Pulling at Threads

Is Social media the answer?
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It’s been a wild couple of weeks in the world of social media, and it’s probably too soon to understand what it all means, but I want to pull at a few threads.

Hi, I’m John Lacey, and this is Build A Presentation Muscle.

The beginning of the end?

Twitter is… Honestly I don’t really have the words to describe what Twitter is right now. It is hard to overstate how weird Twitter is of late, both culturally and technically.

At the beginning of the last fortnight, there was some profound instability, and it felt like the beginning of the end.

I mentioned BlueSky —essentially a Twitter competitor— in a Twitter Direct Message and immediately lost access to my account. I got access back shortly afterward and I don’t think the content of my message was what triggered this, but it was enough to get me seriously looking at alternatives.

By Wednesday I was reporting in my Learn Livestreaming newsletter how I was playing on Mastodon, BlueSky and Hive Social.

By Thursday I had signed up to Threads, Meta’s response to Twitter.

The Internet is full of hot takes about Threads and you can explore those to your heart’s content, but that’s not what I want to do today.

Meta does tend to want to harvest your data. Threads does appear to have some accessibility challenges.

Generally speaking my new social media platform advice has been, ‘register your username so nobody else does.’ Because Threads and Instagram are linked this doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue if you already have an Instagram account.

Do you have the bandwidth for Threads?

Humans are disproportionately interested in new and novel things. My favourite thing about Threads to date is that the people who usually can’t shut up about ChatGPT had something else to obsess over for a day or two.

Will Threads be a Twitter killer? Will it be the new hot thing? Honestly I have no idea. It’s way too early to tell.

If you’re interested in exploring it, by all means. If you’re not interested, don’t let anybody make you feel bad about it. Never apologise for being deliberate about where you choose to put your time and energy.

How does a product or service stand out anyway?

One thing we tend to see when it comes to social media is a convergence of features.

The proliferation of social media platforms made me wonder what the competitive advantage or differentiation of any of them actually was. There’s a certain sameness across the board. The feature set of each becomes more and more similar over time. At some point they become a utility.

You don’t subscribe to different (television) streaming platforms because they are fundamentally different, you subscribe because one of them has content you’re particularly interested in watching.

I saw the collective Internet be both excited and fatigued by the introduction of Threads. And in that moment I thought, “Maybe social media isn’t the answer.”

I won’t pretend to have all the answers. But for the moment I’m taking some time to reassess and regroup. I want to spend more time writing, recording and sharing quality content, and less time scrolling.

If anything the introduction of Threads just reinforced the need to double down on my own website.

For more information about today’s show, head over to JohnLacey.com

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