Posts Photos Archives About

Somehow in spite of EM's best efforts, Twitter is still alive, barely hobbling forward, a shell of it's former self. And for some reason I'm still there, waiting to see what's gonna happen. My automated cross-post mechanisms are still working, as is my Twitter triviabot, most probably because I had upgraded them to use the newer Twitter API a while back before all this madness.

New Tweetdeck

On desktop/the web I use Twitter primarily via Tweetdeck and a selection of lists. A couple of weeks back I got switched over to a new version of Tweetdeck and it is seriously annoying to use.

My main complaints are:

  • you can no longer click on column headers to jump to the top of a column and see the most recent tweets, and not only that but...
  • when you hover over the center of a column, a trash can icon/button appears that will just remove the column with no confirmation prompt when clicked. Combined with my muscle memory from using the lost feature above, the first couple of days after this rolled out I inadvertently killed a few columns and had to figure out how to add them back with this new UI/UX
  • the new Tweetdeck also no longer allows me to have columns from different accounts together in one layout. My primary use case for this was so I could monitor the notifications for the triviabot alongside my regular daily use. New Tweetdeck still lets me login to multiple accounts, but I need to switch between them in the UI and can't view the columns at the same time.

For You

A while back EM also had the "For You" tab added and prioritized on the default Twitter clients. While I vastly prefer the chronological timelines provided by lists, I do check in on the "For You" tab occasionally to see how the other side lives, especially since the mobile client insists on switching back to it regularly. Instead there is a "Scroll to top" button that appears magically when you try to scroll up, which isn't the most accessible pattern.

What I want to note about the For You tab is that the majority of tweets in mine is almost always Marvel Snap / Magic Arena related tweets. I suspect that it's because when this For You thing first rolled out, I had liked a few tweets relevant to those topics I found in the For You tab.

While I will admit that those topics are of interest to me, having them be a majority of my feed is not. I always prefer a main timeline with a variety of topics being covered and if I wanted to focus on specific topics, that's why I have Twitter lists. This is why I vastly prefer chronological timelines over algorithmic ones, as the algorithmic ones will always feed themselves in a loop that will tend to homogenize the content.

The reason I had been liking Snap and Arena content recently was because I was using the likes as bookmarks to indicate decklists for those games that I would be looking at later. I realize that Twitter has an actual bookmark feature that is probably better suited for this, but it feels like such a second-class citizen in the UI. As far as I can tell, new Tweetdeck doesn't even seem to have any way to bookmark tweets! Also, IDK what the hell is going to happen to the bookmarks feature in the future given EM. Anyway, after discovering what this was doing to my "algorithm" I recently shifted to just saving links to the relevant tweets in another app (Google Keep).

Which leads me to another problem I have with algorithmic timelines: It's much more difficult to find tweets you had previously seen in algorithmic timelines since the content is always shifting. In a chronological timeline if I wanted to find something I saw before and forgot to save otherwise, I would just scroll back along the timeline until I find it. Not the best way I'm sure, but it's the reason I never found the need to bookmark things before.

My Future on Twitter

Somehow still hanging on, though I have managed to shift more to Mastodon recently. Even for the triviabot, I'm checking in on the Mastodon version more regularly. I do sometimes think about just flat out stopping Twitter usage completely, but inertia and some remaining contacts keep me here, though with the way EM is constantly degrading the system I wouldn't be surprised if I abandon it sooner rather than later.

Happy to report that since I posted this, my first two complaints about new tweetdeck seem to have been fixed: column headers now scroll to top on click, and the delete button has been removed from the mouseover toolbar for the column.

Sat, April 8, 2023, 2:26 p.m. / / blog / #tech-life #twitter / Syndicated: mastodon twitter 1 others / 806 words

Last modified at: April 22, 2023, 5:14 p.m. Source file

Referenced by