Standing by words and a domain of one's own
Alan Jacobs advocates abandoning the walled gardens of social media for a “domain of one’s own” as an ethical act:
We begin to make promises to others by having “a domain of our own”: It is a first step toward “standing by our words” in the digital realm. As [Wendell] Berry says, “We are speaking where we stand, and we shall stand afterwards in the presence of what we have said.” By taking back the responsibility of our words from the Headmasters, by ceasing to live on their bounty, we step away from the “merely provisional” uses of language and toward genuine accountability. We thereby make a small promise to the future, and take a step toward giving those who come after us cleaner earth to till. We may also wish them good weather—but that, too, largely depends on the promises we make, and our fidelity in keeping them.
Publishing to my own turf, as opposed to the slick and fluid platforms of the commercial providers, has encouraged me to take greater accountability for my words and to make sure that what I publish accords with the world I hope to help create. So I endorse the practice for these ethical reasons as well as the pleasure of making something yourself over just using someone else’s service.
If you read this and decide to set up your own site, let me know so I can add you to my RSS reader.