4 min read

Tom Dickinson's Internet Thing, April 2022 Edition

This, depending on where you are reading it, is either the first post on my new blog, or the first edition of my new newsletter. Or maybe it’s the fifth edition of my old newsletter? I dont know. Whatever it is, I hope it finds you well.
L’Ovation, René Magritte 1962
This blog/newsletter platform wants me to put a "featured image" at the top of every post so here's a neat René Magritte painting

Hello friends, and welcome to… this!

This, depending on where you are reading it, is either the first post on my new blog, or the first edition of my new newsletter. Or maybe it’s the fifth edition of my old newsletter? I dont know. Whatever it is, I hope it finds you well.

Hey, that's right, didn't you have a newsletter before?

If you received this via email, it's probably because you signed up for my old newsletter, which I started in 2018 through TinyLetter. At the time, I was taking a break from social media, and thought a newsletter might be a good alternative for keeping in touch with people.

Not too long after that, I ended up deleting my Facebook and Instagram accounts. I still use those services to run socials for Doctor Who: The Moment, and I have a burner Facebook account I use when I absolutely need one (for event RSVPs, or accessing a private group for professional reasons, etc). But these are not major intrusions into my life, so I consider myself "off" those platforms.

But Twitter... I have always ended up crawling back to Twitter. That is probably why the newsletter didn't become a regular thing.

But that was then, and this is not then anymore.

Ever since I yeeted Facebook and Instagram out of my life, I've known the day would come when Twitter would have to follow. With the news this week that the world's richest weirdo would be spending the GDP of a country to buy Twitter, lots of users have been wringing their hands about why they would or wouldn't quit the platform.

So with the "I'm leaving Twitter" phenomenon having its moment in the discourse, and given that I was leaning toward ditching anyway, now seemed as good a time as any to bounce. But it's not simply a matter of logging out forever, throwing my phone into the ocean, and calling it a day. Would that it were. Twitter has long been the main way I keep up with people, and the main way I'm kept up with, and now I've got to find other ways of doing that.

Much e-ink has been cyber-spilled over whether there's something else that can replace twitter (like Mastodon, which I am trying out). I don't think any one thing can or should be the new Twitter. Why substitue one toxic hellsite with another? But still, I would like to have some kind of public-facing Internet Thing.

Which brings me back to... this. The newsletter, or blog, or whatever it is. It's both, okay? I'm winging it, but here is my loosely held idea of how I expect this to go:

The Blog:

Webster's dictionary defines a weblog, or "blog", as a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer. Blogs are quite simply all the rage. You might even have seen a blog featured in Nora Ephron's hit 2009 film, Julie v. Julia - Dawn of Justice.

If you visit nowwearealltom.com you'll see a list of posts. That, friends, is the blog. If I want to write and publish something, that's a blog post. If I do something elsewhere on the internet worth letting people know about, that's a blog post too. I'm hoping to post once or maybe twice a week. We'll see how that goes.

If you want to subscribe to all posts on the blog via RSS, you can do that here. If you don't know what RSS is, that's okay, just ignore that. It's for old people.

The Newsletter:

Look, I get it. You're a busy modern professional on the go. You don't have time to look at a blog every week, and you don't know what RSS is, and you don't want to know what RSS is. That's where the Newsletter comes in. Every so often, I'll do a special blog post that also gets sent your email inbox. This "News Letter" will include updates about what's been posted on the blog, and whatever else I feel like.

Back in the Tinyletter days, I averaged a dismal one newsletter per year. I think I can do better than that. Let's aim for 6-10 editions per year, never more than once per month. That seems manageable. Nobody likes getting lots and lots of email that they don't want, so I'm hoping to give you a little bit of email that you don't not want.

If you're reading this via email, then you are already signed up for the newsletter. Thanks! If you're not signed up yet, then you're probably reading this on the blog at nowwearealltom.com. Do you see a big friendly "Subscribe" button on the page? I think it's purple. Click that to sign up for the newsletter, if you want. Subscribing is, of course, free. But if you want to give me a little money and get nothing in return, there's an option to do that as well. If you do that, thanks for doing it.

But the newsletter is... like, what, a part of the blog? Or it is the blog? Or the blog is part of the newsletter? What is going on?

I'm sorry if you're confused or scared, that was never my intention. Here's a summary.

  • There will regular posts to the blog, probably no more than 1-2 per week. You can subscribe to these posts via RSS if you are an RSS user. Nobody's getting emailed every time I post, that would be annoying.
  • Every month or two, one of those blog posts will a special blog post that also gets emailed out. This will contain a roundup of other blog posts. That way, email-only readers won't miss out on the good stuff.
  • So in that sense, the newsletter is a subset of the blog.
  • The Subscribe button is purple. I wasn't sure before but I checked. It's purple.

Okay, that's enough newsletter for now. Wrap it up.

All right, bold text. You're the boss.

If you've read this far, thanks! I would love to know who is reading this, so please reply to this email telling me a fun fact about your home town. (If you're not reading this via email, send it to tom [at] nowwearealltom [dot] com).

Take care.