The people in my tech community who talk about community find Twitter so vile that there’s little discussion of the good parts. It was a great place for discovering, building, and “doing” community. And it still is, though mixed in with all the other stuff1.
This history of DevOps, cloud stuff, and everything that followed - open source, even! - would be different if Twitter weren’t around. We’d be in…listservs? Blogs? Facebook, even. I don’t think the community would have evolved as quickly or as well as it did. (Maybe that would have been fine!)
Enough of the tech thought leaders (that’s right!) are leaving Twitter, or at least splitting there time between Mastodon and Twitter, that something will probably happen for our community.
Let’s see what happens in six then 12 months, but I predict that the IT, children-of-DevOps, and open source community will move to Mastodon. The whole thing is built by them and matches their morals and architectural models. It’s a perfect fit…and many of them (us?) are already over there.
It’s either that or goofy Discord channels, blogs, or newsletters. None of those are really good for the way this community likes to interact.
“All the other stuff” is a bit vague. Over the past 16 years of Twitter and social media as a whole, I’ve never gotten a grasp beyond intuition that it all has negative effects. Of course it does! It’s making it easier for people to talk with each other, so it makes it easier for the good and bad part of…people. I can only think of alcohol as an example. Overall, you’re better just not drinking. But if you drink in moderation, it’s fine and a massive part of what it is to be human and exist in the culture. But, if you drink too much, it’s terrible. This is almost like “if you don’t like what’s on TV, change the channel.” But that thinking was based on a whole where there were only four or six channels. As with that TV worrying (and, later, video games and “rap music”) a lot of the condemnation thinking is based on what the condemner thinks other people are doing wrong, how they’re being manipulated. As an 80s kid, I was the one who’s brain was being rotted by TV and video games, who was listening to the rap music, and even plated D&D (well, Advanced D&D). And here I am. And all my peers. This makes me always dismissive of worrying about how a new medium is messing up all the other people. Beats me. ↩︎