I'm reading a paper by J. Paolillo titled "Conversational" Codeswitching on Usenet and Internet Relay Chat" His description of Usenet and IRC totally qualifies as a futuristic killer of Twitter. But then you see the years of references and remember that these system predicted social media long time ago.


This also makes me wonder, what's the contribution of modern social media to the civilization's community? Are Facebook and Twitter just timely implemented already excited ideas with a minimum amount of innovation?

By timely I mean that the internet is widely used and there are smart phones.

Not innovative because such systems existed long time before.

The only contribution I see is that they are simple to use for people who doesn't bother to use IRC.

One could argue that they have scaled it up to serve (read earn) millions, but that's not an OH-MY-GOD-THATS-SO-COOL acomplishment.

Also the move to synchronous conversation (IRC) from asynchronous (email) could be explained by a speculation that in late 2000s companies needed to access/store lots of data to train their systems. Now there is so much data, that there is no need to store it, training systems on a stream (that is seeing an instance once) is enough. Thus amove to self destroing emails and stories.


The example he provides also illustrates that not much progress has been made towards respectful communication.


The rest of the article is great. I recommend it to everyone on the fediverse, not only to people who are interested in codeswitching. The article is available at languageatinternet.org/article The whole journal worth checking as well.

In my opinion, Facebook and Twitter took a step back by taking the moderator role away from their users and assigning it to algorithms, social network employees. Yes, you can hide things, so they are not shown to you, but that will not change the social norms in the community.

Mastodon and other ActivityPub implementations can shine in this respect by giving their users the tools not only to hide content but also expressing the social norms.

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