I’ve been online for 43 years, which is most of my adult life. My online journey began in 1980, on the first day Commodore’s VIC-20 computer went on sale at Toys”R”Us in Los Angeles. I built one of the first websites on the Web in the early 1990s, founded Virtual University, the first e-learning community on the Web in 1994, and was one of the first to join SixDegrees, probably the earliest “social media” platform, in 1997. I was an early joiner on MySpace when it launched in 2003, and I moved on to Facebook, along with everyone else, when MySpace self-destructed. As time went by, I expected that Facebook would have a similar collapse, but it has managed to endure and flourish.
I was late to the party on Twitter because I didn’t see much practical use for short tweets. One day, one of my editing clients told me, “You’re missing out on something great! You can really get your books and services known on Twitter!” So, I joined. It wasn’t long before a random stranger’s tweet about a grammar book I had written went viral, and it became an overnight bestseller in Japan. After that, my income went up quite a bit, and I became a believer!
Sadly, Twitter has deteriorated into a wasteland since Elon Musk purchased it. The people I follow and whose tweets I enjoy reading every day have disappeared from my feed, replaced by a pile of extremist political rubbish posted by people whose tweets I would never read and whom I would never follow. My inbox is full of junk offers to join porn sites, dating sites, fake crypto sites, and various other scams.
With Twitter falling apart, I’ve been looking for a new home on social media. Two new platforms in beta have intrigued me: T2, being developed by a former Google engineer, and BlueSky, being developed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. BlueSky is a decentralized social network, meaning it’s not controlled by any one company, and it’s designed to be more transparent and accountable to users. It also has some features I find appealing, including a focus on quality over quantity; a more user-friendly interface; and a stronger emphasis on user privacy. BlueSky may well be the next social media hotspot. Jack Dorsey has already built Twitter into a huge success, so he’s capable of doing it again.
Currently, BlueSky is invite-only, and invitations are the hottest commodity on the Web these days. Free invites are extremely scarce, and for those who can’t wait, invites can be purchased for up to $500 on eBay. Yesterday, Twitter user @xtianpu gifted me a free invite, and my journey on BlueSky has now begun. If you are already there, follow me at @writer2.bsky.social and I will follow back!