Twitter: Gee, It Is Great Just Broken Like Humpty Dumpty

October 14, 2022

I read “Elon Musk Can’t Fix Twitter Because No One Can.” Fascinating. A service much-loved by “real” journalists, pundits, LinkedIn haters, and content savvy glitterati is broken. When I see the word “broken,” I think about Humpty Dumpty, the anthropomorphic gamete.

The “fail whale” broken? Isn’t that one of the cute error messages the “tweeter” — a word coined by a brilliant elected official in the US, I believe — was offline.

The write up asks:

Meanwhile. Here’s a thought experiment: What happens if Twitter goes offline tomorrow, for good?

I know my answer. Ready? Nothing. For those who need to output content, there are numerous options; for example, Reddit, HackerNews, free blogs, TikTok, and my personal fave, Substack-like services. These are ideal for outputters: A publishing medium without an editor! For those with big bucks, a motivated quasi expert can create a social media start up or just download some open source software and go, go, go.

The write up includes some data; for example:

just 23 percent of American teens say they use the service now, down from 33 percent in 2014.

I wonder what percentage of Vox-type professionals rely on Twitter? Possible more than the dismal teen user percentage I would guess.

The write up explains what Twitter is:

Twitter is simply the top layer of social media, mainly because it’s quite searchable, especially compared to TikTok (for now). It’s a guide to the rest of the internet, not a hangout.

Why have some tweeters abandoned the Twitter outputter?

Too much hassle, not enough upside.

Interesting. How will the Silicon Valley type “real” news content reach “users”?

Why not start a subscription-only information service? Those work really well because the endnote to this impassioned analysis of the tweeter says this:

Now is not the time for paywalls. Now is the time to point out what’s hidden in plain sight (for instance, the hundreds of election deniers on ballots across the country), clearly explain the answers to voters’ questions, and give people the tools they need to be active participants in America’s democracy. Reader gifts help keep our well-sourced, research-driven explanatory journalism free for everyone. By the end of September, we’re aiming to add 5,000 new financial contributors to our community of Vox supporters. Will you help us reach our goal by making a gift today?

Yep, begging for dollars in a message longer than many tweets.

Stephen E Arnold, October 15, 2022


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta