Rant · · 4 min read

Why Didn’t I Post in 2023?

One post last year? What happened? Lots...but also nothing?

Why Didn’t I Post in 2023?

Every year I struggle with the same issue; updating the delivery of this site. This year, I tried to focus on removing friction from my publishing workflow. While the bits and bytes are interesting to me, this effort is supposed to be about me sharing my thoughts on various topics…not CSS, HTML, and Javascript.

After a bit of tedious python, I had a script that pulled in the posts from my previous setup to Ghost. Excited and a bit relieved, it was time to gaze upon my handiwork.

⌘+R to refresh and…huh?

There’s a massive gap in 2023. 82 posts from 2022. 117 from 2021. 40 from 2020, and so on. 1 post in 2023. Maybe my script failed. Some weird hiccup in the 2023 post formatting.

Nope. The script worked. There’s only one post from 2023.

Looking Back

Turns out, I just didn’t publicly write or create as much—if at all—in 2023. I’m disappointed in that. Maybe I can figure out why and that’ll help ease that feeling of disappointment.

Upon reflection, I think it boils down to three main things that in combination caused me to question the value of publishing my work:

None of these are the reason, but when taken together, it starts to make a bit of sense…to me at least.

Social Media Apocalypse

Not the deeply confusing Apocalypse character from X-Men, and no, not the abysmal movie portrayal which we will all (hopefully) forget. Social media in 2023 became more extreme and unpredictable, with rapid swings in what was tolerated and what was successful on each platform.

At least it felt that way and when those networks are amplifying the tone of the content you’re consuming, that feeling matters. This was a sea change from years of reasonably predictable change.

Twitter exploded, then imploded. YouTube’s algorithm has lead to a massive Mr. Beast-ification of the platform. LinkedIn started to get more personal. Threads was the new place to be, but then it wasn’t, and now maybe it could be? No one even remembers Clubhouse and live streaming is…well…around.

When I was active online, I had a lot of discussions on Twitter—I refuse to call it X--and LinkedIn. I posted longer form content here on my site and as videos on YouTube.

I miss the discussions and connecting with friends and folks in the community around the world, I don’t miss the noise or the hype or the extreme points of view or the ads. So, so, so many ads. For me, the platform took a massive nose dive and I haven’t yet seen it recover.

What I lost due to the state of Twitter was a feel for the pulse of the community…at least a real-ish time pulse of the community. I think that fuelled my feelings about other platforms and reduced my overall desire to be publishing regularly.

What is Content Anyway?

At the same time I was feeling less like publishing content, the massive push around generative AI was—and still is—putting a lot of low quality content out there.

SEO has always driven a lot of negative behaviours and patterns as people try to game Google to drive more views. Generative AI removed a lot of the friction in that process and it’s harder than ever to get any organic movement behind original work.

It’s hard to sum up the hype and impact of the over use of generative AI tools…so I had a giggle and, dripping with hypocrisy, asked AI—ChatGPT specifically—to do it for me 😉.

It responded with:

"In 2023, generative AI stormed into our lives, hailed as the next big revolution in technology. Everywhere you turn, from art galleries displaying AI-created masterpieces to news articles penned by virtual writers, this AI trend is reshaping industries and sparking debates. But is it all just hype?

Further elaborating:

As we marvel at machines composing music and drafting code, experts warn of the ethical minefields and job disruptions looming ahead. Generative AI: an unavoidable wave of the future, or a tech bubble ready to burst? Stay tuned as we delve deeper."

That’s not a bad summary and may have hampered my point 🤦. Actually, no it probably helps my point as those two paragraphs are all flash and little substance.

That this flood of lower quality content is starting to rank higher than good, in-depth content is discouraging to say the least. AI generated content continues to shift how content is viewed and how it is found.

Working at Amazon

At this point, I’m just piling on. But in addition to the changes brought about by AI and the shift in the social media landscape, I also started a new role in 2023. I started the year as a Principal with Amazon Security and most of my responsibilities were—and still are—internally facing.

Yes, Amazon has a number of policies around social media usage, engagement with the media, and public profiles in general. Most companies do. That’s not what’s been holding me back.

If you look at my body of work and track record, what I do doesn’t run counter to anyone’s policies. I always try to take a positive and constructive approach to any situation.

I’m always looking to make security and privacy easier to understand.

Education isn’t effective if it’s threatening or negative. Security and privacy are nuanced topics. When looking at security and privacy in the digital world, situations get exponentially more complex. That’s part of what makes this work so exciting.

Work has been busy. It’s really that simple. I’ve been tackling a ton of really interesting challenges internally at Amazon and that’s reduced the available energy I’ve hard to continue to participate in the external community.

What I missed

This has all resulted in a loss of the habit. While I didn’t notice the impact of that loss—I’ve been busy, after all—it started to surface in recent weeks. My brain has been backlogged with ideas that I haven’t explored or worked through.

Writing up my ideas or my thoughts on situations was more for me than the community. I hope that others enjoy or can learn from what I do, but the drive, the motivation is really the clarity it brings me.

I like thinking of new ideas. Looking for new patterns in the security and privacy. I love learning.

I’m hoping this little bit of momentum I’ve rebuilt can keep going. Maybe even snowball into something that is more fun for me…and the community. 😉.


From a grammar perspective, is a solo emoji a sentence? Do they merit punctuation when on their own?

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