8 votes

How to fix Twitter and social media

7 comments

  1. [3]
    NaraVara
    Link
    Only sharing this because I am astonished this man could write an article this long functionally arguing that Twitter should work more like Mastodon without once indicating that he even knows...

    Only sharing this because I am astonished this man could write an article this long functionally arguing that Twitter should work more like Mastodon without once indicating that he even knows Mastodon exists.

    This, to me, points to two things.
    1.) Mastodon's failure to grow beyond a pretty narrow clade of user personas
    2.) The failure of elite media to understand that individual social media sites are not a public square, the open internet is the public square. These sites like to conflate themselves with the internet because they aspire to be monopolists, but it's disappointing how often journalists and thought leaders fall for it.

    18 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      I’m mostly just quoting this because it is worth repeating, but boy is this a frustrating concept to have to teach people all the time. They get so invested in the idea of one being able to access...

      The failure of elite media to understand that individual social media sites are not a public square, the open internet is the public square. These sites like to conflate themselves with the internet because they aspire to be monopolists, but it's disappointing how often journalists and thought leaders fall for it.

      I’m mostly just quoting this because it is worth repeating, but boy is this a frustrating concept to have to teach people all the time. They get so invested in the idea of one being able to access whatever platform that they often invent the concept of having some sort of natural right to an audience - which of course they do not see as being as crazy as it is.

      4 votes
    2. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Counterpoint: "Hey guys. So look, we all know Twitter has issues, right? Y'all seen plenty of 'em. So how about these features that would make using it that much less crap and maybe even, dare I...

      Counterpoint:

      "Hey guys. So look, we all know Twitter has issues, right? Y'all seen plenty of 'em. So how about these features that would make using it that much less crap and maybe even, dare I say, good? Maybe? <lists features>"

      The next day, one of the readers:

      "Right, so I want to find out if there are, like, alternatives to Twitter or something... No way, there are! And this one – gasp – has all these cool features Jaron talked about! Ma-- Mastodon? Alright, let's check it out!"

      In other words: could it be that subtly shaping a non-techie's opinion of potential future Twitter replacements would be good for said non-techie, instead of forcing something very technical onto them under the banner of "THIS IS BETTER", is of benefit to the mostly tech-illiterate society of today?

      (Yes, I'm including everyone in it. Boomers, zoomers, everyone in between. Most people haven't a clue how the shit they use works: they just want to complete an action in as few hoops as possible. Pointing out that some hoops are not like the others may be of benefit.)

      3 votes
  2. [3]
    drannex
    Link
    Lanier is a fantastic person. He has been writing and sounding the horn on all of these issues for the past 25 years. His books are incredibly prescient and about 10-15 years early in predictions....

    Lanier is a fantastic person. He has been writing and sounding the horn on all of these issues for the past 25 years. His books are incredibly prescient and about 10-15 years early in predictions.

    Jaron, I should mention, is considered the Father of Virtual Reality where he worked on VR in the early 80s, and once you've seen him speak you won't forget it (partially for the words, partially for his style).

    There are some things I disagree with him on, and some things are a bit strange, but his points are nominally valid for the most part.

    4 votes
    1. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      This is partly why I was so annoyed. The article itself it pretty spot on about a viable approach, but he just sort of glosses over that people have already been working on exactly this approach....

      Lanier is a fantastic person. He has been writing and sounding the horn on all of these issues for the past 25 years. His books are incredibly prescient and about 10-15 years early in predictions.

      This is partly why I was so annoyed. The article itself it pretty spot on about a viable approach, but he just sort of glosses over that people have already been working on exactly this approach. I'm not even much of a Fediverse booster, I think Mastodon is both way too confusing for a lay person to wrap their heads around and also too boring/cliquey for people to bother figuring it out. But I don't understand how there could be so many conversations about free speech and the public square in the wake of the Elon Musk bid over Twitter and yet none of them even mention this as a thing.

      The article byline even says he's got some kind of consulting or residency/fellowship type arrangement at Microsoft and I ask myself "how could he not know!?"

      8 votes
    2. nothis
      Link Parent
      I recently watched his TED talk from 1990. The whole VR craze was in full swing over 30 years ago.

      I recently watched his TED talk from 1990. The whole VR craze was in full swing over 30 years ago.

      2 votes
  3. nothis
    Link
    I've been coming to a very similar view, lately. Group size is the odd factor in today's social media, turning individuals into broadcasters. By simply limiting the size of groups and thus the...

    I've been coming to a very similar view, lately. Group size is the odd factor in today's social media, turning individuals into broadcasters. By simply limiting the size of groups and thus the number of people they can reach, a lot of problems with social media would go away and the "social" aspect could rise again.

    3 votes