Showing all posts tagged: Twitter

Blogging about blogging versus adding value through your blog

21 June 2024

Less blogging about blogging:

The majority of my posts are either platform explanations/justifications or organizational posts. Stuff like, “I’m moving the Archives here” or “I’ve added a ton of Links there.” Other times it’s simple announcements about me moving my blog someplace new. So, why do I feel the need to talk about this?

This is something I grapple with, though maybe not to the same degree. Are people really interested in my blog posts about my blog? They’re pretty far and few between here, the last meta, blogging about blogging post, was when I added (re-added) a blogroll. I don’t know, maybe they’re a bit more common. What’s meta, and what’s not meta, can be highly subjective.

Yet a concept that — supposedly — has shaped the way I write here, derives from Twitter. I’m talking about Twitter when it was Twitter back in the day, not what it is presently. Anyway, we’d all been on Twitter for a couple of years, when 2009 arrived. By then, Twitter was deemed to be a mature platform for networking and micro-blogging, and now it was time, we, the users, conducted ourselves with a little more… sophistication.

“Add value” was a term frequently bandied about at the top of 2009. Add value meant we ought to ease back on tweeting about what we had for lunch (but not completely), and start contributing to a more useful overall conversation. Maybe there were a few years when value was indeed added through our tweets, or at least those of whom I moved in the same circles with.

But I decided I needed to bring the add value mantra to disassociated. To me, that meant less posts of an introspective nature, and more, er, useful stuff. No more: “I updated to the latest version of WordPress”, or “I backed up my website database last night”. I wanted to publish articles people might find helpful. I wasn’t sure what interest people, who wanted to find out more about how the Oscar nomination process worked, or etiquette at a classical music recital, would have in stuff meta.

Some people might argue these two examples are informational, or magazine style, posts. Not the sort of thing that belongs on a personal website. But the distinction possibly lies in the definition of a personal website. One of my first websites was a personal website, but not the very first. Instead, it was a web fiction series (emphasis on fiction), a collaboration with a friend. At that point, I saw the web as, among other things, a story telling platform.

In other words, anything other than a platform for publishing diary-like posts. Who could possibly be interested in that, I thought. But after seeing others doing it, I eventually followed suit, and started publishing an online journal. By the time the web fiction series came to an end, I had two websites, one personal — which included my online journal — and the other more magazine-like, that I called Channel Static. But I’m not sure how much “value” Channel Static really added to anything.

This was all in 1997, 1998 though. I don’t think it was until 2007, when I re-invented disassociated as a WordPress website, that value really came into the equation. But not at first. There was much meta-stuff going on. WordPress version this, WordPress version that. There was a whole lot of blogging about blogging also. A lot of that may have been me channelling the zeitgeist though.

Blogging was taking off in 2007. There were people making a full time living through their blogs. It was an exciting time to be blogging alive. Despite running a magazine website that was still meant to be a personal website, in so much as it was mine, it was near nigh impossible to ignore what was happening in what we called the blogosphere.

The 2009 catch cry to “add value” was more of a wake-up call to me to get more serious about what I published here. Even if the message had been intended for the twitterati. But the next person’s interpretation of “adding value” is their call to make. If you feel you achieve that through informational, magazine style, publishing on your personal website, well that’s fine. Exactly the same goes for meta, and blogging about blogging, posts.

They’re not called personal websites for nothing: they’re there for you to do whatever you choose.

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Blog of the .Day, bringing back the blogosphere one blog at a time

22 May 2024

Blog of the .Day, yes, styled as Blog of the .Day, a collaboration between James of James’ Coffee Blog, and Joe Crawford, will highlight a new blog every day.

Aside from casting the spotlight daily on a blog, another goal of the project is to bring the term blogosphere back into popular usage. For those coming in late, the blogosphere — that great interconnectedness of blogs — preceded the Twitterverse, and now looks to have outlived it as well.

Long live the blogosphere.

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Should we let micro-blogging fade away with Twitter?

19 September 2023

Threads. Mastodon. Bluesky. They’re among options for fans of micro-blogging who want to leave Twitter behind. But is seeking out alternatives to Twitter really the solution? American computer scientist and author Cal Newport, writing for The New Yorker, believes we should instead move on from what he sees as the flawed idea of a global conversation platform:

Fortunately, the original small community ethos of the early Internet seems to be mounting a comeback in forms like podcasting, e-mail newsletters, Discord groups, and TalkNats.com-style discussion sites—all of which can offer a more homegrown and personal variety of online interaction.

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Threads still among top apps at Apple and Google

21 August 2023

John Gruber, writing at Daring Fireball last week:

At this moment, Threads is #2 on the App Store’s top free downloads list, and X is #51. On the Play Store, Threads is #6 and X is (scroll, scroll, scroll…) #66. This rebranding would be a firing offense if the mastermind behind it didn’t own the company. (So much for Threads being the one that’s supposedly gasping for air.)

Despite the good app install numbers, engagement reportedly remain low on Meta’s rival to Twitter/X. Abené Clayton, writing for The Guardian, says Threads saw 576,000 active users in August, compared to over two million in July.

Threads is up against a few competitors, Mastodon and Bluesky to name a few, so the market is perhaps a little crowded. I would add Twitter/X to that list, but owner Elon Musk seems intent on destroying the platform, and in the process, his plans for… world domination.

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ABC streamlines Twitter/X activity, Musk calls it censorship

14 August 2023

Last week, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reduced the number of active pages it has on Twitter/X to just four. The Triple J page, which I follow, was among accounts to be archived. David Anderson, managing director of the ABC, says the move follows a trial in February this year, when three accounts were shuttered:

“In February we closed three program accounts, for Insiders, News Breakfast and ABC Politics, and the results of that have been positive,” he said. Mr Anderson said the reduced activity will allow staff to focus “on the accounts that overwhelmingly provide the most value.”

The ABC has been the subject of a number of rounds of staff cuts in recent years, and doubtless archiving some of the Twitter/X pages will reduce staff workloads. Twitter/X owner Elon Musk, however hit back at the decision, labelling it censorship:

Well of course they prefer censorship-friendly social media. The Australian public does not.

What does he mean censorship, and since when has Musk had it down with the Australian public? The ABC is operating on plenty of other channels, including their website, television and radio, along with other social media services such as Facebook.

The ABC also have a number of active Threads accounts, and are looking into boosting their presence there further. Here’s hoping the page of the aforementioned Triple J is among them.

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Twitter/X announces full time dark mode, then goes dark on idea

1 August 2023

A few days after Twitter rebranded as X, company owner Elon Musk announced the X interface would be permanently switched into dark mode. In the usual course of events, dark mode allows users of a website or app to temporarily swap light coloured backgrounds for darker ones.

It’s a feature intended to make looking at screens a little easier on the eyes in low light situations. Such as a dark bedroom, or heaven forbid, while at the movies.

In a tweet (if that’s what they’re still called) posted on Thursday 27 July 2023, Musk said dark mode is “better in every way”. Well, dark mode is better in some circumstances, but not all, and not all of the time either. For some people, far from being helpful, dark mode can present all sorts of difficulties.

I doubt Musk was interested in the comfort of X users though. The call to permanently plunge X into dark mode was probably more to do with the dark mode interface matching the black and white colours of the new X logo.

But the next, day news came that X was backtracking on the dark mode proposal. To a degree. In a follow-up tweet, Musk said light mode will still be available, “but the default will be dark”.

I flicked the email app on my laptop into permanent “dark mode” a year or two ago, and while I find it easier to view in the evenings, it just doesn’t feel right during daylight hours. Of course I could switch back to normal mode at any time, and no doubt there’s an option to automatically toggle light and dark modes anyway, if only I went looking.

If Musk’s intention, with his talk of a permanent dark mode, was to turn the conversation towards X, and away from, say, Threads, it looks like he succeeded, if only for a while. We can only wait to see what the next thing will be.

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The Twitter rebrand, an X shaped railroad switch to the wrong track

28 July 2023

Mary Winter, semiotics specialist at Australian branding agency Principals, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, about the symbolism behind X, the new logo of Twitter, now known as X. The move possibly says a lot about what is going through the mind of Elon Musk, owner of Twitter/X.

Semiotics analysis tells us X is highly symbolic, triggering intense feelings and emotions. There are clear patterns around X in our culture signalling physical or moral danger. Case in point, X often turns up in pornography in the form of X-rated content. As something that signals moral boundaries, our minds are alert to it.

Semiotics, in case the term is new to you, is the study of the use of symbolic communication.

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Everything app killed the blue bird, an obituary for Twitter

26 July 2023

Oliver Darcy, writing for Reliable Sources, a newsletter produced by CNN:

Twitter, the text-based social media platform that played an outsized role on society by serving as a digital town square, was killed by its unhinged owner Elon Musk on Sunday. It was 17 years old.

A zombie Twitter, known only as X, reluctantly endures. A warped and disfigured platform, X marches on like a White Walker, an ugly shell of its former self under the command of a loathsome leader.

Twitter is to be transformed, apparently, into a WeChat like app, allowing users to do all manner of things, from messaging to making payments. But that can’t be what all Twitters members signed up for. It’s like paying to see Barbie, and instead being herded into a screening of Oppenheimer. Musk could’ve bought Twitter, left it alone, and used the user base to leverage his everything app.

Perhaps Musk took inspiration from Meta’s ham-fisted efforts to “transform” Instagram into a TikTok clone. A move all the more perplexing in the wake of Meta’s relatively successful launch of Threads recently, a Twitter-like clone. If Meta wanted a TikTok clone, why not create a stand-alone app, and leverage their Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc., members, to light a fire under it. In the same way they did with Threads. And leave Instagram alone.

But who’s to understand what goes through the minds of the mega-billionaire owners of these tech companies.

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X marks the spot, new Twitter logo soon, following name change

24 July 2023

Twitter owner, Elon Musk, says the present blue bird logo of the micro-blogging service will be changed to an X styled emblem, and that an interim logo could be unveiled sometime today. The new branding follows the recent name change, from Twitter to X Corp last April.

The changes are part of a bigger plan that will see Twitter/X transform into something similar to WeChat, an instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app, that is popular in China.

Exciting times, no?

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Threads revenue tipped to reach $8 billion by 2025

15 July 2023

Threads, Meta’s micro-blogging app, may only be a week old, and boast a relatively small membership of one-hundred million, but some analysts are already predicting, boldly perhaps, the Twitter clone may draw in revenues of eight-billion dollar per annum by 2025:

Evercore ISI analysts reportedly said they expect Threads to add $8 billion to Meta’s annual revenue by 2025. Nevertheless, while marketers and brands are already experimenting with the app, they really want to know when ad formats will be available.

This is the eight-billion dollar question. Part of Threads’ present appeal is the relative absence of advertising. I think most people appreciate ads of some sort will need to make an appearance at some point — this playground Meta has made for us has an overhead after all — but the way they are deployed will be critical.

Any misstep could drive users away, and potentially bring an end to Threads. As a comparison, Twitter, with a membership of some 368 million daily active users, made four and a half billion dollars in 2022, chiefly from advertising. Whether we get to see the 2023 numbers remains to be seen.

Via Matt Fleury.

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