After 8 years writing short messages on Twitter, I’ve noticed something. It’s not a sudden observation, but rather an accumulation of these years. Maybe what I’m noticing is tiredness. I love Twitter to share information, and with Reddit and other websites these are my link sources; I like also to share back what I read. However, I see that it’s tiring to use Twitter to discuss and create a community.
I’ve always compared my timeline (that comprises more than 2000 accounts) as trying to drink from a fire hose. It’s not in my interest to have a carefully curated timeline, but rather a fountain of serendipity. But this goes against talking to, you know, real people.
I usually encourage anyone, with whom I don’t have a previous relationship and that writes me through a DM or a Facebook chat, to write me to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org, just so you know). Email as a way to communicate that I can read when I want, with no notifications, with the length I want, and with no restrictions beyond my available time, is still for me the best way to communicate between peers (group conversations are another subject, much more complex). I like to read your email, and I like to answer you, though I confess that sometimes I don’t do it, rather because of distractions (and real life priorities) than because of malice.
On the other hand, Twitter restrictions impede expressing about things that are larger than an SMS. This already happened when we moved from SMSs to mobile instant messaging (i.e. iMessage or Whatsapp). But the perspective of Twitter increasing their limits to 10k characters is ridiculous to me; it’s a huge bait and switch, and Twitter passed that no return point a long time ago. It would change its nature to something completely new, and I’m not sure I’d like it.
I like to keep my writings as mine. If I write on Twitter or in Facebook is because I value more being able to communicate to other people rather than keeping what I write. But companies rise and fall, as it has happened before (e.g. Geocities). And what you write might be in danger of going away with the company. With that in mind, I prefer to make myself responsible of taking care of my writings and have the capacity to copy them and store them where I want to, with data formats that make it easy, and not hidden inside some configuration screen.
Having said this, I’d like to store my impressions in a much more trustworthy place. And then figure out how to communicate it to other people. This is the first writing.