My Multi-Year Social Media Experiment

My Multi-Year Social Media Experiment

I am fresh off the heels of another social media-related article, so I would like to finish writing on this long-procrastinated topic and then hopefully leave it behind for good.

Over the past three to four years, I tried a number of social media platforms as extensions of my blog websites, most recently and cumulated in my current and last, How were each platform at promoting my blog? Did I do enough on each to maximize their capabilities?

My blogs are small and niche, and so I was not expecting much especially from “free” platforms. Each platform has its own mission and purposes. Still, my going-in philosophy was if a platform could drive a few redirections to my blog from time to time, it would be worth keeping.

I decided early on I was not going to go “all in” and become a social media junkie on any of them. My approach would be largely passive. I would post my articles and astrophotography on each, when active. If someone followed me and the account appeared aligned with my blog’s content and interests, I would follow the account back. Simple and straightforward, I felt.

This is not meant to be a grand introspective on social media, its purpose, and metaphysical discussion pertaining to such. These are just my quick summaries of experiences with each, and my plans going forward for the outlets I am keeping active accounts for. If you have questions about any of these and how I approached them, let me know in comments.


I loathed this one the most, but felt it necessary, a few years ago, to at least try Facebook. I had briefly been on Facebook decades before for some school reunion mumbo-jumbo or the like, but my use quickly faded after the novelty ceased.

My approach to interactions may be ancient, but for people I may want to keep in contact with, I have their email address, phone number, or Steam account. I neither need nor want a 3rd-party data collector to build that personal network.

But like all social media, there is a business angle, whether for profit or not, and that makes Facebook almost necessary if you are trying to promote something online. So I created an account with the intent of immediately creating, if I recall, a “group” which would be my blog’s launch board for posting new content.

My Facebook experimented ended there, as apparently I was instantly blocked for immediately creating an account and then a group. I guess they require submission to their personal data-gathering apparatus before they deem you can create a group. Otherwise, I assume that They assume you are a bot or a Russian spy or whatever. So, goodbye and good riddance to the platform I never wanted to mess with anyway.

Facebook Final Grade: F-


Being aware that this image-sharing platform is an offshoot of Facebook, I still decided to try it. It was creepy how, upon creating an account, Instagram was immediately recommending I follow a few of my work colleagues. Scary how they know this information, even if you don’t want to participate in their data collection schemes.

Of all of the social media platforms I tried, this seemed the most bot-infested impacting my posts directly. Whenever I would post an image, it would instantly get likes, reposts, etc., but from obvious bot accounts. As I gradually figured out what was happening and started to block those accounts, all interaction with my posted images dried up.

Instagram felt like a hub to follow frivolous celebrities coupled with aggressive data harvesting, and nothing more.

Instagram Final Grade: F


If I had an award for, “Not Bad, Wish It Worked Out,” pinterest would have been the clear winner. I actually attempted to use pinterest twice. For what it’s worth, the platform and interface for image sharing is fine. My images never received many views, although the numbers seems proportioned correctly for my niche. Moon photos were more popular than Jupiter, as suspected. Yet I always had a feeling the counts were inflated. Sometimes, the counts across the board would be in the hundreds, other times they would be in the dozens. There was no mechanism of value to interact with people viewing my posted images. I never got followers.

The one exception was that my Interpretive Moon posting was “liked” by someone (unknown) with lots of followers, and afterwards that single image anomalously received thousands of hits each month. But in the end, the untrusty changing view counts and lack of interaction with no traffic forwarded to my blog, I gave up on pinterest.

pinterest Final Grade: C

Truth Social

Strap in folks, it’s time to talk about Donald Trump. Well, sort of. And this is not the first time, as I already objected to a point in his Inauguration Speech alluding to the matter of light pollution.

In case you do not know the backstory, Truth Social was Trump’s response to being kicked off of Twitter. He had tens of millions of followers, so perhaps it was rational for a billionaire and former U.S. President to simply build his own social media platform. Hence, the awkwardly-named Truth Social was formed.

I followed the inception and early days of Truth Social, and a bit of the political nonsense around DWAC (the startup still trying to form a Trump media company for Truth). Looking at the situation objectively, I saw the opportunity to “get in” at the very start of a new and potentially prominent social media, and so I create a Truth account for my blog almost as soon as the platform launched for iPhone.

Initially, there was hot wave of interaction. I got up to almost 50 followers quickly. “Truthers” were sharing and replying to my posts. It was as good of a start for a new account on a new platform as one could hope for.

The honeymoon lasted about two weeks, after which activity fell off of a cliff. Within two months, there seemed little point to posting on Truth, ultimately a niche platform, designed for Trump to “tweet” to his most fervent loyalists, and not much else. Once the newness wore off, obviously a lot of early adopters left, and so did I.

Truth Social Final Grade: D


Here is the first of two niche social media platforms. LinkedIn is the “professional” social media outlet, a Microsoft-curated stage for corporate propaganda and job seekers alike.

I rarely post to LinkedIn unless I think a post may be relevant to the venue. For example, when I rarely write about project management (I am a certified Project Management Professional) I will definitely post the article on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has only a minor intersection with my blog, but the link (no pun intended) is still pertinent enough to keep my personal profile and my blog meshed for when I write LinkedIn-relevant articles.

LinkedIn Final Grade: B


The second niche, Medium is intended as a writer’s site. There are a lot of self-help articles and related, plus a fair amount of clickbaity content (e.g. Do These Five Things to Improve Your Heath, or The 10 Things You Must Absolutely Know About Artificial Intelligence). Still, I have found a small value to posting select articles on Medium, with overall average traffic to my content being 40-70 views a day. As with other platforms, I do not know how many of these are bots. However, the process to “import” “stories” from my blog is very easy, so when I feel an article is a match for Medium, I will continue to post there.

Medium Final Grade: B+

X versus Gab, The Final Showdown

I decided to cover the final two platforms, Gab and X/Twitter, together, as their usages and final outcomes are interlinked.

These are two general-purpose platforms for social media, with different audiences and purposes. Twitter, now X, is still the standard for brief social interactions. Gab is an alternative that lies out of the mainstream.

Since mid-2023, I have posted identical content to both Gab and X simultaneously. If I wrote a new article, it was linked to both. If I posted an image, it was shared to both. In this time I have gathered information on how my posts are reacted to on both platforms.

Instead of giving details, I want to provide one summary example. Here are snapshots related to my recent tweet/post on my Hollywood Moon article from last week. First, here is the tweet on X after a few days. Notice the view count.

From X / Twitter

And here is the equivalent post on Gab at the exact same time and age:

From Gab

My X tweet after several days had a whopping two views. The similar Gab post received over 600 views.

This behavior has been typical throughout my social media postings on X and Gab. Simply, Gab rules, and X is generally useless. The only exception has been my few sports-related tweets on the Chicago Bears, which got anywhere from 50 to 200 views. My mainstays though are lucky to break double-digits.

For disclosure, I did upgrade to a Pro account on Gab, which allows me to see view counts. But I do not think this has made a difference as the “likes” remained constant. Also, Gab has groups which are concentrated areas for content, and that seems to help with views. Finally, I have no idea if the Gab views are inflated by bots.

Taking all of this into consideration and at face value, the bottom line is that X is doing nothing to promote my blog whereas there is evidence Gab may be helping my content reach its target niche groups.

X Final Grade: D+
Gab Final Grade: A

Starting today based on the current state of my social media experience, I am making a key change. I will no longer be posting to X, starting with this very article. On the flip side, I have started to proactively post my blog’s content to Gab. X over several years has proven futile for my blog’s engagement whereas Gab is at least showing promise not even a year in. LinkedIn and Medium will remain for their niche purposes.

What do you think of my social media experiences and approach? What could I have done better to leverage certain platforms? Let me know in comments.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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