On 1st October, I’ll be transitioning the Thought Shrapnel newsletter to Substack. More about that here. What’s interesting is the ecosystem that’s being created there — including Substack Notes, which is where I came across this post.
I’ve several things to say about this hand-drawn map of the ‘social media archipelago’. First, as the top commenter on the post notes, it’s similar to a classic xkcd cartoon from 2007 and shows how much the landscape has changed.
Second, Chelsea Troy quite rightly points out that we’ve got a Twitter-shaped hole in the internet, which people are filling with either private communities (Slack/Discord), the Fediverse (Mastodon, etc.), or Twitter-like things (Bluesky, etc.)
What I think they’re missing is.. Substack Notes. For someone who loves reading and writing, it’s full of interesting people sharing thoughtful things. You can find my notes here.
To anyone looking to navigate the ongoing perils of social media, it can be a challenging and daunting task. An adventure marked by intense trepidation and foreboding, by fear and doubt. But worry no longer, I have drawn a map.
I present to you, The Social Media Archipelago.
Whether you’re lost among the Musky Mountains or the Dunk Swamps of Twitterland, or in the selfie-obsessed Forest of Mirrors on the Isle of Insta, I hope this chart can be a helpful guide on your journey. Never again be stranded among the bleak deserts of Facebook, no interesting content in sight. Never again be sucked into the maelstrom of the Doomscroll, forever locked among the whirlpools of cheap dopamine hits.
Instead, look toward the lone peak of innocent hopes, reminiscent of the heady days of the early internet, where healthy conversation and good faith debate may yet flourish. Look to the terra novalis, known to the early cartographers as the mythical land of Substackus Notum.