On the Considerations of Where to Post Information

Or Maybe Don’t Pull Eggs in Baskets That Aren’t Yours

, I posted The Purpose and Joy of Role-Playing Subsystems to the /r/rpg sub-reddit. One person on /r/rpg sub-reddit pointed out that this was a self-promotion post and given that most of what I contribute to Reddit was links to my blog, it was likely that my post would violate the subreddits contribution guidelines.

So I deleted my post on the sub-reddit. The community and moderators have a standard and guidelines and my post and engagement didn’t adhere to those standards.

Simple and no hurt feelings. After all, my post still had a home on my blog.

Given that I have tuned my writing and blogging ecosystem to my wants and needs, I approach online conversations with a Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere (POSSE 📖) mindset.

First, the aforementioned post is something I wrote and think is worthy of sharing. I could’ve written it in Reddit and published to that community, but then, as is evident, I’m beholden to the guidelines and moderators.

Further, I’m beholden to the platforms policies and procedures. All of which is to say that writing would’ve been subject to destruction outside the bounds of my control.

All of which is to reiterate Karl Voit’s admonishment Don’t Contribute Anything Relevant in Web Forums Like Reddit:

Too Long; Didn't Read (TL;DR 📖): all of the content of closed, centralized services will be lost in the long run. Choose the platform you contribute to wisely now instead of learning through more large data loss events later-on.

Is what I wrote worthy of lasting for the long run? Maybe. My hope is that some fellow player of Role Playing Games (RPGs 📖) will find my post and say “Yes.” And due to the nature of the written word, that player can be from elsewhere in time and space.

The stakes of the post’s disappearance from discovery and access is rather small. But when we look at all of the little contributions taken in aggregate, the stakes change.

We have shifted our collective story telling from the spoken word to transportable media; and should under stand the consequences of where we store these stories and learning. This is a modification of the principle of Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe (LOCKSS 📖).

I recall reading, but don’t remember the source, that Einstein wasn’t worried about atomic war destroying all of human knowledge. We have vastly distributed knowledge centers that house both physical and electronic copies. Yes we might lose significant sub-domains of knowledge, but collectively we as humans have a lot of copies of a myriad of books and magazines on our shelves, browser caches, hard drives, and wherever else we tuck away digital things.

To look back at that Reddit community, I can understand wanting house conversations in those confines. After all, that is what gives those shelves “value”. Those shelves can give a sense of community. But the stakes of having the entirety held there is a liability for the community.

The RPG posts that I host on my site are very much akin to having a small personal library that compliments the larger corporate magazine dedicated to discussion around RPGs. If that magazine goes under, there’s still my site and all the other places where folks have written of stuff.

To touch on LOCKSS, let’s think of this as distributing not the specific content but instead have many channels which they happen; HMCWTH if you will.