Hello, and welcome to The Draft Folder, formerly known as Everything Is Posting.
I’ve changed the title for a couple of reasons. First, ‘Everything is Posting’ is the strap line of Ten Thousand Posts , a podcast that I co-host, about technology and internet culture (listen and subscribe, obviously). As listenership grows, I didn’t want this personal newsletter to be seen as an extension of the podcast, or that my views, opinions and observations reflect those of the show.
Second, I felt that having a newsletter with a title as direct and assertive was unexpectedly restrictive. While I didn’t update it very frequently, readers would sometimes message to ask why, for example, I was documenting a month worth of walks during a particularly grey English spring. Others got in touch to ask why I wasn’t talking about specific posts, but rather, opining on Platforms and social technologies in a highly personalised manner. In my Substack drafts are also a lot of half-written posts and essays that I abandoned, partly out of screen fatigue, but also because I wasn’t sure if they belonged on here, or whether they were assertive enough for this platform. I suppose, at a time when every writer now has a Substack, and the pathway to commercial success as a self-published writer is to be as niche and narrowly focussed as possible, in order to make the case for subscribing. In that way, it’s not unlike other platforms - where the users who are most rewarded, are those with consistent opinions and writing styles, and where the writing serves direct commercial functions, or as a way to distill and curate the writing everyone does for free on Twitter.
I’ve missed reading the blogs that got me to start writing in the first place - ones that weren’t rigid, subject to analytic-driven publishing schedules, that drew on the observations of other bloggers and commentators, and where, crucially, you could tell that the writer was trying to work things out as they were writing. While writing my thesis, I found myself revisiting much of Mark Fisher’s Kpunk, as a capsule that brought together academic insights, opining on contemporary politics, sincere pop music reviews, along with mundane thoughts and observations. Revisiting Kpunk brought with it an excitement of seeing someone else naturally curious and inquisitive about the world they lived in, suspicious of the promises of machines, automation and progressive technology companies, and crucially, someone who believed that the present moment could be better without technological overpromises. (Before I forget, this recent essay on David Graeber, the anthropologist who also believed that it was well within our reach to build a better, less tech-dependent world, is very good).
The Draft Folder won’t be an attempt to ape Kpunk or other blogs. But it will be my attempt to harness the spirit of it, and to try pursue writing/blogging/note-taking with similar intentions. I imagine that much of it will be about technology- experiences from a decade worth of #content writing, predictions, observations and analysis. At the same time, it’ll also be a place where I write about the affective experiences of social technologies, expand on some of the areas of digital anthropology that fascinate me, and looking back on writing and art that tried to explain alternate futures and the extent to which they materialised. All in all, The Draft Folder will be a way to explore digital space, examine the culmination of its detritus, and try to figure out what potential futures could look like in digital, and material worlds. I’m excited to start writing again, and to do so without the constrained, targets-based, “bounce rate is too high” infrastructure. Moreover, at a time when everyone is beginning to write, think and talk about their experiences in the current Content Economy, having this space to think about the present and the future might be able to help others attempting to make sense of what big parts of life have been over the past decade or so.
I’m not going to set a schedule right now. My ideal situation will be to do 2 posts a week - a main one, that’s either an essay, or 2 mini-essays, on subjects about tech, internet culture and digital anthropologies, and a secondary one, that’s a collection of links to stories/videos/podcasts I enjoyed or had some thoughts on. Eventually - depending on how successful this newsletter is - I’ll expand into doing interviews and collaborations with others, where (again, based solely on numbers) I’ll consider a low-fee paywall on. Let’s see how it goes.
So, that’s it for the next step of all this. Hope you enjoy, and as always, do get in touch (respectfully) for questions/thoughts/comments etc.
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