On Musk and Twitter

On Musk and Twitter

Elon Musk has taken over twitter; I wrote a short piece on LinkedIn on the deal, its funding, and the technology. Since then some, including the FT (£) have commented on its funding, not the least the bank loans and thus collateral required. The linkedin article has some interesting links commenting on the deal, or at least I think so.

I also like this theory, that it is/was all a big mistake which Musk’s ego cannot permit him to admit,

The first thing Musk did was fire senior managers but the second is to fire half the work force. Advertisers are having second thoughts, based on wild comments made by Musk, not helped by the fact that many of the job cuts are aimed at content moderation teams and that programmers being let go are those who released the least lines of code, as many have commented, this is unlikely to end well. Another threat to a platform like twitter is that of regulatory intervention; in the UK, the Online Harms Bill is going through Parliament and the EU will also legislate on fake information and cyberbullying. Since politicians are so often the targets of such bad behaviour, there’s little support for Musk’s free speech line. Furthermore, the way in which the ‘reduction in force’ is being conducted would seem to be in breach of both Californian and UK Law, and both Prospect and GMB have commented on the UK downsizings, and in Europe, I wonder if twitter has established a European Workers Council.

Many of twitters users are talking of leaving but as Maria Farrel comments, on Crooked Timber,

There are now tens of thousands of journalists, policymakers, academics and various other thought-leader types who viscerally get what it is to be trapped inside a monopolistic tech platform, and for it to be costly and painful to leave.

Maria Farrel

Richard Murphy and the ORG (and others) are asking questions about the private ownership of the digital world’s town square. The ORG and most others point at mastodon as an alternative, which is designed as impossible to capture.

What users need is pretty clear. They need greater control over what content they receive, how it is prioritised and how it is presented. The way this is done, in a digital world, is to create more “open” systems that allow third parties to repurpose, filter and represent content in ways that users want. This can and should include better ways to moderate content.

The Open Rights Group

The social networking system lock-in, is the audience and social graph. It’s not been possible, without coding skills to extract the social graph or even the message feed from twitter for a while and linkedin now require one to know the email address of your proposed new linkedin correspondent. i.e. I am looking at transferring my tweet followers to linkedin so that I have a means of contacting them if they decide to quit twitter. In terms of personal twitter hygiene I have been using tweet delete to remove old and unwanted tweets and likes. I have a mastodon account on mastodon.social, but don’t read it every day and neither the big news sites nor my preferred commentators are there.  (I may change my habits, the quality of my mastodon home feed is immeasurably better today, than it was last week.) I should add that my mastodon postings have been more dilatory and personal than those on twitter, and of course, many of my twitter posts are retweets, probably more than posts which may make twitter easier to leave. For those worrying about the complexity of federation, or the fediverse, don’t worry, these are for developers and service engineers.

One user response already in progress is to adopt alternative short messaging products, mastodon is the obvious choice; another response for content authors would be to return to blogging, and encourage people to use a feed reader such as feedly! At least then their readers can get the content as they choose. , and some excessively long threads don’t get read.


For my European readers, although if reading my blogs, they don’t need the help,

Ich frage mich, ob Twitter einen Europäischen Betriebsrat hat
Mi chiedo se Tweitter abbia un Consiglio europeo dei lavoratori
Je me demande si Twitter a un comité d'entreprise européen
 
 …

Retweets, likes and bookmarks

Retweets, likes and bookmarks

Twitter have, it seems, changed the way and thus the semantics of the way in which we can tag ours and others tweets. One can no longer parse the history of one’s own likes but we now have bookmarks which can. Up until now, I have said that, “… comments are mine, retweets are not agreement, likes likely to mean ‘read later'”. I’d best change this.

From now my policy is “comments are mine, retweets, likes and bookmarks do not signify agreement”.

Retweets everyone can see, followers get this in the feed, and the author is notified.

Likes, the author is notified and the like count incremented.

Bookmarks  can be browsed. …

Social media is innovating software and systems architecture

Twitter bought Blacktype in July 2011 and as part of that acquisition got hold of Storm. This is a press release detailing the publication of Storm’s code on Github.

They position Storm as a parallel messaging, disk less system.

M Davey asks if this has much use in Capital Markets here.

I wonder if ‘Time Series Order’ might not be a serious inhibitor to its adoption, but Chief Engineer, Nathan Marz on his blog seems to think it could be part of the answer to a large number of problems. …

Are blogs losing their infuence?

Richard Morgan sent me this article, “Are Blogs Losing Their Authority To The Statusphere?” dated March 10th 2009, which argues that while blog authority ranking according to Technorati remains fairly static, the scores of the various blogs are declining. Technorati uses an inlist scoring algorithm which may be part of the problem, but it would seem to me that micro-blogging is impacting the strength of the voice of blogs as a communications tool, which is what the article argued. In some way’s not just micro-blogging, but the various places where people can and do record what they do and think. …  …

Mucking around

The rest of my August posts to the sun/oracle blog related to creating a personal spore, bluetooth on XP, using twitter, using get satisfaction, firefox 3.*, roller, 2nd brain, the demise of slynkr, the now defunct Grazr and FAT file systems with Virtual Box, together with the advice not too. …

Microblogging

On my sun/oracle blog, I posted a little piece on Microblogging, examining Twitter and the fact I was using del.icio.us as a microblog. The original article also talks about plazes and the initial ideas about creating  single spore. It notes the early attempts to make Twitter suitable for phone users, mainly through SMS. …