I left Facebook about a year ago and have been using Twitter as my primary social tool ever since. At the heart of this decision were my main gripes with Facebook: **Facebook misrepresents relationships ** It’s clear that Facebook was designed by a young person with borderline Aspergers. Relationships are black and white, you’re either a Friend or you’re not, and they’re symmetrical - information has to flow both ways.
I’ve never really liked Facebook, as regular readers of the blog will be all too aware of, but I’ve been a user of it in the last couple of years, mostly at the cajoling of friends. During this same period of time I also started using Twitter, a service which I was also skeptical about initially. Previously, I’d always relied on my blog, forums and official sites to do my interacting, and I wasn’t sure I needed anything else.
Having already disrespected mailing lists, I might as well get all my ranting about old staple communication techniques out of my system, by admitting that I’ve never really liked IRC. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, particularly as a casual social tool, but I just can’t say I’ve ever received any great value from it in a project sense, primarily because of it’s real-time and unfocussed nature. As a user of a project, I’ve frequently found that the people that are able to answer my questions are not online at the same time as I am.
It’s now almost a year since I decided to try using Twitter, specifically to post about Ogre development work I’m doing and other Ogre-related things (well, most of the time anyway). Seeing as I totally deride the concept that it’s a good thing to share the inconsequential, tedious minutae of your life with the internet and view it as the absolute pinnacle of sad, narcissistic behaviour, joining Twitter was a hard sell.
So, the intertubes are awash today with people venting their spleens about Twitter’s decision to stop sending replies by people you do follow, but to people you don’t follow, to your main Twitter feed. Previously you had the option either way, and now some people are getting their panties in a bunch about it. There are two things to say about this issue: Personally, I don’t want to see all the random replies to other people I don’t follow.
I’m a bit of a grump when it comes to a lot of the Web 2.0 startups of recent years. I still dislike Facebook - originally it was just an in-principle reaction based on their rather irritating child-CEO and his ability to attract vast amounts of investment based on a business plan made entirely of arm-waving and wet tissue paper, but now having used it for a while, I dislike it on its own merits.
To my everlasting disgust I finally caved in and signed up to Facebook today. My singular reason was that a friend of mine has just moved to North America (to complete his years-long transition to the dark side) and he’d stated his intentions to publish most of his personal stuff there rather than blogging about it, so with much grumbling I now have a placeholder account to let me peer into that little den.