In January 2007, I read an article in Wired (I think) about this new social media site called Twitter, so I signed up for an account to make sure I had my username (I’ve been using the name Hayles online since 1998 which is bloody ridiculous tbh when you think about it), ignored the account for a bit and then started using it when there was a bit of an exodus of users from the LJ community thehighstreet (side note: there is a way to see all posts in an LJ community by a user by putting ?poster= and then the username after the journal URL. I don’t actually recommend doing this though unless you want to turn yourself inside out from the cringe of it all. From 2007: “I’m Hayley, a 23 year old girl-who-tries-to-be-a-lady sometimes who works in an office” … those were dark twee times)
I’m sure I’ve talked before about all the things that I’ve gained through Twitter, a husband obviously being the best one, but I mean, tickets to Grillstock were a pretty close second. One of the things that I liked about Twitter was how it’s easy to just start chatting to someone – back in the early days of blogging, it was (fairly) easy to just talk to others who did the same sort of thing as you – remember hashtag chats? I’m fairly sure that’s how I had such a good network around in Bristol, and it was definitely something I missed when we moved to the US because the bloggers/influencers here tend to use Instagram a lot more, and I don’t feel like that’s so easy to have a conversation (because you either leave weird comments on posts that will make everyone think you’re odd, or you send a message to the other person which lands in their requests inbox and never gets looked at again)
Having been on Twitter for such a long time (according to my Tweetbot app, I was the 696,043 user to sign up. Madness), I felt like I had seen the best and worst of what the bird site does but honestly, I was obviously very naive to think that the purchase by an idiot man child would not affect the company and site very much. I have been trying to reduce my use of the site and use Mastodon a bit more, but it’s difficult when there’s just so much more of everything on Twitter!
All of this has made me think about internet permanence – you’ve probably heard me talking about how it’s a good idea to keep your own blog on a self hosted service but I hadn’t really considered about the posts that are out there on social media sites or older version of your sites. I’m slowly working on bringing all my old Livejournal posts into this site so I have a place to put them all – if you’re interested in doing the same, I found the method described in this blog post on sleepywaldo.blog pretty simple (Instead of the wordpress.com part though, I created a new WordPress site to import into so I can tweak the posts before I import into this site.) I probably will keep my Livejournal posts as private, but I just like the idea that they’re here and I can search them whenever I want to! (I’m also considering going back through archive.org and looking up the really old shit to import – that’s going to be a little more work, especially since the posts were created with a janky Windows app that literally created a new HTML page each time I updated the main blog page, adding the next from the new post at the top of the list and deleting the text from the last post on the page before uploading the page. Yes, I’m that old.)
Partly influenced by an old uni friend, Dan, and his website setup, I’ve also been thinking about how to bring in my social media posts – I don’t think I care enough to save my old tweets (although I do have a backup from a few weeks ago) but I would like to find a way to bring both historical and future Instagram posts into my site – I suspect I can do this with IFTTT, but if you know of a WordPress plugin that can import both old and new posts, then please let me know!
Gina tagged me in a reply to this tweet the other day, which also caused me to think about what we put out there and where we keep it again.
I really hope 2023 is the year we see a resurgence in female fashion/beauty/lifestyle blogs – I feel like you see a lot of people talking about the golden era of these sort of blogs but no one ever seems to want to get back on it. I do wonder what the barrier to entry is in this situation, because we’ve obviously been able to do this before, so why not now? (…yes, I realise that this is something that I could cover on Bonjour, Blogger! but that would involve me not being really terrible at everything)
You obviously will always be able to find me here with links to the various places to find me: I’m on Instagram as @hayleyghowells and I’m trying to be better at using Mastodon where I can be found at @[email protected]