The first thing I want every visitor to know about librelenny.com is that it is an online presence that’s completely separate and exclusive from big tech social media and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as well as big tech companies like Google. The primary goal and purpose of librelenny.com is to demonstrate, by example, that it’s possible to create an online presence and even profit from it, without big tech monopolies taking a cut of everything, while databasing and profiting from all your activity and data.
On a personal level, I also steer clear of big tech companies such as Google, Microsoft ad Apple in my personal life. This website is built on a Linux laptop using very little proprietary software. I’m a huge fan of FOSS. I even use a DeGoogled phone with only a few core, open source apps. I put quite a lot of effort into my setup.
As for news and social media, I don’t use Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. I exclusively use independent social media. For that matter, I get all my news, world view and understanding of everything that’s going on from grass roots, on the ground journalists and independent media companies, platforms and channels. I don’t do mainstream media either. There is one exception. I registered for a Twitter account when Elon took over – because, well. Twitter is hilarious right now.
librelenny.com in a Nut Shell | Elevator Pitch
One way to look at librelenny.com is it’s basically a big “show and tell” of everything I do, use, follow, frequent and subscribe to online. Everything from the tools I use, to showcasing my web development and marketing knowledge – and even to offline stuff such as Linux computers, “distros”, Google free phones, private communication and more. All with a liberal splashing of my views and other commentary. Note: That’s the only context you’ll find me mentioning “liberal” in this website, or anywhere else.
Why Has librelenny.com Been Built Completely Separate from Big Tech Platforms and Solutions?
As someone who remembers how the Internet used to be 10, 15 and even 20 years ago, I’ve been vocally complaining about how big tech has corralled us all into what I call a “digital ghetto” or “digital plantation”, for many years. I’ve tried and failed (for the most part) to get my family and friends off these platforms. Especially Facebook. But also YouTube since fantastic decentralized alternatives like Odysee* have come along. I’ve also been insisting that with some good old fashioned networking, guerilla marketing, value driven content and general creativity, it’s possible to build an online presence without having all these big tech social icons, widgets and interactivity all over our websites. So, that’s what I have set out to do. librelenny.com is being built and promoted on a parallel Internet – completely free from the big tech digital ghettos and megalith corporate monopolies. I’m here to prove we don’t need them and the Internet can be just as fun and fruitful without them; just like it used to be. I don’t even use Google Analytics or Search Console. I use Clicky* for statistics.
How Does librelenny.com Build and Promote Content? And What About Profit?
First of all librelenny.com has not been built with profit as a driving factor or reason. That’s not to say that I don’t have affiliate links on this website and will not try to generate income — because if I can, that further underscores the fact that profit can be created without engaging with the big tech platforms and companies. The driving factor behind this website is simply to prove that we don’t need the digital ghettos to thrive. Hence the slogan:
Spreading Truth Everywhere and Reminding the Internet How to Be Free
The primary methods that will be used to grow librelenny.com are:
- Intelligent use of SEO principals, keeping in mind that Google will likely not give this website much love, considering the content that’s on it. The SEO is being done so that the site can rank on other search engines such as Presearch*. I’m regarding Google as if it doesn’t exist.
- The creation of a content plan with keyword research, where every page is creates as part of a larger plan. In many cases, pages will be individually promoted and videos will be made especially for them, promoting the concepts and idea contained within.
- The site makes use of marketing techniques such as call to actions, email lists, outreach, link building, networking, collaboration, etc.
- A big effort will be made to engage with bloggers, content creators and alternative platforms to generate a healthy flow of organic traffic. Ironically, these are the very same concepts that I’ve used with my SEO for Google over the years. I’ve always been very white hat.
There are a whole heap of places to advertise online without handing our hard earned money over to Google, Facebook or YouTube. One of my missions is to seek out these places, figure out ways to generate a positive ROI, log the results and create tutorials showing other people how to do it. Plus, it just makes me feel better to be supporting independent businesses and even individuals, rather than handing money over to faceless and heartless corporations.
The Future Plans and Vision of librelenny.com
Once I have this website up and running, with a large audience, many contacts, heaps of links – and even profitable, I’ll create videos, courses and tutorials showing other bloggers, content creators and companies how to create success in the Internet, completely separate from the big tech giants that have usurped everyone. I might even start an alternative marketing agency – especially for people and businesses that want to go digitally “off-grid” so to speak – as I have. *Tongue in cheek.
In a lot of ways, there are parallels between the Yeterweb movement and what I am doing with librelenny.com, in that I reminisce about the times when people used to actually build their own websites (before they were called “blogs”) – except, I want to use the latest technologies. I envision a future where we go back to forums, IRC, chat rooms, video chat, web rings, link exchanges (not for SEO) – and all the fun and cool things we used to before Facebook and other social media came along and hijacked everything. However, I’m happy to move on from miDi music playing in the background and multi coloured gifs flashing all over the place. Not to say we can’t build those also (sometimes), for a bit of fun!
In conclusion, the best way to say it is: I want to spread truth everywhere and remind the Internet how to be free. I want more people to become a part of building an Internet that’s fun and useful for people – not for corporations. I have nothing against business and profit, but we need to stop engaging with companies that treat us as products.