by adam mathes
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Opting Out of the Ad Supported Like Economy Progress Report

Yesterday I discussed how I am trying to cut down and eliminate advertiser supported free services related to my personal publishing.

This is my progress (and lack there of) after 5 months.

I vowed to publish here every day and have. It has been just as hard and rewarding as I remember it being when I committed to regular updates years ago.

I refined my publishing setup so that it’s more or less entirely frictionless though I have not properly documented this setup for anyone else’s usage as I had thought I might.


A month ago I wrote a detailed analysis of my usage of these services to understand what was going on and released the software behind it.

The other aspect is my data is backed up and ready to be published to my site if I so choose.

I have an exit strategy.

Gave it up for pinboard, and have been incredibly impressed and much happier with it.

Google Reader

Considered reblog and rss lounge and newsblur but didn’t like any of them. I began working on a replacement that needs more work but shows some promise.


I still read things on the Tumblr dashboard, but my posting has nearly stopped.

I have redirected my image posting to my paid mlkshk account. I love mlkshk. But it is fundamentally an image sharing site, tumblr is much broader and a lot of great content still flows through it. My Tumblr dashboard is still on my daily surf list.

I fear over time that experience will decline as tumblr seeks revenue.


Deleted from my iPhone after the Facebook acquisition.


Deleted from my iPhone, because, I mean come on. Seriously. Give me a break.


No change. If anything my usage has increased. Not sure what to do about that.


I have a Flickr Pro account, though it seems like being a customer of Yahoo may not be viable in the long term. I made a brief attempt to use 500px but was unimpressed.

I really should just host these things myself. I set up the new using galleria but don’t have a good iPhoto/Lightroom to web workflow as convenient as the Flickr support in those apps. I may try and remedy that.

I really don’t take photographs so they can be “favorited” or invited to be added to “groups” and “pools” by random people on Flickr. And it’s clear the audience of people I know which was such a key part of Flickr’s appeal has left and isn’t coming back.

Google Analytics

I removed the Google Analytics from most of my sites and plan to remove it from the rest. Who needs stats anyway?

I forked mongol and am in the (slow) process of creating something that does what I want. I have not done much, because I probably should find an open source tool and use it instead, but didn’t find anything I liked.

What’s Lost

Centralized services are where audiences increasingly live now. The tools for non-verbal feedback and republishing there are better and easier to use.

So giving that up means (usually) less feedback and reach. For someone like me with a small readership and and a small social networking presence, it doesn’t really matter. Obscurity is obscurity!

For others, it might be an actual sacrifice.

But even with a small audience, there’s a lot more feedback than I get for things published here. Of course, that was on purpose. I never had comments here, though there used to be a whole discussion board on that has been mothballed. But the sort of cross-linking that happened more regularly across blogs I read seems to have diminished and moved to Twitter.

But writing for sentiment expressed through little star icons isn’t why I’m here.

On the bright side, I don’t have to worry about mediators interfering with my publishing!

For photography, unlike my writing, the feedback I’d regularly get on instagram and seeing things as they happen to my friends seems like something with no viable alternative.

Oh well. You’ll all have to show me pictures in person.

What’s Gained

The beauty of posting to your own domain name that you control.

The satisfaction of being a customer for businesses you want to succeed and last, rather than feeling like an unpaid worker for more questionable companies.

Freedom, autonomy, and a (totally unjustified) sense of doing something the “right” way.

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