The purchase of Twitter by the world’s wealthiest “free speech absolutist” has brought quite a few users to a much smaller alternative: Micro.blog. Not to imply that this will be a tectonic shift in the tech landscape, but there are so many people signing up that the community manager, Jean MacDonald, has not been able to keep up with her usual personal welcome to the newcomers.
Already, people are seeing the vibe shift, moving from the contentious confines of Twitter to the smaller federated blogging service.
I must say, there is a general feeling of positivity on this site not felt or seen on that other site. I don’t feel compelled to be snarky, or jump down someone’s throat, or “doom scroll” here. I’m genuinely excited to find new and interesting people to follow and get to know.
Alan Jacobs wrote a sort of primer for Micro.blog to the new users.
On micro.blog, you have absolutely no incentive to flex, shitpost, self-promote, or troll. You’re there to post interesting things and/or chat with people. Nothing else makes sense.
That about sums it up.
I’m not confident that we’ll all of a sudden see huge amounts of users or major celebrities showing up on Micro.blog. DHH is comparing those quitting Twitter to the people who promoted boycotting Spotify over Joe Rogan. After the boycott, Spotify only added users. I want to say that this time is different, but the public is fickle. I’m not certain how strong the objection to Musk actually is, even in the face of the terrible things he is already doing regarding the company.
And it’s not just executives: roughly a dozen Twitter employees have been doxxed by trolls in the past few days, I’m told. Sometimes it’s because they were responding to one of Musk’s tweets; other times it has been as simple as employees tweeting that they’re looking for new jobs.
Musk is clearly a malevolent force in the marketplace of ideas, but is his mismanagement and vitriol enough to cause a sustained rush for the exit? Only time will tell.