The world awaits...

I left Twitter

I left Twitter. I exported my data, deleted my account, and don't miss it at all. I joined Twitter as @torproject initially, at the behest of community members insisting Twitter was a force for good in "less free parts of the world". How quickly that changed. Everyone was behind Twitter and said it was the next best thing to email. The reasons were it was limited characters and global reach and ran in a browser. As with all centralized sites, the early adopters are the natural advocates and help create the network effects required for success.

When I joined Twitter, it had no revenue model. I spoke with Jack Dorsey at the time and suggested charging for accounts to avoid the inevitable decline into "ad-supported network" or the worse "data vaccuum and wholesaler".  It was unthinkable at the time and I was assured Twitter had plenty of money and no need for a revenue model until it grew larger. How quickly that all changed. 

Any investor supported business is going to have to turn a profit, or at least generate revenue, at some point. To state the obvious, investors invest in a business hoping to get multiples of returns on their investment. Investing in startups should "beat the market" otherwise, investors could just buy the S&P 500 ETF. We'll keep learning this over and over again, and people will move from network to network over time. Remember, MySpace? Friendster? Google Plus? Vine? Twitter? Discord?  They all follow the same pattern of growth at all costs, then attempt to monetize, then everyone leaves when the screws clamp down the features and the initial fun. 

You know what's next?  Signal. Here's a fine write-up about it. It's a centralized service. It will follow the same rise and fall as all the rest.

I switched from @torproject to @andrewlewman at some point to better reflect what I wanted to say versus the now-official torproject account. I may post my twitter archives at some point. Of course, like Google Plus, they're in some custom JSON format that nothing else can read. I'll have to write a parser, and eh, I have better things to do. Someone else may register my old @andrewlewman on Twitter. Just a heads up, it's not me. I left Twitter.