Online Hangs

Plus thoughts on the barbershop vs. grocery store model

I’m of the “barbershop or grocery store” mindset when it comes to online hangouts. A barbershop is the sort of service of which you really need only one, and once you’ve found the right one, you stick with it for a long time. In contrast, to a degree, grocery stores are more interchangeable: you still ultimately have your primary one or two, and you visit others that are useful for special purposes. I don’t know that I have an online barbershop, per se, but these are my main grocery stores:

Lines: This message board,, is my favorite hangout online. It’s largely focused on electronic music, and I don’t really participate in the threads there that aren’t related to music. It’s where much of the Disquiet Junto discussion takes place.

YouTube: A lot of my listening (and viewing) is on YouTube ( I used to post videos on occasion, and hope to get back to it. The recent relabelling of accounts has improved communication there, and maybe even moderated discussion in a positive manner. (I also spend a lot of time with my YouTube Music account — essentially the same as Spotify and Apple Music, etc., except it comes with ad-free YouTube, which is awesome.)

Bandcamp: The main other source of my listening besides YouTube is Bandcamp. I’m at, and if we follow each other then the service’s low-key social component serves up recommendations in the “feed.” (If you’re interested in sending me music for review consideration, a /yum code is arguably the best way. Warning: I’m a horrible correspondent. Online music distribution has been a boon to availability and access, but it has hammered my email inbox beyond utility.)

Mastodon: And while Mastodon (I’m at the inherently awkward is no Twitter replacement, it scratches the itch. It does have its unique qualities, some of which are even benefits (“How I Got from Mastodon’t to Mastodon”).

Instagram: My gets updated pretty regularly. I go through jags focused on one subject, one visual mode, or another.

SoundCloud: My is a bit of a conundrum. The service has a 2,000-follow max, so I can’t really add anyone, because I don’t know whom to delete, because I don’t know of any tools to tell me which accounts I follow have gone dormant. Also, I’ve got almost 11,000 followers, but those numbers don’t translate to much traction or communication. It is, though, where most Disquiet Junto music community posting takes place, because no other service has surfaced that makes sense. Sad to think how great SoundCloud once once, especially when it had Groups and Discussion features.

And the General Diaspora: I do spend time on Facebook, but rarely expand my follows; it’s mostly old friends and work colleagues, and family. I barely even talk about music there, because the responses haven’t proved useful. My Twitter account ( remains on hold for the foreseeable future. I’m on a ton of Discords and Discourses, and a sizable number of Slacks, but aside from the modest Junto Slack I don’t do a ton on any of them. And I’ve tried out numerous post-Twitter services, such as (, but one only needs so many grocery stores.

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