Published on December 16, 1962, in la Domenica del Corriere Illustration By Walter Molino

Happy 2022: Quit more

Happy new year. It's a new year and I somehow feel obligated to make a blog post to mark that even though I kind of have writer's block and can't think of anything to write about. Fortunately, this is a blog, and doesn't really have to be about much anything.

It's around this time of year I like to take stock of my online presence and various hard drives and see what to keep, delete, or wipe and repeat. One of the nice things about using a password manager and app-based 2FA is that you can keep a nice running list of all the online accounts you've got. KeePassXC tells me how many hundreds of accounts I have floating around. If you want to both strengthen your use of passwords and start and audit of all the places you have an account, set up a password manager, and as you use each account, reset the password to some random 32+ character monster you'll never remember, and keep a record of where you're going online at the same time. The best way to start with a password manager is to just set one up and go. Instead of trying to add all your accounts in one go (if you have a lot of them) just add them as you visit the websites. In about a month, you'll have the majority (if not all) of your important accounts. So there's a new year's PSA for you.

The website

I'm temporarily closing some buggy things. Closed the onion mirror of this blog and the onionshare contact form for a bit until I can make these things more stable. Will also be looking for a flat-site generator to replace Publii, which started strong, but the bugs are becoming kind of annoying. It edits kind of wonky. Select text to delete and it deletes the paragraph above. Weird. 

Online accounts

Delete: Amongst many things, Slack. A few years ago I went from 0 to 8 Slacks in just a couple of months, and I currently use 1 of them, and not even that frequently. The one I controlled was easy. As an administrator, I just deleted it. But depending on the version of Slack being used, you may or may not be able to simply opt out. To remove myself from some, I need to contact the administrator. On at least one, I'm sure they've gone AWOL. You shouldn't have to talk to anyone to remove yourself from an online service. Slack was supposed to put an end to emails. It just created a deluge of meaningless chatter. No new Slacks. And need to post in existing ones I want out. 

Keep: From the collection of digital collateral to roll on with, I'll stick with Publii, the app I'm using to make this blog. It's still glitchy and unfinished, and I can't yet justify using a premium version of it until they make this one work right, but it's maybe the best open source tool for throwing a simple, flat website on the web. Publii, Github and a reasonable domain management service are all that are running this show. The only thing I'm paying for is the domain.

Wipe and repeat: I keep some Protonmail addresses, and will even add one to the contact page here soonish. Unless you're also chatting with it using a Protonmail account as well, I don't particularly rate it as greatly enhancing security, and the spam/junk filtering is crap. I do regular wipes of the account though, and some people still want to send an email.

Socials

I quite Facebook a couple of years back, and have not really missed it. In fact, it immediately made checking in on the web better. Am still in the metaverse via Insta and WhatsApp, but single-use apps are where its at. Quit more social sites, or understand why you're on them. Actually, here I recommend Anil Dash's resources on how to wipe your social accounts for new years and new starts. I'm just about to check out a Glitch app on how to "KonMari" Twitter followers here, and highly recommend the process. I usually do this manually, but am happy to see something that makes the process more interesting.

2022 digital resolutions

  • Quit more. Close more accounts, and make my web more ephemeral. I tend to be a volatile user, but I create lots of accounts often just to see what the shiny looking thing does. My goal this year is to close more online things than I open. Quitting another one of the big companies is still on my list. I still have some Amazon and Google services running and would be happy to move off.
  • Blog more. I wrote maybe 6 things last year (no, I'm not counting). Blog shorter, care less about form and style and be a bit more creative and messy (if you can believe it). 
  • Tech less. I've downsized my devices in the last couple of years, and could still do some more culling. Like everything else, each thing should be justifying its existence in the horde. 

 

This article was updated on 17 January 2022