Twitter nightmware

Last year, I had what seemed an awesome idea: I downloaded my whole Twitter history and imported it in my blog database as short notes. I was deep in the Indie Web mood, and I did not want all the short messages I’ve published online to disappear when Twitter decides about it.

It was not an awesome idea. It was a terrible one.

I started to read my early Twitter life, those messages I posted from the beach in a pre iPhone era using my antique Nokia 6230. I was trying to remember when or why I said those things, what I was doing then, who I was meeting and what was my general mood towards the world.

2007, leaving a job I hated… 2008, announcing my second kid’s birth on Twitter before I even called my mom, 2009… 2010… pushing drunk or depressed messages all over the net, private jokes with long lost « friends » all mixed with links to more or less interesting but highly RTable contents… They didn’t fit here.

They didn’t fit it because I’ve always tried to write high quality content here, up to force myself to a severe self censorship doubled with a severe impostor syndrome I’ve learnt to get rid of.

The truth it I’ve been tweeting crap since I joined the network, and I don’t really care about it.

I started to think about it a lot. The wisest path would be to as myself « is that tweet worth pushing? », stop posting rants, poor quality links and polish my online self. I should respect my followers by only providing them with high quality tweets.

After all, last week a marketing intern told me I was influential, which means I should take care about that shouldn’t I? Bullshit, I’ll be influential the day I tell my followers to dress in pink and send me 10€ each month and they do it. I’m neither a brand nor a public person, and I can afford pushing stupid links and crappy jokes as much as I can when every account are playing the follower race all looking the same.

So I started to wonder why I don’t care more about what I post, and as a consequence, why I don’t care about losing my 28,778 tweets.

The reason is: the stream nature of Twitter.

When you look at a blog, you’ll find a structure, usually defined by the URL. Many blogs structure posts by year, month and day, using /yyyy/mm/dd/something, categories, tags, author. Even that one with the first level permalinks has a – quite flat – structure. You can browse it by tag if you want, because tags structure the way I want content to be found.

Twitter, Google+, Facebook… they have no structure. They’re flat streams of data you can search. Indeed, they’re link to their owner, but the content is still stream.

There’s nothing new here, but it explains a lot.

Thinking about it, I don’t see a fundamental difference between Twitter and Snapchat. Snapchat makes the content disappear as soon as it’s read. Twitter doesn’t, but the content gets lost in the stream of information, and I have the strong believe it’s not meant to last.

This is the very reason why I added notes on Publify. Notes are title less, tag less blog posts you can directly push on Twitter with a link to the Twitter message, following the POSSE philosophy. Notes are not longer tweets, even though they’re often. Notes are tweets that are meant to last, and survive the service hype.

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