I have recently observed a lot of anger from people across the world towards social networks of all forms. Especially Twitter. I had also expressed why I can’t quit Twitter completely for now - there are still a few people left there whom I follow, and a few friends.
I recently had a discussion with one such friend whom I was trying to convince to give up on Twitter and move all his posting to his custom domain. I demoed Micro.blog and Blot, hoping that the simplicity of getting started would be enough to abate any friction the change might throw at him.
He listened patiently, he is an active poster on Twitter. He has a distinct voice and perspective towards all varied things. And so my attempt had a selfish tinge too; it would help me if I could follow his posts in feed readers, even better if on Micro.blog.
He looked genuinely curios. “But what’s the big deal with owning the content and the domain?” I thought I had his attention.
I gave him the standard pitch, primarily how it would lend him control of his online identify, allow him not to lose his words when some private silo decides to change the rules of its services and how, if that happens, he can decide to take his content and move to some place better.
All he said in response was “what’s so special with what I write on the web that I would want to maintain it over time? If Twitter dies tomorrow, I will just move to some place else.”
I was left astonished. Here’s a guy who has been posting his opinions on all things, at times even as Tweetstorms, sharing some fascinating stuff for all; here’s a guy who has produced at least a short novel worth of content on Twitter and Facebook, but has the least attachment to his words.
May be it’s a regional trend, may be people in some places are more forward, more open to spending money and effort for the control.
But one thing is for sure. We can never convince people to give up silos and start owning their identities, their content on their own domain or start moving to services like Micro.blog till we make them realise how worthy the words they write are. Even tweet length ones.