... and general thoughts on paying for things.
In a lot of ways, the internet is to blame for many problems. This might be vague, bordering on pointless, but it's true. Talking specifics, it's the promise, and delivery, of "free" content, which has resulted in the erosion of wuakity journalism, diverse and broad voices in media (though, the internet has also provided a platform for voices thst would otherwise be unheard; it's unclear whether that's a good thing, overall, or not).
For the longest time, too, I was not a fan of paying for things on the internet. To this day, there are some things which I'll try to obtain for free, or at a discount, if I can.
But more and more, I've come to appreciate that I should be paying for things, not just because otherwise it's my data that becomes the product (though this too is a compelling reason), but also because, well, people deserve to get paid for their work.
Whether it's a webcomic, or a podcast, or, yes, a notes/blogging platform, someone had to work on that thing, and, well, even if it's a labour of love and they don't expect to become rich from it, isn't offering to help sustain them the best way to ensure that they continue to do what they do, and that they put my needs, as a user, before those of some sd company, or some other third party?
This isn't a panacea, nor is it an original thought; certainly, using a centralised means of supporting creators (read: Patreon) means that someone's still tracking me. But the goal here, with paying for things, is not for me to become invisible. Indeed, if I wanted that, I'd not be blogging publicly, or likely online at all - my notes would be in paper form, only, or at the very least hidden from the world.
The goal with paying for things is to make sure that people are justly compensated for their work, at least to my reasonable and proportionate ability.