OK, they’re not actually masquerading, but last time I looked (a long time ago) there was a more-or-less dormant account called
devilgate, which wasn’t me. I mean, unless it was, and I had somehow set it up using an email address that I no longer have, or something. ↩︎
Manton Reece’s Kickstarter campaign for Micro.blog, which I wrote about before, was successful. In fact very successful. He made his stretch goal, which means he’ll be able to employ a part-time Community Manager for the service, which should help with the kind of abuse that we’ve seen on Twitter over the years.
So congratulations to him. And as a backer I look forward to getting the
devilgate username shortly.
Not that I’ll actually need a username on the site, I don’t think, as I expect to be using it to post short entries here, syndicated to Twitter. But it won’t hurt to have it. If only to stop someone else masquerading as me, like on Ebay.1
Twitter is great in many ways, but it’s far from problem-free. (Thought experiment: if Twitter hadn’t existed, would Trump have got elected?)
The abuse and lack of tools to combat it are of course the major ones. Lindy West’s Guardian article on leaving Twitter is only the latest such.
But another problem is the old one of owning your own words. Of controlling the platform on which you publish. I’ve posted briefly about this before (though that was Google, rather than Twitter). Sure, Twitter isn’t likely to go bust and delete everyone’s tweets without any warning. But you never know when they’re going to change a policy, or change ownership, or make some other change that — deliberately or not — shuts down your access, removes your entire history, or otherwise lessens or removes the experience.
There have been attempts to build open alternatives, such as Diaspora, but I confess that I’ve only ever come away from it confused.
It would be better if there were a simple way we could all publish to our own sites, but still get the benefit of Twitter’s network. Say hello to Micro.blog, a new approach from Manton Reece, blogger, podcaster and developer.
It should allow us to post Tweet-style short posts on our own sites, and also send them to Twitter. Which may give us the best of both worlds.
As well as developing the service and the app, he’s writing a book about the subject of indie microblogging, and has a Kickstarter going to help him out. It’s worth offering a few bucks if you’re at all interested in the matter.