January 21, 2023

Not My Twitter

I quit Twitter last year and haven’t really looked back. While I was on the network, I blogged quite a bit about the problems with it. I now feel like there are enough people doing that these days, so I have been abstaining. Then I read this post by Craig Hockenberry from the Iconfactory.

What bothers me about Twitterrific’s final day is that it was not dignified. There was no advance notice for its creators, customers just got a weird error, and no one is explaining what’s going on. We had no chance to thank customers who have been with us for over a decade. Instead, it’s just another scene in their ongoing shit show.

But I guess that’s what you should expect from a shitty person.

After processing what Hockenberry wrote, I remembered that I was surprised at the Iconfactory’s initial response to the Twitter takeover. They stated that they were there in the beginning and would be there at the end.

First, this attitude reflected a fundamental misunderstanding of the new order in place at Twitter. It was never the Iconfactory’s decision to stay or go, and it never would be. It was now in the hands of a malevolent dictator who would make changes on a whim. If this wasn’t clear before the purchase went through, it became abundantly so after the acquisition.

Second, the stance betrayed an ignorance about the nature of immediate after-effects of the acquisition. The firing of thousands of employees was part of the upheaval plan, not some aberration. To believe that the person in charge would abruptly terminate staff in such a sweeping way, but would let your one-sided dependence on the company go unnoticed, is surprising. It’s like being in a relationship with someone who was abusive in their previous relationships and thinking they would never behave that way towards you. It usually doesn’t work that way.

If you go to a restaurant on a first date with someone, watch how they treat the wait staff. If they are rude to their server, you can be pretty sure that you are in for the same treatment someday. They might be behaving differently towards you on an initial date, but eventually, the negative behavior is likely to pop up in your interactions with them as well.


I love the Iconfactory and Twitterrific (RIP). In fact, I came to Twitter back in 2008 because I wanted to use the Mac version of Twitterrific (this was before there was an iOS version). The HUD interface was beautiful, simple but elegant. I could see the potential of the app as a delightful way to interact with people through my desktop. I’m sad the app is going away and that the end was so terribly managed. I’m anything but surprised, though. To have believed anything else was probable shows a large amount of naïveté.


tech

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