Whither Microblogging?

Created 2023-07-08, last updated 2023-07-11.

Whither microblogging? How do you connect people enough, but not too much? How do you help people find other people they should know, but keep people from hurting other people they don't know (and therefore, don't think of as people)?

Herewith a mini-fugue about connecting people, with reading links.

A fugue is either a flight of music in which voices chase or follow each other throughout a larger piece - hallo, Herr Musiker Bach! - or when somebody is suddenly and unexpectedly thrust far away from their home or usual surroundings, and is unable to recall some or all of their past. They may not even remember their own identity, and may assume a new one, or they may appear confused and disoriented. The exact cause of dissociative fugue is unknown, but it is often linked to severe stress, which might be the result of traumatic events that the person has experienced or witnessed.

There was a time when we weren't all connected. Around 2005, the web connected us, with what we called at the time “social software” -- now, “social networks,” or an oxymoron, “social media.”

Web 2.0 is Made of People!

Connecting people, person-to-person, is good. Aggregating people together algorithmically for the sake of scale is bad.

“Social media are, on balance and by design, bad for human beings.”

“And Threads is also proof that Meta, even after all these years, still has no other ambition aside from scale.”

Aram Zucker-Scharff wrote this only a month ago, but already it feels like the ancient past:

“Twitter is not a social network. Twitter is an event platform where we celebrate content. Its other function is to help you desperately try not to be the subject of content. Twitter is a platform where we have a big party every time someone posts online some writing we like or a big roast when they post some real bad shit (and yes, specifically writing). Twitter has never been a microphone, it has always been an amp.”

The truth is that the Twitter we knew and loved wasn't a set of technical features, but the people and the way they inhabited a space together.

Where shall we go from here?

There are promising starts (with my addresses):

Each of these is already successful in their own way, at smaller scale. And scale for scale's sake is the wrong goal. But it'll be a while before they're big like (semi-decentralized) email or (centralized, bad news) Twitter or Facebook.

What should we have as goals?

And at least as importantly, what should we have as anti-goals?

Keywords to look for: humane, humanity, human connection, scale-free, decentralization, federation

Link to this post: https://peterkaminski.wiki/whither_microblogging

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