moonmehta
moonmehta

@pratik @kev One down, two to go! Going to use this move’s experience to first port my Web Wisely blog over to Ghost later this month, and then use its experience of exactly how integrated newsletters work on Ghost to move over my professional space blog when I know the ins and outs, and the costs, to virtually not risk anything. :)

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abc
abc

@moonmehta It looks great! Smart move, too.

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@abc Thanks David! Good things can often take time 🙂. As someone who works in and with media, I know the blindspots and incentives of news coverage fairly well. And so I just don’t believe in rage quitting something instantly and purely because it’s doing the news for some wrong reasons. Cancel culture tends to lose nuance, and make people actively ignore the good sides of a thing, as if everything about it was always wrong all the time.

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pratik
pratik

@moonmehta Great! Interested to know how Ghost works out. I've not used it but have heard about it a lot.

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@pratik I will let you know after I move my space blog and have had ample time using the platform in various ways.

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abc
abc

@moonmehta Well, I am very happy to be out of Substack. I don't miss it or want any part of it.

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abc
abc

@pratik I too would like to learn about your experience with Ghost. It was an option I explored before deciding on WordPress. Ghost sites look great.

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pimoore
pimoore

@moonmehta That looks super nice; clean and readable, with a great font too—what Ghost theme is that? I've also never heard of PikaPods before now, but I'm gonna poke around for sure.

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Sylvia
Sylvia

@moonmehta oh! That's perfect price!

I do love ghost, I did have my blog hosted at namecheap, but I did have too many issues with it to be called a reliable service. (mostly, being slow)

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@Sylvia Yes, the price is what led me to try out PikaPods. Ghost seems very fast to me. It’s certainly snappier than WordPress and Substack by a mile. On PikaPods, I allotted Ghost only 0.5 GB of RAM and 0.5 CPU cores, and it seems to have no problem handling any standard blogging task. As the blog grows, allotting 1 GB RAM and 1 full CPU core would cost only $1 extra per month so I think this setup is sorted.

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@pimoore It’s the (new) default theme of Ghost called Source. I like that it has a decent amount of customization options.

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pimoore
pimoore

@moonmehta Well, looks like I have a new rabbit hole to jump into on my day off. 😆

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@pimoore Glad to have lead you to it.

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pratik
pratik

@abc Not me. You want to ask @moonmehta

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pimoore
pimoore

@moonmehta Threw me into the rabbit hole is more like it, so thanks I think. 😉 😂

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pratik
pratik

@moonmehta FYI, the term “cancel culture” was coined by rightwingers who didn’t want consequences for their actions.

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@pratik Fair enough. Will be careful with that word going ahead though I believe you got my underlying point?

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pratik
pratik

@moonmehta Yup. But it all depends on what kind of thing we are talking about. No matter how good of a service someone may be providing, do we want to support someone who is, say, abusive to women, actively encouraging Nazis, etc. But ultimately, it's about choice. You should set your own limits and be fine with people who set their own.

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@pratik Yup, I agree. It certainly depends on the intrinsic nature of organization being dealt with too.

Ultimately, it's about choice. You should set your own limits and be fine with people who set their own.

Exactly! Everyone has their own tradeoffs to make, and yet a lot of what I saw was people expecting writers to move out of Substack practically immediately without considering their priorities, technical and financial abilities, or caring to properly assess alternatives, or even simply considering that it may not necessarily be every writer’s battle to fight. On the other hand, so many similar people handing out moral judgements—including in the open Web circles—continue to have Instagram, Facebook, and Threads accounts despite Meta’s numerous atrocities (such as in Myanmar). I’m not asking them to delete those accounts but just pointing out that said scenario isn’t any different fundamentally. The dissonance in actions can be considered ironic or even hypocritical by their own logic. Rather, I don’t understand why passive existence on widely used platforms should automatically be seen as support?

Anyway, my contention with people isn’t about Substack’s tonedeaf and greedy extremism-promoting stance at all. It’s about people forgetting while in their rage canceling spree that Substack as a product has many unique features explicitly for independent writers, several of which Ghost, Wordpress, and Medium have actually adopted over the years for good. And that it has contributed to ownership of one’s writing at a scale social media or competing blogging platforms simply haven’t. So are we all supposed to just forget all that and therefore dismiss talks of the related actual needs of people moving to other platforms?

P.S. I’m sure you know it anyway but a good chunk of this response isn’t directed at you individually. But I felt these related clarifications and opinions would benefit others reading the discourse.

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pratik
pratik

@moonmehta I meant to respond to this and forgot 😀 so thanks for pointing it to me again via that thread about Kagi. Re: Kagi, I think @jarrod said it best:

My desire to support the LGBTQ+ community (who have told me that Brave's leadership is causing them harm) outweighs my desire for Kagi's better search results.

As we discussed in the other thread about the least-worst option, these options can differ for different people. For some (like me) supporting the LGBTQ+ community who have seen unspeakable horrors and are also now living (in America, no less) under constant attempts of erasure of their very identity/existence, I see slightly better search results and sticking it to Google as minor things.

I read things, make my own judgments about intent, and chose things I associate with or use. You should feel free to do that, regardless of whether you think how I will perceive you for that choice. If my (or others) perception is essential, you should weigh that in your decision to use or not use a particular service. To use Jarrod's analogy, do I want to stay updated on space news that you post about if I have to frequent a Nazi-enabler platform? I don't know yet.

You may have a point about others using Meta products and thereby supporting atrocities in Myanmar. I'll ignore the whataboutism in that argument and say you should judge people based on that. Maybe they will argue past atrocities in Burma (believe it or not, there's debate on which name to use due to geopolitics), and Facebook's attempts at reducing the chances of that happening again is better than Substack's open support of Nazis that may lead to more dangerous consequences closer to "home." I'm not saying that's my argument. I quit Facebook in 2017 but continue to use Instagram (very sparingly) and WhatsApp (coz I still have folks in India). No one is perfect. People use a variety of value judgments, which often are subject to change, to justify their choices. All I expect in people is to keep an open mind and be open to change regardless of whether they change in the immediate future or not.

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TeganGemini
TeganGemini

@pratik @moonmehta Forgive me for coming in late to the argument, but since you mentioned the LGBTQIA community, specifically in America, I want to point out that one of the platforms I use to stay informed about trans rights issues is a substack newsletter. And I don't think the author can afford to move off of substack. Moreover, a lot of transgender people, in particular content creators and artists, have businesses that are dependent on Twitter/X.

I am beginning to think that when it comes to the platforms we use, optics is less important than the actual effect. We have to ask ourselves: can I afford to use a different platform? Is it viable? Will I be able to achieve my goals and keep my needs met?

And there is another point to consider as well: marginalized folks of all kinds have ceded a lot of ground on the internet, thus making it much easier for Nazis and their ilk to spread their views uncontested. Safety matters, but eventually we will need to start pushing back, or else we will be silenced.

Bear in mind that, while trans, I am a privliged white american woman. I can only speak for myself. But this is how I see it currently.

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pratik
pratik

@mercymorbid @moonmehta Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I understand the dilemmas involved and it’s not easy. After all, we can only decide for ourselves and live with ourselves.

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TeganGemini
TeganGemini

@pratik @moonmehta Agreed. Thanks for taking my reply seriously, I appreciate it.

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moonmehta
moonmehta

@pratik I see what you’re saying for the most part.

you should judge people based on that.

That’s the thing. I can't do this most of the time. I don't think I want to either, again, because I don’t see passive existence on widely used platforms as a form of support. Most people who use tools that ended up being controversial don't do it to support those tools but to meet their personal and professional needs, whatever they may be.

I appreciate you taking my point about Meta not as whataboutism but as me inferring that situations of both Substack and Meta are terrible, whatever their relative badness per each mind maybe. For some it's easier to dump one over the other, and they can do so if they feel like it. But they can’t expect others to do the same, and certainly not near-instantly. That's the part that gets me.

People use a variety of value judgments, which often are subject to change, to justify their choices. All I expect in people is to keep an open mind and be open to change regardless of whether they change in the immediate future or not.

I wholeheartedly agree with you there.

@mercymorbid

And there is another point to consider as well: marginalized folks of all kinds have ceded a lot of ground on the internet, thus making it much easier for Nazis and their ilk to spread their views uncontested. Safety matters, but eventually we will need to start pushing back, or else we will be silenced.

I tend to have the same view, in the sense that if there's too much disconnect, groups will isolate themselves into non-nuanced bubbles and we won’t be able to reach enough traction for good changes and off-ramps.

And thanks for chiming in to offer your perspective.

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TeganGemini
TeganGemini

@jasonekratz No, they aren't. But they also differ from use case to use case, fwiw. Small creators dependent on big corporations have less options then people who have the privilege to choose their platform.

I'm just mentioning this in case someone decides to twist my words afterword.

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