No Links I Liked 501-Why I am taking a break from my weekly #globaldev content curation

As I briefly mentioned in the 500th anniversary post at the beginning of December, my weekly Links I Liked post will take a break in the new year.

I will briefly discuss some of the personal, content-related and digital challenges that led me to this decision.

Maintaining regular blogging during the pandemic was a small writing strategy to maintain important routines, connections and to focus on topics other than Covid-19.
But like many of my readers, I am just tired right now.

The developments on social media, a key resource to learn about new content, are another factor linked to this fatigue (what Cory Doctorow describes as “enshittification”).
I don’t have to discuss the state of affairs at the platform formerly known as Twitter and even though I enjoy Bluesky it’s not the same and perhaps never will be for global development and humanitarian content.
At the end of the day I just want to spend less time on social media in 2024 and not feel guilty that I haven’t collected enough interesting articles for Friday’s review. 

I mentioned changes in journalism a few years ago and they have become more of an issue recently. Foreign Policy, The Economist, Financial Times, Bloomberg or Quartz all have interesting and relevant articles regularly-but behind tall paywalls. Even if I may have access to some of the publications through my university’s library they will be paywalled for many readers.
This is not going to turn into a discussion about the future of journalism-a future that is also more decentralised and globalised.
I always wanted to share open, accessible information and the fact that I’m losing out on interesting reads while encountering paywalls is not very satisfactory. I appreciate The New Humanitarian, Global Press Journal or Rest of World immensely-but you are hopefully subscribed to their newsletter as well…the Guardian also remains a great source for #globaldev content (although I miss op-eds or an aid “agony aunt/person”), but that’s not exactly a well-kept secret…

At the same time global development writing on the Internet keeps changing-from blogs to newsletters, substacks and podcasts.
I have found LinkedIn a great platform for exchange, information and discussion-often much better than other major social networks. Good writing will always exist, perhaps it just doesn’t need a one-man curation team anymore…

But there is also a bit of an elephant in the room…I’m tired and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the today’s “write-only” culture-another 30-page report on localization, another news article on how #globaldev is under pressure by another right-leaning government or another influencer who wants to save “Africa” one, many wells at the time…

This will certainly not be the end of Aidnography by now probably one of the longest-running personal blogs on international development.
I really like book reviews and there will be new ones again in 2024-they take time, they are fun to write and even if they are unlikely going to be viral posts, they are a great way of connecting with interesting authors, projects and publishers!
This will include our forthcoming Handbook on Humanitarianism and Inequality a project I am immensely proud of as one of the co-editors.

And there should always be time for more spontaneous posts-what blogging was intended for. You can subscribe to my newsletter-perhaps a monthly affair in the future-so you will stay in touch.

Thank you for being part of the journey, for encouraging me to read, skim and skip thousands of article that have made me a better teacher, researcher and communicator!

Happy holidays-see you in 2024!


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