The first thing Twitter would really need

 

If Twitter DID really work for its users, that is…

The first thing Twitter would really need /img/threaderapp-bad.jpg
NO, this is NO WAY to save a Twitter thread

The first and most important thing that I see missing in Twitter is an automatic way to just forbid people from posting long threads, without/before saving them also as one, darned, real HTML page with a permanent URL.

My Twitter Dream…

I dream of a Twitter that, as soon as one starts a thread, or while they are doing it, says “hey, stop, let’s make this REALLY readable and reusable!”

People who just tweet long threads: you are making a disservice, to yourself, and everybody else.

If an interface with no formatting options that forces you to “save” every 240 characters is what stimulates your creativity better than any traditional text editor, that’s absolutely fine.

If what stimulates you is the possibility, or the guarantee, of instant feedback from strangers on any single paragraph, while you are still making your point, that is absolutely fine too. Really!

But this doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to that output publishing format, or even less to inflict on others, as the only way to read what you wrote.

This week, a perfect example of what I mean is this Twitter thread on why it is so hard for cops to be “good apples”: important information about police abuse, and why it is difficult to prevent it, locked in a platform and format that is hardly an example of durability and readability.

And NO, @threader_app is NOT the answer!

That Twitter thread was so good that, as always happens, eventually someone asked @threader_app to make it all available as just one, and much more readable web page.

But this is only a fake solution, and a misleading joke!

To begin with , Threaderapp pages are as permanent as Threaderapp itself. They may disappear, and their links break, in any moment. Second, those pages are (unsuprisingly) quite hard to copy easily, which means it is harder than it should be to save those reformatted threads anywhere else, be it a word processor document, or a generic web page.

This is a stupid, very unreliable, and terribly inefficient way to share and preserve important information of public interest. The sooner an effortless way to make Twitter threads really readable and reusable appears, the better.

(This post was drafted in June 2020, but only put online in August, because… my coronavirus reports, of course)

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