If we were to rethink how we consume media (social media, news, podcasts, magazines, etc.) and customize the platforms and content to fit our needs, what might that look like?
- What do you like/dislike about the media platforms you currently use?
- Who would you regularly want to hear from?
- How often?
- What kind of stuff do you want to see/read/hear?
- Do you want someone else to curate it for you or do you want to pick the individual creators you follow yourself? Some of both?
- Would there be ads? If not, how much would you be willing to pay for the content?
- Online? In print? Some of both?
Is there any way to move closer to that?
I've been talking with some friends about this quite a bit recently. Here are a few ideas I've been toying with and some experiments I've been trying.
- Removed all social media from my phone. Since you can only post to Instagram from a phone, I revived an old, otherwise useless, iPhone that I leave at home and use just for that.
- Picked a small list of my favorite photographers, thinkers, and writers and subscribed directly to their blogs and email newsletters
- Purchased some prints and fine art books from a few of my favorite photographers
- Subscribed to a few well-curated print magazines with few or no ads
- Unfollowed about 85% of the accounts I was following on Instagram
- Unfollowed almost all of the "pages" I had liked on Facebook
- Deleted my twitter account
Sharing my work:
- Posting less frequently to social media and being more picky about what I choose to share
- Sharing some of my photographs and thoughts directly through this website (my own platform that I can design and customize however I want)
- Creating a newsletter to share my work directly with people who are interested, without any ads or algorithms
- Working on an experiment in regularly and inexpensively getting my photographs to more people in print (more on that later)
Looking at all of that together, I'm noticing themes like: consuming and sharing more intentionally (less, but better), consuming and creating more work in print, and cutting out the middleman platforms (and their ads and algorithms) when possible.
I'm sure I'll end up finding that some of these experiments won't work for me, but I'm already seeing some really positive results from many of them so far. I don't think there's a single approach that would work for everyone, but it's probably worth taking some time to think through how we consume and share and see if there are any ways to improve on that.
And for anyone who might be interested, you can subscribe to my email newsletter here and check out my new experiment with sharing inexpensive photographic prints on a regular basis here. More on both of those later, but they're up and running if you want to take a look now.