3 min read
Over the years, I've used many different tools and services to post information to the web. A non-exhaustive list would include: Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress.com, Movable Type, Google+, Buzz, FriendFeed, etc. While I've yet to find myself spouting profundities, I do often refer back to what I've shared for my own purposes. Frequently, a situation arises where I'd like to recall something I know I've shared in the past. The problem is where does it live, and is it still there (see Buzz, et. al.)
I've started to use Known as a tool to post my own thoughts and to share them with anyone who may be interested. I don't expect that to be a large group, but I do it for my own purposes and to help me make sense of what I read, hear, see, and experience.
I'm hosting Known on a webserver that I have full control of, so I don't have to worry what might happen if Known stops development, changes their terms of service, or gets swallowed up by another company (see FriendFeed, et. al.) I would miss the further development of Known, but I could continue with what I have and make changes myself (I'm not a PHP developer, but was able to make a couple of small contributions to the project already, through GitHub.)
Using this known-powered site, I can post lengthy posts (assuredly, these will be rare), post to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, interact with other capable sites, eschew advertising, change the style, delete, edit, etc. What I post is mine, and I can do with it as I please.
Running your own server (I pay for hosting, so I don't run the hardware) and installing and administering Known is not for everyone, but it could be. Services are better these days about letting you export the data you created, but knowing that you own it and control it is a nice feeling to have.
I admire the principles that drive people like the folks behind Known or Dave Winer and others in the indieweb community. In a way, it's a return to the early days of the web where people owned and managed their own sites. Today the tools are in place to allow us to do just that, while still allowing us to share with others on our social networks.