Dan W

Software Developer

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:

That's how I used twitter initially. Just "pointless babble". As Blaine said:

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:

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.

As Warren Ellis recently said about Path:

"...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.