Over seven years ago, I started blogging about our off grid homestead and living a sustainable dream. During that first year we adopted our son, created a blog site, created a YouTube channel, promoted our off grid business, continued teaching full time, selling our candles at the Farmer’s Market, establishing relations and participating in our local church community, all the while maintaining and adding to our off grid home.
During that seven year time span, we have slowed way down, realizing we were spinning with little to no effect. I deleted my Facebook account. I learned to edit videos to produce better quality videos, and I put my energy into YouTube. I was able to fight the uphill battle and monetize our channel after it was demonetized by YouTube for being too small, less than a 1000 subs. Since that time, we are now fully monetized, but our audience is a humble 5400 subscribers. I do not use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to help promote our YouTube Channel. I just create a video and use the blog/website to promote the channel and also write about what’s going on behind the scenes.
This morning I realized our website could no longer be located on the alternative search engines to Google, which the few I use are DuckDuckGo, Dogpile, Ecosia, Swisscows, and Yahoo. The only search engines that brought up our direct homepage was Google and even better than that Startpage. I have no idea why the algorithms of these websites are bringing up such unrelated content instead of my site directly. I can only surmise that the natural organic search engine at these websites is now dead. Everything being promoted is through paid push to the top websites. You as a person searching for information will no longer receive what you search for. You will only receive what others have paid for you to receive.
Perhaps it is my fault for not remaining active on my blog. Instead, I let those things in life that demand my time and energy to have it, and I sacrificed what I enjoyed doing, blogging, working the YouTube channel and interacting with the off grid community. However, I am not alone. I sat down this morning to take some time and visit the other blogs I follow; they too have gone silent over the past few months and years, which makes me wonder if blogging for those interested has changed. What started out as exciting, a place of sharing, a free trading of techniques and ideas, a place to feel encouraged and inspired by others, has been lost. It is difficult to put a finger on it. I do know I pulled away from the computer screen these past few years because I was forced to teach online for a portion of it. I grew to hate the Internet. Too this day, I hate Zoom calls and refuse to have online meetings unless forced into it by my work. The isolation forced upon all of us caused me to back away from the blogging world and even creating videos for my own channels since I had to create so much online curriculum.
However, during the past few years, the people contacting me have also changed. I have received some pretty demanding contacts from people who demand my hours of research and development time for free. I have had some extremely rude comments as the voices of the community have died down. I had a person accuse me of hording information, the same information they could search on the Internet and find themselves, but they demanded me to answer all their questions. Over the years, I have answered several emails helping people with their off grid systems. It is very rare to have an email saying thank you for your help, advice, or even responding to their call over the Internet.
Where to go from here? I am really unsure. The blog is going silent. Search engines are dropping people’s personal and businesses web addresses. Pretty soon the only way to find the sites you visit will be typing the url into the web address yourself. The search engines will ignore your requests and offer what you should be readying according to them.
The tech giants no longer serve their customers, but instead embrace the ideology of controlling their customers by controlling the information we see. If off grid living is just too independent for a world where everyone should be dependent on a broken energy grid with rolling brown outs, then learning about those systems will unnaturally become more difficult. Maybe I am just speaking into a void and no one is here. One thing that has happened over the past few years is I have been creating, researching, and planning. I also understand exactly what is headed our way. I know what is motivating it and why the metaphorical storms are on the horizons. Like many homesteaders that no longer post have probably done is improved and hardened their systems for what is coming. And with the rudeness on the Internet, narcissistic web searchers who demand without contribution; well, what is the point of sharing anything here? Perhaps the death knoll of the website is ringing, but the nostalgia of sitting at this computer and building a community is still in my heart, but is it no longer the reality?
Can you hear me? Can you hear me calling you? Out of the 244 subscribers + 30 email subscribers can you hear me calling you? Or are much of you bots in the system as Elon Musk discovered with Twitter to be much higher than the 5% release to the public, which in reality could be upwards above 20%. That’s a whole post for another time.
Please comment below if you as a subscriber can still hear me. Is my website still getting to you, our subscribers? If not, I need to decide if it is time to let this website go completely and move on. Never throw good money after bad as the saying goes.
Enjoy the song, if you can hear me.