Friday, July 07, 2023

Out of the ashes of Twitter

Now that Twitter has gone up in flames and Reddit is on the same path of self-destruction, people are running crazy around the web looking for the next big thing, the next Twitter.

There won't be another Twitter. Future social networks will learn the lessons taught by Elon and Steve and avoid those situations. Perhaps the closest extant network modeled on Twitter is Truth(dot)social, the enclave of snowflakes and members of Y'all Qaeda. If that's your cup of tea, go for it, while it lasts.

For everyone else there's a growing number of social networking alternatives. At the moment it seems to be a three-way race between Threads, Mastodon, T2, and BlueSky. The last two are still invitation only, so their growth is slow right now.

Threads, brought to you by the same folks that own Facebook and Instagram, is growing by thousands of members every day. I'm sure that's due to its close association with Facebook. The word on the web is that Facebook is the social network for your parents, so the cool kids are all flocking to Threads. 

Yet quantity doesn't assure quality. I'd rather be in a room with two really interesting and informative people that I can have a conversation with than be in a room with a thousand people all talking at the same time. These new networks are also finding out how necessary moderation and rules that don't change daily every time the owner gets mad about something, are. 

I was on Twitter from the start, I joined 17 years ago. In that time I enjoyed talking with friends and strangers who became friends. That experience started to get tarnished in 2016 with the advent of trolls and hate-filled people. By 2017 Twitter was little more than the online voice of Trump. 

Last year I found a site called Counter.Social. It offered not just friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics, it offered something rare with social networks, security. No ads, no data-mining, no trolls. In addition, Counter.Social offers amenities unheard of on other sites. I encourage you to check it out for yourself. It's free to join though many of us are supporting the owner with a $5 a month pro membership. 

My final word on this topic. The social network you decide to call home should be a good fit for what you want in such a site. There never will be a one-size-fits-all network. If you're interested in looking into Counter.Social, if privacy and security are important to you, come by, check it out. If it helps, you might want to take the following information into account in making your decision. 

a data privacy chart of social networks

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