Twitter and the Blog(s)

An update on some changes to the blog and my near-term plan for navigating Twitter's likely descent into a dystopian, Lord of the Flies, mad maxian hellscape.

Twitter and the Blog(s)
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ / Unsplash

The risks associated with using a now privately held Twitter are vast and much more complex than those associated with platforming hate and abuse alone (which are terrible as well but get almost all of the attention). However, I'm not going to detail those risks here.

Long-time followers will know that I started scaling back my Twitter activity years ago. My account has been locked down for quite some time. A few years ago I wrote python scripts to remove over 50,000 followers that were either bots or engaged in various types of hate speech/abuse/trolling, and I manually banned many others. My engagement with the platform has dropped as well. Growing my audience at all costs has never been one of my objectives and most of the people/organizations that I could reasonably expect to pay attention to me already do. However, as much as I'd like it to be, this isn't a post about leaving Twitter. I, like many others, have a professional network there that cannot be replicated anywhere else. I'm fortunate to have connections with a global array of government officials, journalists, security experts, and others that will not be easily transferable to another platform anytime soon. I think that day is probably coming, and a lot of players are now heavily incentivized to try and capitalize on the desire for something new, but that alternative does not exist right now.

This blog (newsletter if you're a subscriber) meets my primary needs as far as public writing and communication are concerned. However, it does have one gap that Twitter filled nicely and that is that it lacks a mechanism for publishing short-form content that doesn't disrupt the flow of longer form writing and analysis. I've wanted an integrated approach that wasn't Twitter-based for a long time but it just doesn't exist and I'm not going to hack around and try to build it.

Enter Micro.blog. If you check the menu you'll see a link to mine. While not as integrated as I'd like, it does what I need and it does it well. The platform itself is pretty brilliant. There are no engagement-boosting algorithms or features (such as retweet or like) that ultimately drive toxic levels of engagement. It's a nice, chill, well-designed space with a smart and thoughtful community.

Micro.blog can also automatically cross-post to many other platforms. That means I can post to Twitter without having to actually look at it (huge bonus!) and if I ever choose to completely disengage from the Twittersphere I can do that with a single click while my timeline at Micro.blog remains under my control and undisturbed. It also means that you can get these updates by following me on Mastodon if you prefer. Everything I post at Micro.blog goes to both platforms automatically. So, if you're interested in what's changed on the blog, or updates on disinformation, intelligence, and other topics that are too short to warrant a full blog post here you might want to check either of those platforms out. And if you find all of that much too complicated, the latest short-form updates from me will always be one click away on the menu here.

Update 11/8/2022

Things just kept getting worse by the hour so I accelerated my disconnection from Twitter and am now no longer cross-posting there at all. The system described above is still in place however (just disconnected from Twitter) and I am investing more effort in Mastodon - including standing up my own server at https://social.blogsofwar.com. You can see my early thoughts on Mastodon here. I hope to see you there.