Social Media 3.0

Once upon a time there was LiveJournal.

Oh wait, we need to go back further? I mean, technically: Once upon a time there was Usenet. The Usenet Archives remember me. And I guess after that was Friendster and Orkut and probably a few others I tried, but LiveJournal was where I first found an online home. This shouldn’t be surprising. This blog is the direct successor to my old LiveJournal, with all the content copied over.

What is sad is that when LiveJournal was bought, people scattered. I had already started using Twitter (as you can notice that most of my later posts were just accumulations of my tweets), but still occasionally went for long-form content. I had already reconnected with many of my LJ mutuals on Twitter, but some just drifted away from social media entirely or used the opportunity to clean-slate their online personas and not reconnect with their weak social links. Twitter had the benefit of being a gradual process. It was hitting the critical mass and therefore was the place to be. Some of the loss is sad, but LiveJournal is still technically up and running, so all that content is still there.

This Twitter failure is not that.

It was sudden. There is no one place for people to go, that everyone can go without blowing it up. Twitter has grown so large that no one platform could replace it, so we are fracturing. So I’m gonna organize my options.


LiveJournal

Pro: I have lifetime membership.

Con: My feed is literally RSS feeds and scripts collecting tweets from my friends, so that’s a non-starter.

Cohost

Pro: Developed set of contacts.

Con: Almost completely separate mutuals from Twitter. Drowning in the algorithm. Evil.

Cohost

Pro: Centralized

Con: Blew up with the slightest bit of attention. Very early in their feature set. Most of the people I went there to follow went elsewhere already.

Mastodon

Pro: Got the most traction of people I knew.

Con: Initial onboarding and general concept is off-putting for some, so they won’t go there. Is sometimes randomly slow as content from an impacted instance is loaded. Feels like I’m walking on eggshells around content police (sometimes I just gotta shitpost).

Hive Social

Pro: Centralized. Polished. Ads1. Might be getting traction?

Con: App-only for now. Ads2.

Facebook

Pro: Developed set of contacts.

Con: Almost completely separate mutuals from Twitter. Drowning in the algorithm. Evil.

Tumblr

Pro: General vibe in line with what I’d want.

Con: Still hate the reblogging structure. Why can’t I just comment on posts?

Twitter

Pro: Everyone loves it, we know what to expect.

Con: Owned by the dumbest rich man on the planet. Will meltdown catastrophically in a few weeks.

This blog

Pro: I know the site admin. It’s me.

Con: No one will ever read this unless I link to it from somewhere else.


So yeah. It’s probably going to be Hive Social or Mastodon, but I’m likely to keep a bunch of apps around and collect contacts until they fade away or something. Oh, and Discord is still a thing, but that’s different because it’s so siloed. I guess we’ll see where we are in a few weeks?

1Yes, that’s a pro, because ads means business plan, and a business plan means they’ve actually got a chance of sticking around.

2But yeah, ads. Ugh.