I have come to both hate and love social media platforms since joining them in the early days via Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. There are some days I just want to quit all social media. Yet, social media has become an indispensable tool for communication, connection, information sharing, and in some cases building community. For years Twitter was my favorite for microblogging, but as X, for better or worse, it's no longer the valued social network it once was for me. Like many of you, I've been looking for an alternative to Twitter.
While all eyes are on how Elon Musk is handling the blue checkmark over at Twitter and debating the checkmark's value and devaluing, I submit the checkmark isn't just a Twitter problem but also a social media problem no matter what platform you're using. Over the past couple weeks, I've come to the conclusion that it is a huge mistake to confuse verification with designating someone as notable or not. The use of verification for only notable users, which in turns designates the remaining users as non-notable, is divisive and never should have happened. While I reluctantly have sided with Mr. Musk that it was time for the legacy blue checkmark to exit Twitter, I also see him also making the same mistake with verification and Twitter's paid subscription, Twitter Blue.
At the risk of dating myself, I’ve been writing and posting articles online since the 1980s. Back then we didn’t have the Internet but we did have dial-up modems and bulletin board systems (BBS) hosted by computer enthusiasts. When the Internet, blogging, and self-hosted websites became popular in the late 1990's and early 2000’s I was also there. For awhile I hosted a website focused on content management systems that in its peak easily received over 100,000 unique visitors a month.
I have no idea what the future holds for Twitter. I do know however that the recent changes at Twitter by Elon Musk continues to bleed cash, staff, and community. A lot of people are currently seeking social media networks that aren't Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I've been there myself. In the past, I've always reached the same conclusion that I have too many friends, family, and acquaintances I value still remain on the Big 3 as I don't want to leave them behind. Until now. Increasingly, I'm starting to soften my stance from I'm not leaving Twitter to starting to tweet out loud that I may be leaving Twitter.
The recent purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk has once again triggered a lot of people to seek social media networks that aren't Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I've been there myself. In the past, I've always reached the same conclusion that I have too many friends, family, and acquaintances I value still remain on the Big 3 as I don't want to leave them behind. So this time around it's easy for me to say, I'm not leaving Twitter. However, if the closing of Google+ taught me anything then it taught me to always have a Plan B and be open to the other social networks out there.
A week ago Twitter offered to upgrade my Twitter account (@socpub) to a new design for its Web Interface. For the most part, I've been viewing the revamped interface via the Chrome browser through a Windows 10 PC. After intense use of the new interface this past weekend, I have to say so far so good. In fact, I have no real complaints about the changes Twitter has made...which is highly unusual for me when it comes to social media.
When it comes to posting online about my own personal misfortune, I have one simple rule. Don't talk about it until you can tell the story with a sense of humor. When it comes to a visible personal injury the first question you inevitably have to answer is, "What happened to you"? Three weeks ago, I was in a bicycle accident where I landed on my shoulder and broke my clavicle (collar bone). I'm better now but I'm still wearing an arm sling. My first attempt of bringing humor to the situation was on Twitter.
I'm starting to think exercising is hazardous to your health. Visiting the doc.
— Bryan Ruby (@MrBryanRuby) August 10, 2015
CMS Report and I now have a Twitter account. This adventure into micro-blogging reflects my willingness to be easily coerced into doing things I normally wouldn't do after long months of winter cabin fever here in South Dakota.
Personally, I cannot see the real benefit of answering Twitter's question, "What are you doing?". Does anyone really want to see me tweet, that "after I'm done blogging, I'm going to take a shower" on the Web? Deane Barker once called Twitter "creepy" and I tend to agree with him. Sadly, Deane Barker allowed himself to be coerced into his own Twitter account last Fall.