Breaking up with Twitter

Since the Twitter buyout saga initially started, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to engage with social media. I want to do more medium and long form content about projects I’m working on, such as Metal and games. And I also want to own and control my content.

Going forward I won’t be posting to my Twitter feed directly. I’ll configure WordPress to tweet out new posts. I may also still respond to tweets, depending on how things go. For those who are still staying on Twitter and have been following me – I hope this is a happy medium that lets you follow what I’m doing even if I’m not longer tweeting.

I’m working on a series of pages about my experience porting Myst Online to Metal and Apple Silicon – but they weren’t ready in time for this change. Stay tuned!

I’ll be posting on Mastodon – but I’m not yet a true believer. I’m also trying NetNewsWire for tracking all the other great technology and news sources out there.

Why leave Twitter?

Here’s where I’ll write my thoughts on the Twitter buyout if anyone is interested.

The “Welcome to hell, Elon” editorial by Nilay Patel was great – and I think it covers most of what I’d say here. Elon is out of his depth – and the content moderation council will only give everyone a target for citizens and world governments to hate on. As Twitter gradually pisses everyone off, and Elon decides he’s had enough of the wrong sort of attention. He’ll try to sell.

The problem is Elon is the only one who was stupid enough to buy Twitter. He has no one else to sell to.

Twitter looks like the next AOL or Yahoo to me. Elon will have to eventually sell it for pennies on the dollar to someone who is really just interested in the name and not the product.

Why not stick it out?

I was one of the early users on Facebook. My university was on one of the first allow lists when Facebook launched. Early Facebook has been widely stereotyped in the tech community – but it was an amazing product. The core experience was connecting you to your classmates. My profile knew my class schedule and automatically connected me with all my classmates. I could find friends or form study groups. Facebook was extremely good.

But over time Facebook became less focused and grew into what it is today. Over that time I enjoyed it less and less until one day I realized Facebook just made me unhappy. And then I stopped using it. TikTok is often criticized as just being a service that algorithmically gives its users tiny endorphin boosts but thats the entire point. The social media you interact with should be bringing you joy.

Elon already indicated he doesn’t like the idea of a Twitter focused on making its core community happy. I don’t want to keep using Twitter to just realize one day how much time I’ve lost being angry at it. Twitter, like Facebook, can’t be everything to everyone. I’m not sure it even is possible to build a social network that is everything to everyone.

Having been through the rise and fall of Facebook (and AIM before it) I also know that no social network lasts forever. And my time is probably better spent trying to part of whatever is next. I’m not convinced it’s Mastodon, but it might be.

I also think the era of the browser being the interface to social media is also coming to an end – and I’m excited to explore that. I’m not Team Metaverse, but the next generation of social media will probably be richer and more innovative experiences than the browser can provide. I think TikTok is a leading indicator of this trend. TikTok is designed to be experienced as an app. There is a web version of TikTok, but it’s clearly not the way TikTok is designed to be experienced.

Will you do a podcast?

There are already enough white guys doing podcasts on tech and my most likely co-host Mario Guzman won’t buy a podcasting microphone.

So maybe. But probably not.