If Twitter Goes, Where Will Writers Convene?

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

In case you missed it, Twitter has had a hectic couple of weeks (or months, really). From Elon Musk's takeover to the layoffs and departure of many of its core employees to rumors of the platform's eventual demise, it begs the question: what will happen when Twitter is gone?

Personally speaking, I use Twitter far more passively than I ever did in the past. There once was a time I was so active on the site, I considered myself an expert on building a community there, but with minimal effort. Now, I use the site to keep track of breaking news and apply for writing jobs. 

But even that limited use of the social media platform will be difficult to replace elsewhere. I don't find many editors on other sites asking for people to DM them to apply for jobs like I do on Twitter. Breaking news is hard to find on Facebook (stupid algorithm). 

I've seen people talk about Tribel, Tumblr, and the more mysterious, Mastodon. All of which I'm on, by the way. Just look for @BeingTheWriter on any of those three sites. But in less than 5 minutes of using those platforms, I realize they don't capture the same community feeling as Twitter.  

Then there's talk of people starting a Substack which reminds me of the burgeoning blogger days of yore. Even then, there are only so many newsletters I can follow before I mindlessly hit the delete button and never read them. 

And then there's the final factor that has made all of this more difficult as I think of Twitter's demise: me. I find it hard to imagine rebuilding a new community on a new social media site. The battle of thinking of something clever (or informative or helpful) to say, finding followers that are willing to follow me back, and being consistently active feels overwhelming to me.

So, much like the musicians on the Titanic (which people who remain on Twitter have been compared to, strangely enough), on Twitter, I will quietly remain. Although not so much making music on the site as I am sitting on a deck chair watching the players play. 

Where will you convene if Twitter does, in fact, fall by the wayside?


Angela Mackintosh said...

Great food for thought, Nicole! I can't remember when it was, maybe early this year, but one of our contestants had just sent in her bio, and then quickly wrote back to say to remove her Twitter handle because she'd heard Elon Musk was buying Twitter. That must've been when the news first broke. I was talking to a literary agent about Twitter and she said everyone was moving to Hive. I have no idea what that is since I don't do social media. But this has happened before. Remember MySpace? That was huge back in the day, but then they found a way to reinvent themselves. A podcaster mentioned they missed the old days of having a static AltaVista or Angelfire website. Remember those? There was a certain magic to the internet back then where you'd get a disc in the mail to load up America Online. Lol. I think it'll continually evolve. That's why having your own website, blog, or place to keep your content is important. And I'm not into Substack as a writer/publisher because you can't export your content and take it somewhere else.

Nicole Pyles said...

Hive! That is not one I've heard of, I'll absolutely have to look that up. And it's true, the internet does have a way of reinventing itself. :)

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