by Shelt Garner
The key problem with Twitter is it’s just a gusher of information. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with a cacophony of disjoined, unconnected information that blasts towards you. Yes, there are “Twitter Lists” that you can use to try to control things but few people use or understand them.
So, for the average user, a lot depends on who you follow to the point that it’s almost better to create specific accounts for specific interests you might have. As such, I have long thought about how Usenet, 25 years ago, was, in its own way far more feature rich than Twitter is today.
Now, obviously, Reddit pretty much fills the space that Usenet did a long time ago. And there are some serious problems with Usenet / Reddit paradigm that you have to overcome. It’s easy one for a “group / reddit” to grow too large to be usable and two there is the problem of a very, very specific culture developing within any specific group / reddit to the point that you have to create a FAQ to answer all the questions that newbies to a group may have.
And that is probably the biggest advantage of that Twitter has. The average person can just jump into Twitter and start using it, no FAQ required.
I have given this particular problem way, way, way too much thought and I think I have a solution.
What you do is, if you wanted the best of both worlds — Twitter and Usenet — what you do is you force every user of your service to create groups as part of their on boarding. As such, EVERY user would create Groups devoted to the personal and the public.
If everyone can create, in essence, an endless number of reddits for whatever happens to be going on in their lives, then that opens up a lot of opportunities that simply don’t exist at the moment.
In my imagination, instead of having a Twitter timeline, the user would see a stream of individual Posts to different Groups they were subscribed to that people they were interested in had created. You see a Post in your timeline or newsfeed and you click on it and respond. Then you could see that Post in the context of a Group, rather than just being yet another tweet in a flood of tweets.
Now, I’m very well aware that all of this is very moot. We’re all talking about AR and VR as opposed to social media and so, lulz. But it is my impression that Elon Musk is interested in turning the X.com domain name that he owns into a rival to Twitter and, as such…maybe he might think about using the general principles of Usenet for a social media service that would sort of be a combination of Twitter and Reddit?
But no one listens to me, so luz.