2007 Called and Wants It's Tweets Back
Mar 11, 2013
A while back I collected the first 78 tweets on twitter that still exist. I quite like their style. No hashtags, no URLs, no replies, no stolen jokes. Just people answering "What are you doing?". Stuff like:
wishing I had another sammich— Biz Stone (@biz) March 21, 2006
lunch— Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006
That's how I used twitter initially. Just "pointless babble". As Blaine said:
Once upon a time, Twitter was not full of links, and we had a thing called ambient intimacy. It was good. This is good, too, but different.— Blaine (@blaine) March 8, 2011
So last year I tried posting in that style again for a week. 49 tweets in total. LARPing the internet of 2007. Here's a few examples:
Eating a sandwich— Dan Williams (@iamdanw) October 8, 2012
On a train— Dan Williams (@iamdanw) October 8, 2012
Wearing my twitter shirt— Dan Williams (@iamdanw) October 8, 2012
Buying a book— Dan Williams (@iamdanw) October 9, 2012
It was amusing reading the reactions. Some were confused, some annoyed and a few joined in. Largely they found it boring. Which is the point. It's like the shipping forecast. A dull predictable tempo.
"...I follow a couple of hundred people on Twitter and very few of them open their day’s Twitter use with “awake!” It’s probably actually only me, after being awake for an hour or so, who posts “good morning, [insert insult here],” and that’s only to fuck with people here in Britain who’ve been up for hours at that point. Kind of makes me wonder what Twitter would look like if people did use it as a log of the day."
That usage pattern is gone from twitter. Pretending it's still 2007 doesn't quite work. There are too many tweets happening that conflict the atmosphere. A bit like playing street games, there needs to be more than one person doing it to allow a suspension of disbelief. Perhaps like what Joanne McNeil did when she role played herself alongside on friendster:
"So, for a laugh, I created a brand new profile. One as I would have created it a decade before. And I asked my friends — my new friends — to come join me there. These are people I didn't know then. I got to share my history in an unusual way — show what I used to be like. I would post status updates complaining about my job as a waitress or bragging about reading Ursula LeGuin."
Anyway, I'm writing a pointless blog post.