Tom MacWright

0 Tweets

Yesterday I finally took the time to write and run a script to delete all my tweets. So, the tweet announcing this blog post will be my first. Again.

There’s not too much to say about it, but here goes:

I like Twitter - the space, the community, and the product. I even think it’s kind of a good thing that you can’t delete tweets, and having seen the product-development arc of many other social platforms, I even think it’s a good thing that the daily Twitter experience doesn’t change that much. Abuse control is the only change to the platform that should be prioritized.

My relationship with Twitter - as a software company on which I publish - is not like my relationship with Facebook. Facebook is constantly testing the limits of what its users will tolerate. It long ago realized that normal social sharing wasn’t enough, so started controlling the mixture, spiking it with biases and signals that produce reams of eye-roll-inducing ‘rewiring’ and ‘seratonin’ referencing internet journalism.

Part of what I like about Twitter is that it seems fungible for creators in non-bullshit ways. I love art assignment bot and tinycarebot and love that they’re cheap experiments by creative people, not promoted ad campaigns. It’s a textbox and you can do what you want.

So, I’m making my Twitter presence ephemeral. What I write on is the historical record. I’ll use Twitter as usual - an outlet for bad jokes and links to blog posts, but it’ll be a fresh start.

The long tail of 13,838 tweets wasn’t of much use for me, or other people. Twitter makes historical searches and API access inconvenient, and the culture is focused almost solely on the now. Most of the rare instances in which old tweets become relevant are ‘I told you so’ moments. The historical archive certainly helped build a more accurate marketing profile of @tmcw, and probably helps companies run unofficial background checks to check my ‘culture fit’.

For those uses, or if you’re just nostalgic, you can can buy a copy of my archive for just $5 and go wild.

For the social purpose of Twitter, an infinite archive feels incidental and unnecessary, so why treat it as sacred?

Tortoise performing in a house that’s about to be demolished