My New Telegram Channel

At the risk of “I knew you’d be back” giggles and whatnot, I recently installed the Telegram app. I did so because one of my correspondents in email was on it and there’s no way to share links to public posts unless that person is also on Telegram. So, to send a video, for instance, he’d download it and email it to me. Cumbersome, large files.

For background, I thoroughly deleted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram a few months back and am super happy about that still. See here and here if you’re interested in my reasoning.

There’s other messaging apps I use: Line, WhatsApp, and Signal…depending upon which friends and family are on which. And, I’m keeping those as they are. Pretty much everyone I’m connected with on them is someone I know or have met IRL.

So, upon installing it, I began getting messages from a handful of other people whom I guess got notification that I was on it. So, I have about a dozen contacts now, and I find it to be a real clean, crisp, and fast app…and so far as I can tell, there’s no ads, amazingly.

In its purest iteration, it’s just a messaging app, basically like SMS on your phone. You don’t have a stupid “wall” or “feed” where you scroll through to see selected items the provider wants you to see, interspersed with a growing number of ads. So, when you get a message on Telegram, it’s a message to you personally from someone else. Kinda like FB Messenger, only without all the loathsome Facebook bullshit attached. I liked FB Messenger and would have been happy to keep using it. But you can only keep it by disabling FB, not deleting it altogether, and I didn’t want that temptation to go right back with a simple click. Never again.

I also learned that Telegram has a Group functionality which I gather works like an FB Group, but I have zero interest in either having a group or joining any.

It also has a Channel function which I found intriguing. I joined a few that interested me. But to access them, you just go to them from the contacts in your sidebar (there’s a dot showing the number of unread posts). It’s just all the posts in chronological order. Simple. There’s no “reaction” buttons, no comments, no feedback, no ads. It’s just an info feed. Sort of like being subscribed to a newsletter.

So, I’ve created a channel to mostly post notices of my posts here on the blog, as well as various tidbits here are there—perhaps some food pics, beach pics, etc. You can read them, and you can share them within the app if you like, to one or more of your contacts. As I said, it’s really clean and thin messaging.

So, if you’re on it or want to get on it, you can find my personal contact by searching for my username @Rnikoley and you can find the Channel I created by clicking here:

Correction: I wrote this having only the experience with the desktop app for MacOS and had not used the Android app on my phone. At breakfast in a restaurant this morning I opened the app and noticed that some of the channels I’m subscribed to do indeed have reaction, comments, or both enabled, so I guess it has the ability to be more “social” on the device apps (but not desktop, so far). I won’t be using those features in my channel, nor will I participate in them when on my phone.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Daniel F on January 6, 2022 at 15:39

    Would you consider adding the ability to comment on the TG posts?

  2. Daniel F on January 6, 2022 at 15:54

    Sure. Keeping all the discussion here makes sense. Telegram comments are kind of a lazy way for us (the readers) to do it. I get your wanting to keep it simple over there and direct commenters here.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2022 at 15:58

      Also I don’t want to be drawn into that sort of interaction anymore ever.

      I have a pretty good thing going by just posting 6-12 things to the channel daily as they come up. With no reactions and no comments, it’s fire and forget. People can read/use as they see fit but I am never drawn back in for whatever they think about any of it.

  3. Daniel F on January 6, 2022 at 16:16

    I have been pleasantly surprised by TG overall. It is good that it allows “walled gardens” and intentional communities to form. Currently, it feels much freer and uncensored than pretty much any other social media or social app. A lot of what was the “dissident right” blogosphere has largely moved over there. We’ll see how long it all lasts…

    I hope and suspect that, longer term, solutions like Urbit — peer to peer networking where you control your own data — will grow and eventually push out the old big tech social media companies. You might find Urbit interesting as a promising technology and community, currently very much the the old Usenet days of the free-for-all internet.

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