Renewed purpose

Goodbye, Twitter

It’s been nearly two years since I posted an update on this project! I’ve been moving it forward slowly and quietly since then, and I’ll share some details about those activities in due time, as well as details about how work and life changes have introduced new and different demands on my time and somewhat expanded the scope of the site. But for now, the most important takeaway is that my fundamental vision for V7 remains intact, and it’s taken on a new urgency in light of the fact that I’ve finally given up on Twitter.

Elon Musk and his post-acquisition rampage are obviously the straw that broke the camel’s back, but I’ve been increasingly disenchanted with the service for many years: dismayed by the reductive and pugilistic discourse, held hostage by FOMO, and resentful of the validation junkie it’s made of me, slavishly monitoring engagement on every one-liner, link, or self-promotional tidbit I post. I’m just so tired of all the noise, and while it’s sad to see a once-special thing unilaterally demolished by a bonafide cartoon villain, I’m frankly grateful to finally have the Band-Aid ripped off.

I haven’t deleted my account—I hate breaking links—and I won’t say with 100% certainty that I’ll never return, but now that my Twitter archive may be complete, I have a renewed vigor for giving it a permanent home on my site. I’ve lamented in previous posts that reformatting that archive may be V7’s most complicated task, but progress has now begun in earnest, and while the finish line isn’t in sight yet, the path is getting much clearer. More on that soon, but in the meantime, I think my final tweet summarizes things nicely:

I had a website long before Twitter and I’ll have a website long after Twitter. Not sure what my future is on the social internet, but you can always find me and my RSS feed here:

To further signal my commitment to RSS, which has been steadfast for nearly 20 years now, I’ve added a page to my site listing all the other sites I follow via RSS, which will hopefully grow. Back in the day, we called this a blogroll, but I never much liked that term, so, in a nod to the social media era I’m hoping to leave behind, I’m calling the page Following. I’m not holding my breath for RSS to achieve mainstream adoption, but as someone who prefers open protocols to proprietary silos, I’m always rooting for it, and I hope Twitter’s downward spiral will remind people that RSS is still out there, waiting patiently for them to participate.