What a Mess

What a Mess

Earlier tonight, I joked about Bluesky moving up in my social media power rankings. To position number 4 of the 17 sites and services that I now need to update in order to reach the audience that has now completely dispersed since Xitter shit the bed. This is actually not a joke. It's a nightmare.

When launching this site last month, I tried to map out what the social media strategy would be.1 Ultimately, I decided I would create dedicated feeds on Xitter and Threads. The former, mainly for legacy reasons and because that's a known behavior – some people want to follow feeds of content there – the latter as sort of a "trying to skate to where the puck is going" situation. That is, the notion that Threads may very well be on its way to replacing Xitter. Not entirely, of course. But like 75% of the way there. Good enough.

The reality is that it's not good enough. And, I suspect, nothing will be good enough. I think the social media distribution game is done – at least when it comes to links. It's partially the (comically stupid) move Xitter made to deprecate links in their feed. It's partially just the world moving on (to TikTok, Reels, and the like). But it's all just way too complicated to manage now. My god, I forgot to post to LinkedIn tonight. Kill me.

All of this is part of the reason why I wanted Spyglass to be at least partially a link blog. I believe there's still a subset of users who crave that link mineral. I just think they, like me, are not sure where to find it right now. And those holding said links have no idea where to share them. And don't wish to spend an hour each day sharing them to those 17 different services.

Federation may alleviate some of this, but spoiler alert: not all of it.

Twitter basically recreating Nuzzel within Twitter was super-promising at first. Then Xitter made it laughably bad (and paywalled it). Artifact had some early promise, and then immediately committed seppuku. Flipboard, somehow, lingers. A few other sites of yesteryear do as well,2 but nothing quite like Twitter pre-Xitter.3

That was fun. You shared links, people interacted with them. You talked about them. And then on to the next one. This is all a chore now. It enough to drive anyone back to RSS.4

1 Which may be the filthiest sentence I've ever written, anywhere. Gross.

2 Techmeme, the tech news link aggregator created long ago by my friend Gabe Rivera, remains king. Kudos for never even launching a mobile app in the face of immense ridicule. Just keep it simple. Links, links, and more links.

3 Might this new service help in some way?

4 I kid, I kid. Fun old takes aside, I've been using RSS the whole time. I'm a little worried that my beloved Reeder app on iOS and Mac hasn't been updated in a few years. But they'll pry it from my cold hands, just as they had to do with Google Reader back in the day. Perhaps the last time a company messed up content distribution to this extent.