Story 2014-09-03 2S0R Twitter has changed and here's why people are leaving

Twitter has changed and here's why people are leaving

by
in internet on (#2S0R)
Alan Jacobs is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in the Honors Program of Baylor University and the author, most recently, of The “Book of Common Prayer”: A Biography and The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. And
he's written a good essay on why Twitter isn't fun anymore.
As long as I’ve been on Twitter (I started in March 2007) people have been complaining about Twitter. But recently things have changed. The complaints have increased in frequency and intensity, and now are coming more often from especially thoughtful and constructive users of the platform. There is an air of defeat about these complaints now, an almost palpable giving-up. For many of the really smart people on Twitter, it’s over. Not in the sense that they’ll quit using it altogether; but some of what was best about Twitter — primarily the experience of discovery — is now pretty clearly a thing of the past.
This is a bit more than your usual rant about Twitter and whether or not it's jumped the shark. It's a conversation about a communications platform whose usefulness has changed as it has gotten more popular.

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Reply 13 comments

In summary: (Score: 0)

by kwerle@pipedot.org on 2014-09-03 15:44 (#2S0Y)

Twitter is bad because people are dumb and there are now more dumb people on twitter.

Blah blah blah, used to be hip but now I'm leaving, blah blah blah. Part true, mostly who cares...

Re: In summary: (Score: 2, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-04 00:54 (#2S19)

"There's not more dumb people, we're just hearing more of them."

In a similar vein... (Score: 3, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-04 02:24 (#2S1D)

If you enjoyed the Alan Jacobs article, here are some related critiques.

Freddie deBoer, a social liberal, on viciousness in online forums:
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/08/21/where-online-social-liberalism-lost-the-script/

David Sessions, a social conservative, on the quality on online media:
http://www.patrolmag.com/2014/08/25/david-sessions/the-state-of-the-internet-is-awful-and-everybody-knows-it/

Pew survey on Social Media and the Spiral of Silence:
http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/26/social-media-and-the-spiral-of-silence/

Xianhang Zhang on the Evaporative Cooling Effect:
http://blog.bumblebeelabs.com/social-software-sundays-2-the-evaporative-cooling-effect/

Pipedot still has a small number of articles and comments, but the civility and quality we have here are becoming increasingly rare online. Maybe it's not such a bad thing that Pipedot is small and growing slowly.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 1)

by harmless@pipedot.org on 2014-09-04 08:28 (#2S1H)

but the civility and quality we have here are becoming increasingly rare online.
I happen to disagree. I have refrained from commenting on more than one article because the initial comments were so hostile that I couldn't imagine any useful discussion would come out of it.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-04 08:51 (#2S1K)

You don't need to reply to the initial comment. Just add a separate top comment, and let moderators care about the bad apple.

If everyone refrains from commenting on an article just because there's a bad comment already, then the bad comments will take over.

If I don't write a comment to an article (after having opened it), it's usually because I don't feel I've got anything to say about it. It certainly is not because someone left a bad comment earlier.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 1)

by harmless@pipedot.org on 2014-09-04 09:02 (#2S1M)

Most times I don't have much to say about a certain topic, because there's no controversy between me and my opinion,
Only when we disagree is a discussion interesting. But when the initial comment is borderline rude, I can't imagine any useful discussion taking place. And I have better methods to waste time than to engage in a shouting match with strangers online.
If everyone refrains from commenting on an article just because there's a bad comment already, then the bad comments will take over.
I agree. But I'm not sure that's my problem.
and let moderators care about the bad apple.
Unfortunately, some inflammatory comments get actually modded up. That says to me: "If you disagree, go somewhere else." Which I do.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-09-04 10:31 (#2S1R)

BTW, I usually find on online forums that the best discussions don't come necessarily out of disagreement but rather out of differing experiences. "I tried that thing, but I like this other one better because ..." or "that reminds me of something I read here" or "if you're interested in that thing you might also be interested in this other thing" and so on.

"Your opinion is wrong" gets boring very fast.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 0)

by harmless@pipedot.org on 2014-09-04 14:59 (#2S20)

How is
"I tried that thing, but I like this other one better because ..." or "that reminds me of something I read here" or "if you're interested in that thing you might also be interested in this other thing"
a discussion?
"Your opinion is wrong" gets boring very fast.
If you keep it at that level, sure. I usually expect actual arguments and reasoning as part of a discussion. "I like this." "Me too!" is not a discussion.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-09-04 18:24 (#2S29)

I don't get it - two people or more complementing each other's knowledge and sharing information. How is that not a conversation? I'm not averse to controversy or differing opinions, but there are other ways to relate and contribute. Conversation is multifaceted.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 1)

by harmless@pipedot.org on 2014-09-05 05:43 (#2S2W)

While wiktionary seems to think that discussion is a synonym for conversation, I happen to disagree.

Two people mentioning how nice the weather is today is a conversation. It's not a discussion in my book.

But I agree that a discussion does not have to be about differing opinions.

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 1)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-09-04 10:26 (#2S1Q)

Wow, I wish I could mod this both informative and insightful. Alas, only one mod.

I still wonder if it's the Internet that has 'caused' this, if human nature and peoples' expectations for online interaction, or if this is simply the consequence of a new and younger generation. As for Pipedot, small and steady growth isn't a bad thing. But I highly doubt there's anything magical about Pipecode that prevents asshattery, same as any other site. Set up a perfectly reasonable subreddit and you run the risk of some schmuck taking it over and harrassing other users offline. Usenet newsgroup "protectors/guardians" are infamously boorish. And the list goes on ...

Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-04 13:26 (#2S1W)

No, it's not the internet that's caused this. The only thing that changes is that on the internet, everyone gets to see it, while on the regular' table only the people who happen to be there at the very time it gets said hear it.

Hey Now - You Insensitive Clod (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-04 23:33 (#2S2R)

Pipedot still has a small number of articles and comments, but the civility and quality we have here are becoming increasingly rare online.
I think the number of critiques linked in your comment is a desperate, self-serving and egotistical attempt to validate your personal view. Also; you smell of sweaty socks and boiled undergarments. So there!