The Vision Thing: Of Elon Musk, Twitter & Usenet

by Shelt Garner

My dream.

In honor of Elon Musk potentially buying Twitter, I’m going to talk about my own vision for Twitter. My vision of Twitter is a service that, at its core, revolves around the principles of Usenet. It would not be Usenet, which is long dead and shouldn’t come back.

My dream.

Nor would it be a Reddit clone. Reddit is pretty much as close as you can get to the old Usenet experience in the modern world, but even then it lacks some fundimental elements that don’t make it all that engaging if not a 23-year-old Incel. It’s kind of all of the insular bad parts of Usenet and none of the advanced features that make it so much fun.

My dream

My vision of Twitter would be a social media network that was, at its core, based on the concept of Groups. This is similar to Reddit, yes, but I’ve really thought this through. As part of the onboarding process, you would forced to create Groups that you could any name you liked to. You could create Groups on the fly, in fact, that people could discover.


Now, there are a lot of issues with my vision for this new, improved Twitter. First is how granular it would be. People are just too stupid and lazy to use the more complex elements of software, as can be seen by how small a portion of MS Word people use on a regular basis.

But you could come to some sort of compromise.

The point would be that once you setup Groups, you would have Posts like you did in the old Usenet days that allowed you to write not a 280 characters but as long as you liked. And, what’s more, these Posts would allow for inline editing, inline media AND be part of threaded discussions.


Of course, this would be such a jarring change of the pretty basic Twitter UX / UI that this is all a daydream. People would freak out if you changed Twitter’s user experience THAT much. And people would complain that Twitter was simply becoming Reddit, not knowing that the principles being used were actually closer to Usenet.

I suppose you could apply the distributed nature of Usenet to Twitter as well, but that’s beyond my knowledge set. It always took time for a Usenet post to circulate around the system, which was a huge flaw and caused spam to destroy it in the end.

Anyway, Twitter has a lot of unlocked potential if you mixed its current UX / UI with that of some of the more fun elements of Usenet from 25 years ago. But no one ever listens to me so, lulz.


Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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