So Long Twitter, Hello Again Feedly

Not too long ago, I would be asked how I keep up with all the things that happen in the WordPress ecosystem. My answer used to be Twitter. Generally, anything that was news worthy or sharable would find its way onto my timeline.

This isn’t the case anymore. My timeline is now filled with Tweets and Retweets bashing President Trump and anything to do with him. I thought things would get better after the election but it’s only gotten worse.

I get it, Trump sucks, but the constant barrage of negativity is unbearable. I don’t need any more of this shit in my life. My Facebook feed is not as bad but it’s also a more personal network for me. I was thinking about hiding Trump tweets on Twitter to see if it would make the service useful again but I can’t hide them all.

Then I remembered how it felt when I deactivated my account for two weeks. I felt relieved and so it’s something I’m going to do again only this time it will be permanent. I’m not going to tell people what they can and can’t say or how to use a social network so quitting Twitter seems like the best solution for me. I can always get in touch with people via Facebook or Slack.

I opened my RSS reader for the first time in a long time and saw links to stories that would have been buried in Tweets about Trump if they were Tweeted at all. While browsing through feeds, I couldn’t help but notice how peaceful it was inside the app. Thank goodness Twitter and other social networks didn’t kill RSS readers.

Well, I was going to permanently deactivate my account but I don’t want to reactivate it once every thirty days so I don’t lose the data. So instead, I’ll simply log out, not use it, and remove the account from the app on my phone.

My First Day Back On Twitter Results in a Shitstorm and Being Called a Dumbass

So today I reactivated my Twitter account after two weeks and right now I wish I hadn’t. Things started off ok as I participated in some dialogue about GoDaddy acquiring ManageWP.

After I published my article on the Tavern about the news, I received the following tweet.

The first thing that goes through my head is great, here we go again. PostStatus broke the story on September 3rd but I didn’t write about it until today. Since that post was published, both GoDaddy and ManageWP published posts of their own, sources I deem more official than PostStatus. I linked to ManageWP’s post and I linked to the Advanced WordPress Facebook Post that links to the article on PostStatus.

In writing the story, I felt like I didn’t need to link to PostStatus because it was a few days after the fact and it would be better or more accurate to link to the official sources of the news. Apparently, it’s known throughout the universe except by me that providing a hat tip to the first source of the story even days after it broke is not only a courtesy, but seen as good practice according to the AP.

So here I am in a shitstorm for not linking to a site. It could be worse, I could be dead. Had I written the article on the day of or over the weekend when PostStatus was the only source, I certainly would have linked to the site. The editorials I have to write that explain why I did or did not do something is getting fucking ridiculous.

I apologize for not linking to PostStatus in the post and crediting sites that break a story days after it happened is something I’m going to discuss with my fellow editor. Oh, and the cherry on top is that I was called a dumbass but I blocked the individual who said it so I can’t link to it here.

My First Week of No Twitter

Earlier this week for the first time since I joined the service, I deactivated my Twitter account. In recent weeks, I’ve waded through a lot of bullcrap thrown at me from people because of some of the articles I published on the Tavern.

Last Saturday evening, as I was enjoying my weekend, I opened Twitter to see what people are up too. I read a response aimed at me for one of the articles I published and it immediately enraged me. I responded back the best way I could but I was livid. It took me an hour to calm down. Other interactions have led to me feeling nauseated or exhausted because I don’t have the energy to defend my thoughts and opinions.

Then on Monday, I had a brief interaction with some folks and that was the last straw. I needed to take a break because I was ready to unleash vitriol and anger at some people and it would have turned into a disaster. This is when I decided I needed to get away from Twitter for at least two weeks.

The minute I deactivated my account, I felt a sense of relief, as if a weight was lifted off of my chest. I no longer had to worry about what replies I’d see that would trigger a severe emotional reaction.

Since deactivating my account, I’ve notice a couple of things. I like to use Twitter to fire off thoughts and opinions that I have at the moment partly to archive them and partly to engage in conversations with people. This week, there have been several instances where I take out my phone, open the Twitter app to publish a thought and realize I can’t. So, I tweet it in my head where it’s probably better that way.

One of the other major changes I’ve noticed is that I feel like I’ve gotten a chunk of my daily life back. Twitter is an important part of my job and I spend a large amount of time on the service every day looking for stories and talking to people in public and private. I sort of miss bookmarking things and reading what people are saying about a particular subject, but it’s been refreshing not having it in my daily routine anymore.

I feel so good after a week without Twitter that I’ve been thinking about abandoning the service for good since I can request my archive. However, it’s too important for how I work so I can’t do that.

What I plan on doing when I come back is unfollowing the people who trigger severe emotional reactions. Delete the app from my phone and only look at and use Twitter during the times when I’m working. I’ll also stop tweeting ideas and opinions on Twitter because it doesn’t give me enough characters to explain the WHY and allow me to add tone. I’m sick of defending myself and the only way to stop giving everyone ammo is to shut up. The good old personal blog will be getting more use in the future.

Ohio Buckeyes Win

The Ohio State Buckeyes just won the first ever, college football National Championship. I sat at home alone, watching the game via a live stream on my Macbook Pro. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, it felt like I was watching the game with a group of people.

Twitter favorites and Facebook likes were given out in earnest as I mentioned the Buckeyes winning. Granted, a lot of my followers are in the Ohio area as am I. However, I just wanted to note how cool it is to witness an event alone in my home but in reality, connect in real-time with those who are watching the same event at the same time.

It’s a weird feeling knowing I’m watching and participating in an event at the same time as several other people as well yet, I’m alone. Thank you social media.

WPTavern Updates

Just wanted to pass along a few updates for those wondering about the progression of WPTavern.

The domain is up and running with a fresh install of WordPress 2.7. The first plugin I installed was Maintenance Mode so that I can work on the site in public without the dust getting in everyones eyes. Next up, I tried my best to install PHPBB3 but for whatever reason, I couldn’t get the installation to accept my Database credentials. I tried every combination known to man. After 30 minutes of trying to figure it out, I went and installed Simple Press which was recommend to me via Steve Hodson of WinExtra.com.

The installation was flawless and I’m going to give this a go. Now, I have to go through and configure the WordPress installation to my liking and then the next thing on my list is to work on the design for the site. Once I get the design finished which is going to be a variation of the one used on this site, I will incorporate the site design into the forums. Once that is finished, I will look at installing plugins for the site and getting the functionality I want up to snuff. During this time, I will also be trying to get my hands on OIO Publisher to manage advertising on the site. I’m hoping to have WPTavern publicly launched in *BETA* form by February 1st. Time will tell though if I’ll be able to make that deadline.

Last but not least, I have created a Twitter account for the site. Please follow @wptavern on Twitter as that will my method of communication to fans of the site. I’ll also be setting up the RSS feed to publish to Twitter for all articles published on the site.

Again, I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support. At this time, if anyone feels like they will be able to contribute some of their time to help me manage the WPTavern community via the forum, let me know as I want a few moderators already in place before the site launches.

Six Apart Kills Pownce

In surprising news today, Six Apart has announced that they will be acquiring Pownce for an undisclosed amount of money but Pownce will cease to exist come December 15th. As VentureBeat points out, this looks like a move to acquire skills and people rather than the service. A quick look at the Pownce timeline showcases some unhappy users which is to be expected.

Pownce Users Not Happy

Pownce Users Not Happy

The official Pownce blog contains instructions on how to export data from a Pownce account. The tool will create an export file that can then be imported into Vox, TypePad, or WordPress. As for those who purchased pro accounts, looks like they will be receiving an email with additional information within the coming days.

I have no idea what Six Apart has in mind for the Pownce team members but it could be interesting. Also, this signifies that Twitter is the cream of the crop in terms of microblogging services. What will happen to Jaiku or Plurk? This situation is also a good opportunity to think about what would happen if Twitter ended up with the same fate. Hopefully, they would also provide export tools but considering their size, their userbase, etc. I doubt we’ll be seeing Twitter going away anytime soon.

As I conversed about this story with PatrickD on Twitter, he made a great point:
patrickd88@jeffr0 Twitter had the advantage of being first. Nobody could touch it. The only service to almost take it down was itself!