Wondering about my Twitter future
Should I stay or should I go?
I’ve been watching, with some amusement, the goings on at Twitter and wondering what, if anything, I should do. I’m skeptical that the whole thing is going to implode, although I am not nearly as sanguine that it will not become even worse than it currently is. To an extent, I cannot avoid the mayhem, because a social channel that I like and enjoy has an automatic import of any tweet that contains the word “IndieWeb,” as a result of which one of the rooms is swamped with people whispering into the void that people can follow them on Mastodon at
[email protected]. I skim past them at a rate of knots, just in case there is something of actual interest that I don’t want to miss.
My indecision is prompted mostly by the fact that I have never been a power user of Twitter. Sure, I follow a few people and they often share stuff that is interesting and useful. The sturm und drang I manage to avoid. And while I do tweet about new podcast episodes and newsletters, I don’t have a huge sense that anybody is listening. Has anyone actually subscribed as a result of my quiet drumbeat of self-promotion? I don’t think so.
What, then, to do?
Maybe nothing. In that, I am emcouraged by something:
An obvious question — given that Twitter is a niche platform — why does its future matter? After all, a PEW survey recently found that only 23% of US adults use it — compared with the 81% who use YouTube, the 69% who use Facebook and the 40% who are on Instagram.
I do even less self-promotion on Facebook and Instagram than on Twitter, and none at all on YouTube,1 and get a better response, at least from Instagram. So maybe I’ll just carry on as before. Or maybe I’ll syndicate to Mastodon in the same way that I currently syndicate to Twitter.
Until Twitter does actually implode it is likely to continue to be a source of copy for news media, which is a shame, and a source of news for me, which is not. So I will probably hang around there for as long as it makes sense.
As an aside, can anyone explain to me the appeal of watching two people having an online conversation, when I could simply listen and enjoy my walk? ↩
Webmentions allow conversations across the web, based on a web standard. They are a powerful building block for the decentralized social web.