven't seen that happen, but yes, it's a good message to put out there.

@InvaderXan it is literally how personal lives have become a commodity. capitalism has always been about goading the working class into aspiring to have a life we can never have., to have the things we made but can't afford and then some. another part of the "self-made billionaire" myth.

@InvaderXan This is something that really bothers me in the contemporary art community. We're all so used to using this language in funding applications etc that we habitually frame our own practice in those terms even in informal situations.

I guess that’s a trouble when you have to spend too much of your life applying for funding. 😕 I can sympathise, honestly.

@InvaderXan Are you familiar with the term "Detournement" by the avant garde art/radical left group the Situationist International? The Situationists believed that it was useful to take the terminology of capitalism and use it against capitalism, to subvert marketing images and capitalist claims on space and attention. I don't always know if I agree with that strategy's utility, and certainly there are people here who aren't doing that, just succumbing to pressure. But it's an interesting possibility, no?

I’m not familiar with it, no. An interesting possibility, certainly. Though I think it seems to run into the same problem as saying shitty things ironically. You’re still saying those shitty things, and not everyone will recognise the irony.

@InvaderXan It used to be that the Internet was a place for the curation of your interests and self-expression un-tied to popularity.

What's happened is the erosion of barriers between the IRL self and the online self as well as the boundary between leisure, recreation, self-edification and the workplace.

That’s what the internet really should be IMO. It’s certainly how I still try to use it.

I think perhaps what happened is subtler though. At some point the focus shifted from expression and curation, and started to be more about getting reactions and attention. In a small step, people’s self worth on the internet became tied not to what they were saying, but to who was listening.

@InvaderXan Might have to do with the ease of making an instant reaction. When you replied to a forum post in the late 90's/early 2000s, you had to go through the many steps of loading into another webpage, formatting, and sometimes running it by moderation. You didn't really respond unless you had something more substantial than just liking what someone said.

Early internet didn't really have follower counts or profiles. You had tags and page hit counts more than follower numbers or amount of "likes"

Oh, there were still follower counts. Livejournal had those decades ago. The big difference seems to be likes. Suddenly, as well as a list of people who were watching, everyone had a set of numbers determining the “popularity” of every single thing they did...

@InvaderXan I definitely have a presentation which is not exclusively my passions and interests and thoughts nor is it the whole of them; it's a carefully curated collection of postings and interactions designed to depict a version of me that I feel good about and that I think people will enjoy.

"Brand" is a pretty concise metaphor for that.

IMO “persona” or “alter ego” are better ones, unless you’re trying to sell something.

@InvaderXan neither of those accurately captures that what I'm projecting is meant to exude a particular image that I want associated with me. 🤷

@InvaderXan they're certainly not in common usage with that connotation.

I think you'll find most journalists would disagree with you on this. And then correct you that "brand" refers to something manufactured with the intent to sell something.

But if you really like corporate language, then please yourself, I guess.

@InvaderXan @kelbesque *~*social capitalism*~* is real and even if its not for money you are absolutely ~selling~ a version of yourself online to get followers (which are the currency in social capitalism) (which is fucked up im not saying this is a good thing)

@Torie @kelbesque
Fucked up is right. I wish the internet was more about people sharing things which they like, and less about people selling some version of themselves to buy numbers.

Well, our best hope of getting a less corporate internet starts with making our own corner of the Internet less based on these problematic ideas. Choose what you post and what you read according to your own rules, not the numbers, and you've got that for yourself, as far as possible.
@Torie @kelbesque

@anne @Torie @kelbesque
That's good advice, I think. I've always been of the opinion that, whatever part of the internet you use, you should use it for yourself before using it for anyone else.

I guess I'm coming at this from a funny angle - I've never been on Twitter, I don't know what an Instagram influencer is, and I still use IRC. But for each technology I ask, do I like what this will do to my life? 3d printing: yes. Instagram: meh. Mastodon: so far so good.
@Torie @kelbesque

Honestly, I've made close friends over social media who I would never have met otherwise. I've learned so much, both about the world and about myself. Even as so many people have become obsessed with politics and influence, this is still what I'm doing.

IRC. Livejournal. Twitter. Instagram. Tumblr. Mastodon. It's all been the same for me, ultimately. Places to talk to interesting people and share interesting things.

I agree, but I know so many illustrators who have opted for a branded persona and output, because its what makes them big bucks. Creatively they're holding themselves back, but I also can't pretend its not something I think about doing a lot, just moneybags. (Though, I also lack the attention span to not just draw whatever I want to)

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