Midnight Pub

A sense of belonging


Out of loneliness, I tried to get involved in mainstream blogging platforms. I first went to Medium, which attracted me for its so-called "minimalism". I got quickly lost in an ocean of content that felt very impersonal. The superlative is the rule there ("10 awesome tools to be a better person, etc.").

I quickly felt irritated and exhausted. I was never involved in any social network, so I don't have the right mindset to deal with this overabundance of meaninglessness. And that's a shame because here and there I found some interesting insights. It was just too much energy to dig them up.

So I then tried substack.com, which is better. The base unit is not the article, it's the author, so there is much less clickbait. However, it's still too big. I think some people like this, I understand why they like it. I would like to be able to like it too and to navigate easily in this ocean. I just don't.

Then I remembered about good old Midnight Pub. Although I don't post often here, I've always followed from afar. I like the quietness. Most of all, I feel a sense of belonging. I know (by username) some people here. I know people will notice me. I will not have to use the rings and bells of marketing for my voice to be heard. Even if it's only the distracted ~bartender, it's still someone who can listen.

It seems like a selfish and easy way to get some attention.

Maybe it is. Or maybe it's just to have a place to speak without having to shout.

Either way, I'd like to come here more frequently, just to write quietly.

It's a strange world out there. It's nice to find a place in the world wide web where I have a feeling of belonging, even so tiny.

Anyway, enough rambling about me. Could I have a coffee ? Black, thank you.


I've had a similar arc, and spent some of my early time here mirroring posts between here, Medium, Substack, and my Write.as blog.

It wasn't a problem logistically (just lots of copying and pasting), but I increasingly felt like Medium and Substack weren't really communities, and that I was just pasting flyers to a lamppost downtown or something. Small communities are much more pleasant and worthwhile, even if they're surprisingly hard to find online.



Spam aside, of course... but the only online "place" I consistently get a sense of belonging is my email inbox.

The multiple recipients scenario aside, of course... but when I receive email from someone I feel special, singled out, worthy of a writing effort known in advance by the writer to reach a paltry readership of one, worthy of private/special/personal news/insight/revelation, and invited to share my thoughts/feelings thereupon.

It's just... wow... *shame* on you "world wide web" for being so much lest whilst perpetually claiming to be so much more - never mind the side struggles with cookies dialogs, advertising, popups, beggings to subscribe or otherwise create yet another account, or to take yet another survey....



It's not selfish -- it's community. You want to be part of a world where your opinions shape it and your voice is heard without worrying about outside agendas infecting the group. To me, that can only happen in small communities that have nothing the outside world wants. There's a quiet and bleak seaside village-y sense of peace here, I find.


that can only happen in small communities [...]

Dunbar's number perhaps?

There's a quiet and bleak seaside village-y sense of peace here, I find.

I really like this way to put it :p



Solderpunk recently (-ish) described the smolnet (Gemini and Gopher) as partially serving as a retirement community for the Netscape generation, and that kind of resonates for me.



Dunbar's number indeed! Though sadly there's no scientific proof it really exists. It does make intuitive sense to me, and I even wrote a whole manifesto loosely based around it:



It's almost silent around here, but that's because people are listening