I’m a daily user of Twitter, but it has some problems. Luckily, there’s hope in an alternative: Micro.blog.
I love using Twitter on a daily basis for my topic-specific news and to follow interesting people on the web. I make the most of the mess that is Twitter by sticking to a few specific methods:
Follow people, not companies — I’ve had much more “success” on Twitter following specific individuals (not celebrities) of whom I respect their opinion, mostly without too much of an agenda.
Use lists — My main Twitter timeline is an ever-updating mess waterfall that upsets my compulsiveness. Lists are focused, topic-based groupings that allow me to catch up on specific categories one at a time.
Stay away from Twitter.com — I can’t stand promoted tweets or non-linear timelines. I use Tweetbot on iOS and macOS to prevent this and also for the vital synced timeline position between devices.
Sticking to those points helps me actually enjoy reading the content on Twitter. However, the company itself has proven to be pretty horrible in how they organize and conduct their business. They don’t really seem to respect their users, they don’t utilize a logical business model, and they won’t ban hate groups or other offensive content.
Unfortunately there aren’t many or any alternatives. Definitely none as popular. App.net was a promising venture that acted as an ad-free Twitter alternative. It ultimately failed due to low engagement and a failed business model.
Micro.blog is the latest player in the space, and the simplicity and model of it has me excited. It’s a free micro-blogging service, that encourages users to feed content from their own blogs to their timelines. Users can also pay nominal fees to host a micro-blog or to cross-post content to Twitter and Facebook (I’m paying the $2/month for this).
I’m hoping that this will take off and that the owner has some higher standards for rules around content, and that he maintains the simple business model.