Your Best Gift May Be Your Swift Death

So Elon Musk bought twitter after all, and from all reports, it looks like the deal is going to go about as well as could be expected. That is, it's a total shitshow, and the pace of the disaster is a little faster than I had expected. The promised opening of the floodgates of racists and fascists being let back onto the platform hasn't even begun yet, and still, it looks like it's time to leave Twitter for good.

I mostly only use Twitter read-only, following some interesting personalities and journalists, and it's a moderately nice platform for catching up on current events. I'd like to have an alternative to Twitter for this kind of thing, but that almost universally requires that the author I'm following puts in the effort to publish on alternate platforms. Some do, but many don't, so it's going to be difficult to fully pull the plug, though I intend to. I do have an OG three-letter Twitter username, which I might consider selling to someone if they wanted it. You know, just saying.

Mastodon may be a good alternative for microblogging and discovery, but a 24-hour use of that platform seems like it's still pretty sparsely populated, even if a huge influx of new users came along after quitting Twitter. It seems more straightforward than Discord, which always just felt like an IRC clone just like Slack is, and doesn't work for either small Twitter-like reading, or long-form reading.

Substack is another platform that I'm looking at, of course, since some journalists and authors I currently follow are publishing there. If I ever get time, I may add the substack authors I follow to my RSS reader, instead of getting things delivered via email.

Alternatives available aside, I can't but feel glee seeing platforms like Twitter (and hopefully, Facebook) die. The introduction of these platforms and the whole web 2.0 era set back Internet publishing, reading, and communication the entire decade they've been active. "web3", meaning the cryptocurrency scam people are running, isn't any kind of answer, though, and I'm not sure what is. These siloed platforms put blinders on me, and I'm not even sure now how we could get back to the promise and potential the early Web had. It could be that a global, free system of communication can only serve to amplify hateful and fascist speech, but I'm still hopeful that it can be more. Mastodon isn't the answer. Substack isn't the answer. Personal websites should be a thing again, and we should be clever about connecting disparate sites on a heterogenous network, and less clever about optimizing dopamine hits and sending advertisements to eyeballs.

Anyway, I'm, though I'll still be more of a lurker there than someone with something interesting to say. If I have something to write I'll put it here, on my website, where I don't have like buttons or replies and will try to never look at the traffic logs.

Thanks, Elon, I hope you kill Twitter for good.

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