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Thoughts on Social Media 4/?: What I Want, What I Really Really Want

Oh right, sorry, I was in the middle of a blog series, wasn’t I? It’s just that Tweetdeck came back and I get a bit distracted. Posting is busted, tho. So I’ll maybe come back here for a minute…

All this nonsense has got me re-evaluating what I actually want out of social media. Like why am I spending all this time on these websites.

First is probably a low-friction, low-commitment way to stay in touch with friends. Not many friends on Twitter, mind you. And even fewer the last few months. But it’s still something I value. Even if I don’t often reach out, I still like catching little glimpses of what people are up to. That’s nice. It’s why I’m still on Facebook, gods help me. And if Twitter really does finally go away, I’ll probably lose touch with some people.

Twitter’s also a fantastic way to keep up with—and play a role in—the local community. For whatever reason, every elected official and member of the press decided they had to be on there. Ever institution has a presence there. It’s actually kind of remarkable. I can’t help but think that’s why certain billionaires decided it had to go.

So I want that, but it’s mostly not up to me. I don’t know if we’ll get that back. The only place I think we have a chance of getting anything like that back is the Fediverse. But that “every elected official/institition decided they had to be there” bit hasn’t happened yet, if it ever does. The EU is there. So’s the German government. And just today, The Netherlands.

Note that all three of those are running their own instances. Which makes for way better “verification” than any checkmark silliness.

Institutions move slowly. And frankly, it’s a bit of a miracle they all ended up on Twitter in the first place. I think there’s a definite opportunity for some company to white label some sort of fediverse presence for them and maybe make some money off it.

I have thoughts about features I look for in social media websites, but I think I’ll leave those for part 5.

Featured image is DSC00002 by cw. CC-BY

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Darcy Casselman

Blogging as the flying squirrel.