Unexpected: LinkedIn is a fun place to be

My social media habits are shifting and I'm kind of okay with it

This morning, while catching up on newsletters, I read a devlog for an asset pack on itch.io (of all places). There, I learned some news that's a few months old by now: LinkedIn is getting some games - I'm kind of excited about it.

No slight to Max Parata or Itch intended. It's just an unexpected source for that sort of thing.

This news got me reflecting on my social media usage and how I use LinkedIn (why yes, I am proud that I have my actual name as my profile URL) as social network more than ever before. In the past 12 months, my social media usage has been drastically reduced and modified. I dumped Reddit during the API Policy Change drama in 2023, I barely open Facebook and Twitter is only checked for trending news or reality TV show comments. I used to be using those each one of those apps several times a day!

The realization hit that the early days of social media are long gone, and the old sites don’t matter as much anymore.

  • Twitter hasn't been truly useful for probably 10 years or longer. It used to be my go-to place for chat and news and interesting weird things online. I was slipping away from it before Musk took over, but his changes there really hastened my departure.

  • Facebook's organic community features have dwindled and withered to the point that, unless explicitly sought out, posts from groups or pages I follow are rarely seen - unless they pay for the privilege. This used to be my primary place to share things but they deprioritized links in posts in the algorithm so much, I just gave up.

  • Reddit was always a time-waster. Dumb memes, online drama, the occasional interesting article. It's not it's fault really, it replaced digg which had replaced Fark which had replaced something I can't remember. It still feels kind of weird to be hopping off the "news/links/forum site thingy" train I've been riding since probably 2001.

Recently, the focus has shifted to other online activities: more reading, more coding, starting a million drafts on this blog and never publishing them. Still, I need some sort of outlet to find things, share things, connect with people. I'm somewhere between a Connector and a Maven according to Malcolm Gladwell's archetypes in The Tipping Point.

Connectors: Know Everyone, Many Social Connections, Make Friends Easily. Mavens: Know Everything, Enjoy Helping Other, Love What They Do. Salespeople: Know How To Sell, Love What They Do.

Image Source: The importance of Gladwell's archetypes by Mafer González

A developer-focused (though more web than gamedev) social network/news feed/start page called Daily.dev has become a daily habit, except on very busy days. I share things there somewhat frequently, though they restrict you to 3 submissions a day - which I both love and hate depending on the day. This is becoming a main source for interesting things.

When looking for new interesting projects and people to follow, I'm going to GitHub more often than not. My GitHub stars list is basically a bookmarking tool for me now, with nearly 2000 projects in there. You can practically track what I've been thinking about week to week based on what I'm finding there. I'm not great at putting things in lists or tags because that's difficult on mobile but I'm trying to at least provide some level of organization after the fact.

Strangely, LinkedIn is becoming a key source for interesting articles. I don't post much yet (though posting there at all is a substantial change from before), but it's mostly lurking. Choosing LinkedIn for leisure is quite surprising, and the addition of Wordle-like games might increase my visits and time spent there. If someone had suggested a year ago that LinkedIn would be a fun destination rather than one I go to begrudgingly, it would have seemed absurd—but here we are.

A special mention goes out Max Parata's and his excellent game model assets, as his post inspired this one. He's got a distinctive style and offers his work in both 3d voxel and 2d isometric versions which I've always found a rather brilliant idea.

Having followed his work for a few years, he consistently puts out a lot of free content that’s worth following, especially for hobbyist gamedevs like myself.

His sci-fi and apocalypse-themed assets are impressive, and he accepts custom work as well. Here are some of his items on my “very cool, one day I hope to use this” list:

He also has a bunch of actual games, I've added a couple to my To Play collection on Itch.

This was fun to write, I should share more asset creators I like in the future.