Deprecating @BenjaminBrooks

I posted on Twitter that I was going to “deprecate” my Twitter account and I also included a link to my App.net profile. 1 The implication was that I was ditching Twitter for App.net, and screw everyone that followed me on Twitter.

I then followed up with another tweet to clarify that all “new” posts that I would normally make on Twitter, was what was going away — with me favoring App.net for those. I would and will, however, still respond to mentions and check my Twitter feed.

This actually caused quite a bit bigger stir than I had expected — I assumed everyone that follows me saw this coming, but that wasn’t the case. There’s a ton of reasons for this move, I’ll list out the smaller ones, but there is one in particular that I want to dive a little deeper into.

Simple Reasons

  • I like to pay for services with my money, rather than with my attention. (Meaning I don’t like ad-supported stuff.)
  • It’s clear to me that Twitter doesn’t care about the developer landscape — many of whom are people I genuinely like.
  • The SPAM on Twitter drives me nuts.
  • It’s no longer a safe nerd zone — it’s crossed the threshold into mainstream use. That’s not bad, but it changes Twitter and chips away at what initially made me fall in love with Twitter.

Big Complex Reason

More than anything else though: Twitter has lost its way.

I outlined most all of what I mean in this post on Twitter’s API changes, but to summarize: Twitter has turned it’s back on the very users that not only made the service popular, but that came up with the very features that Twitter is now using to try and profit from. And that bugs me.

In my mind Twitter took the easy way out: venture capital and eventually paying that money back by slapping ads everywhere.

A more interesting route would have been to grow slower, have 20% of the members fund the site with pro-level accounts, and love your users. That’s not what happened, oh well.

Something interesting — something potentially better — is happening with App.net. I don’t know what App.net will be a month or even a year from now. What I do know is this:

  1. I like where it is headed right now.
  2. I trust Dalton more than anybody running Twitter. I need no further proof of his commitment than seeing how many of the users he responds to every day on App.net. 2
  3. I know their business model: I pay them and in exchange they give me a service that I can use.

App.net isn’t perfect, but it could become perfect — whereas with Twitter I feel like it was perfect and stands no chance at getting back to that perfection.

To summarize: I am moving my short “posting” over to App.net because I can think of no better way to continue to support the App.net other than fully committing to using it and so that is what I am planning on doing.

  1. I’d link to the Tweet, but Twitter’s new guidelines and all.
  2. Yes, it’s early — I know.
Originally posted for members on: August 20, 2012
Follow along on RSS, App.net, or Twitter.
~I would appreciate it if you considered becoming a member.~