💫 Internet Identities
vol. 2 // reflections on beginnings // internet identity
Happy new year! We made it to 2021 :) I’m excited to start the new year moving my newsletter updates from Tinyletter to Substack. Although Tinyletter worked fine, it required 2 steps to subscribe to a newsletter and that combined with the relatively unfamiliar look of their platform (and this Twitter poll), pushed me to move onto Substack. I was inspired by personal newsletters like Linus Lee’s Thesephist newsletter and Jasmine Sun’s half-baked futures Substack; I hope to build a similar newsletter here with a combination of more general thoughts on tech/writing/philosophy and updates on my writing & projects.
These few weeks I have been thinking a lot about how to shape my brand on the internet. There is soo much content out there on optimizing blogs, Twitter, and newsletters, but this focus on metrics-based outcomes stressed me out before I could even get started. This Tweet from Rosie (and this issue of Indiependent) helped me shift my mindset on this:
Instead of optimizing this Substack for growth, I’ll be focusing on building the habit of regular thinking & writing. I love the idea of working towards “100 true fans,” so if any of my content resonates or if you have feedback, let me know!
💫 Life updates
Fully deployed Best of Your Twitter! Best of Your Twitter helps you get the best of your Twitter straight to your inbox, without the noise. As of now, the basic algorithm & functionality work, but there is still work to be done to refine it. I actually DM’ed Courtland Allen in regards to this project, and he was kind enough to offer me advice on how I could adapt its direction:
Although his ideas are great, I don’t plan on spending too much time on this project as it’s not something I am super passionate about. As a compromise, I do plan on adding some pre-curated topic-based lists that people can subscribe to directly from the app. That will most likely be the last update that I add to this before letting it go. For more info and updates, check out its Indie Hackers product page.
In another Twitter themed project, I’m building a Chrome extension that erases the engagement metrics from Twitter on the web (follower count, likes, retweets). This is still in progress, but I hope to have it out in the next two weeks. This extension serves as a social experiment that I thought would be interesting; we often evaluate content by the author & the numbers on it, so this extension could lead one to evaluate content for the content itself. It seems like there is already some interest in this general idea as well:
Published my third article, Identity in the Internet Age. I was originally inspired by Salem Ilese’s lyric, “And now I’m 20-something and I still know nothing about who I am or what I’m not”. This sentiment felt very relatable, and something I know many of my peers feel as well. The internet can make us think our identity is our external traits, or the things we consume, or the “aesthetic” we portray, when in reality every person is much more complex than that. I explore that in this article and how the structure of social media could better serve our senses of selves.
💫 Interesting content
There is so much great content out there, and sometimes I’ll find articles, images, or new ideas that resonate but I don’t know where to share them. So, I thought I’d start compiling them in my newsletters. Here is some great content from the last few weeks:
Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. Wow. This book came to me at the right time. If you ever have existential crises, this book is for you.
This Tweet. This kind of relates to the life-lies talked about in Courage to be Disliked, so I just thought it was really funny.
3. The most recent issue of Wellness Wisdom by Patricia Mou. I’ve already publicly shared my obsession with this newsletter, but this issue in particular did a fantastic job of putting together thoughts on habit building from a variety of sources into one place. I had heard of many of these thoughts separately, but the model she used to put it all together is amazing.
That’s all for this issue! If you got this far thanks for joining; feel free to respond to this email with any thoughts. Otherwise, wishing you health, safety, and growth in this new year!
Have a wonderful week,