Yesterday morning, I was walking along Livoberezhna, Kyiv, looking at the huge multi-storey residential areas and thinking about how the things we create in the digital world reflect what we build in the physical world. Large social media platforms are metropolises: dense, noisy, and chaotic. These are cities that never sleep. You will always see or hear something new, but it is unlikely that you will keep up with all the events. There will definitely be some new video on YouTube or Tiktok that you haven't watched yet, a new video on Instagram and a new tweet on Twitter that you missed. Such metropolises openly accept everyone, but they are not for everyone.
There was a time when forums were like cities on the Internet, but now they are more like small villages. It is a place where people gather around common interests. If you spend some time on one of these forums, you will get to know almost all of its "citizens". New threads rarely appear, discussions are slow and can develop over months or even years. It is a haven for those who are tired of the hustle and bustle of big cities, but still want to feel a sense of community.
And there are also personal sites, like separate, remote cabins in the forest or mountains. It's a place where people run to when they're tired of the noise. However, personal sites are not isolated islands. They interact and stay in touch using links, mentions, emails and RSS feeds. This is the slower moving part of the internet. And this is their feature, not a bug.
My journey online mirrored my journey in the real world. I grew up in a small town. Then I moved to the metropolis. But now I visit rather deserted Carpathian villages more and more often and fall more and more in love with individual personal sites and blogs where I feel at home and live at my own pace.