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Snippet: Twitter, Failure Modes, and Your Favorite Bar ☇

Shared on November 27, 2022

Watts Martin:

But for many people, the real issue isn’t what’s wrong with the other places. It’s that they love this place. Twitter, for all its faults, for all the love/hate relationship you have with it—it’s your favorite bar. This is what most indie creators are feeling, I think. None of the other services have the audience reach; it’s unrealistic to expect us to be on a half-dozen new sites when we could just stay put; and, hey, the likelihood of Twitter really exploding is pretty low. All of those are true, too.

I think the “favorite bar” analogy is apt in that it’s often what you make of it, there are bound to be some jerks that you can typically avoid most of the time, and it’s a great hangout spot for your usual acquaintances. For me, all of the “Twitter replacements” have been nice, but it’s not my bar. Then again, Twitter isn’t either anymore.

I get that, right now, it’s still easy to rationalize staying on Twitter. The alternatives are too confusing, or have questionable terms of service, or don’t have a registered DMCA agent, or have a crappy official app, or have a crappy web interface, or just seem like they’re run out of a college dorm room. We can go down the list and acknowledge most or all of those are great points.

But your favorite bar is under new management, and whether you want to admit it or not, you know damn well what kind of bar they’re making it into. You need to think long and hard about whether you’re okay with that.

Funny enough, I feel like there’s a lot of unsorted grief from a lot of us who enjoyed Twitter from way back, typically using third-party clients and following people instead of trends or suggestions. While it’s not closed yet, it’s also not the same as it was a month ago. That happened with a favorite bar when I was in college—new ownership took over and everything went downhill fast. We eventually found new places, but still lament what used to be. The shell of itself closed shortly after, confirming that things were on borrowed time.

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