Apollo's swan song
If I’m on Reddit it usually means I’m dredging the depths of the internet trying to scratch an itch, or trying to find obscure things from my childhood. Like videos from Gorillaz Search for a Star. Or old computer games that I can’t remember what they’re called. Or wondering why Gandalf was the only wizard at the battle against Sauron at the black gates of Mordor.
I subscribed to Apollo for Reddit (Apollo Ultra Yearly) for maybe a year? I’ve never been a big Reddit user—never had anything against the site, I just didn’t turn to it regularly—but I liked the app and after leaving all the big social media platforms thought I might spend more time using it. It didn’t stick, so I let the subscription expire this past October.
Earlier this summer, amid all the hubbub around changes to Reddit, I read the farewell post from Apollo’s creator, Christian Selig. It’s a well-written, admirable piece of communication. Worth studying. In comparison, the response from Reddit’s CEO feels plain gross.
One comment on Christian’s post made me seethe. Speculating about investors wanting to control how people experience their thing. It’s a selfish, greedy, and demoralizing position to take. Creative, enthusiastic people are genuinely excited by the thought of their things being used in different ways.
Can there ever be such a thing as Compassionate Capitalism? Creative Capitalism? What would that mean, what would it look like? What if capitalists were more like patrons? What if Apollo or I guess Reddit rather was the beneficiary of the Medici family’s patronage?