# Social(?) Media

Internet cancer
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

I just tried to explain NFT to a senior citizen, when it clicked. Instead of confusing him with half a lecture on cryptography, I simply asked: “Hey, do you remember that clip from Sesame Street where Lefty tries to sell the letter ‘O’ to Ernie? That’s NFT in a nutshell.” We both had a good laugh, then went our separate ways.

Good old Sesame Street. Way ahead of its time. We all grew up with this show, sad to see how many adults take this crypto scam serious.

Monday, November 7, 2022

I reader notes: Sure, Elon Musk acts erratically as the new owner of Twitter. But maybe there’s method to his madness. He’s a successful business man after all, so he probably has a plan?

Remember Game of Thrones ? Robert Baratheon was a pretty shit king who only got the job because he landed one successful coup in his youth (taking the throne). After that he realized that he liked being king, but hated running a kingdom. So, he simply delegated the day-to-day business to his small council and never attended even a single one of its meetings. When the king wanted something (let’s say a banquet), he usually had no ideas of how to make it happen (or how to pay for it) and the wish would simply be passed down the chain of command till it eventually reached someone who did.

The kingdom never had a problem with being ruled by an incompetent king, because everyone in the chain of command understood that his own power was granted by a superior and ultimately the monarch himself. In other words, it was in everyone’s interest to uphold the illusion that whoever sat on the throne was the right (wo)man for the job. Or as Jaime Lannister put it so eloquently: “The king shits, and the Hand wipes.

As far as Elon Musk is concerned, there are too many jobs (and investments) on the line. People just have to believe that he has a plan and deal with whatever he is actually doing, even when he’s running around Twitter HQ, carrying a bathroom sink and calling himself Chief Twit.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

I’m kinda laughing my ass off at this $8/month for Twitter Blue thing.

  • Letting the platform monetize your content in exchange for free hosting has always been the deal of social media. Allowing Musk to get away with this means, social media can finally monetize the user. Personally, I’d be really pissed if I had been lured into a walled garden, have to provide/be the content, now also have to pay for hosting and am still not in control over anything.
  • Your visibility will be severely limited without Twitter Blue. If you want to spew hate, you now have to register and pay (no more sock puppet accounts). So, Musk is effectively choking off his most important engagement tool here.
  • Twitter Blue is suppose to make running botnets unprofitable. But wasn’t it Musk himself, who tried chickening out of buying the company by claiming the platform is overrun by bots? Would be hilariously funny to see Twitter implode because an accidentally effective bot-counter suddenly makes everyone realize that talking on Twitter is actually talking in an empty machine room.
  • Conservative thinktanks can easily pay $8/month for visibility (and will gladly do so), the woke army of social justice warriors and gender confused snowflakes will have a much harder time, getting their voice heard. So, by shifting the political landscape away from the the ultra left, Musk also alienates/marginalizes exactly those users that reliably draw attention and engagement to Twitter.
  • Paying $8/month turns you from a user to a customer. So if Musk promises that Twitter Blue gives you more visibility, then there’s now grounds to sue for disclosing the algorithm.
  • If Twitter Blue really boosts one’s visibility, then Twitter is putting itself in the same position, Google was in a couple years ago, when it made paid ads look like the spitting image of genuine search results. That’s another law suit in the making.

I have absolutely no idea how this is going to play out, let’s just hope for the worst…

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The guardian titles Mastodon gained 70,000 users after Musk’s Twitter takeover. Now, this headline summarizes everything in one sentence, that’s wrong with social media, when it comes to numbers.

  • 70k may sound a lot in absolute numbers, but is actually just a drop in the ocean compaired to Twitter’s 450 million daily users.
  • Did those 70k users actually move from Twitter to Mastodon, burning bridges in the process, or are they now on both platforms?
  • Who are those 70k users? Are they people that do follow or are they people that have followers? Are they posters or lurkers?

In other words: how does the loss of these 70k users harm Twitter and benefit Mastodon? Counting users, ratings, likes, stars, whatever is a completely pointless metric to measure relevance, but it is all, social media is about.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Hm, Elon Musk has bought Twitter after all and now users are busy making (empty?) threats to leave the platform.

So far, I always called Mastodon a failed attempt at building a better Twitter because being a shithole is what makes Twitter successful in the first place. I mean, I don’t really see a mass exodus happening, unless every timeline now gets a pinned MOTD by Elon, but its an interesting question: how much of the userbase would have to break away till the influencers start thinking that the platform no longer provides a large enough audience to bother with and begin to diversify into the Fediverse?

Should be interesting to see how Mastodon will deal with the windfall (if there is any)…

Friday, March 18, 2022

Those who don’t take privacy serious because they have nothing to hide are usually the first to lament, when their elderly relatives fall for the latest grandparent scam.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Isn’t it lovely, how social media always markets itself as the spearhead of free speech, while at the same time giving users voting tools to bury anything that’s not echoing the popular opinion of the platform in question?

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Preventing developer burnout: it is OK for your open source project not to have a public bug tracker

A bit of perspective about platforms, choosing beggars and psychological manipulation. There's also a sneaky sixty four thousand dollar question at the end to flash your mind.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Dear Santa, this year, I wish for world peace and a pony Facebook and Twitter to shut down.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

So, why is Facebook really renaming itself to Meta?

Funny how so few people seem to see what game the company is actually playing.