Medium and Substack and Clubhouse and Twitter, etc, etc are fantastic. They make it drop dead simple for anyone to share their thoughts with the world.
But they are controlled by someone else. You can get kicked off. And when you get kicked off, you lose all of your followers, all of your content. Gone. – Fred Wilson
Fred Wilson who knows a little something technology and content has been emphasizing the same point for a long time now. You, as a content creator, need to control your own destiny.
This vulnerability came about because the blogosphere was overtaken by social media. Kevin Drum argues that Google killing off its RSS platform, Google Reader, was both a cause and symptom, of these process. Drum writes:
In other words, RSS was a threat to practically every platform that aggregates news since it allowed users to decide for themselves what news they wanted to see—and to see it without passing through a gatekeeper. The best way to eliminate this threat was to eliminate or reduce support for RSS, as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all done.
I would argue something was lost along the way a Tweet (or even thread) is not a substitute for a full-blown blog post. Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution writing about ‘macro Twitter’ notes:
I genuinely do not understand why more tweeters do not set up free blog or Substack accounts, and, if only five times or so a year, write a longer post or column explaining and defending their views and tying them into the broader literatures. This seems to me to betray a certain kind of intellectual laziness, which the Twitter medium itself encourages and amplifies.
In response to the rise of Substack both Facebook and Twitter and jumping on the e-mail newsletter bandwagon. You could argue this helps expand opportunities for writers and helps level the playing field. Justin Charity at The Ringer writes:
No wonder Facebook and Twitter seem eager to co-opt the web newsletter trend… Of course, Facebook and Twitter are the very last companies that a working journalist would trust to serve journalism in any principled sense.
None of this should prevent you from using these platforms. Getting your voice heard is a challenge no matter how your proceed. However just as you have to earn the permission of your audience, so too do these platforms need to earn your trust. So just in case, download and backup your e-mail lists on a regular basis.