Once upon a time, Twitter was the best.
The best source for breaking news.
The greatest place to meet like-minded people.
A terrific place to share articles, videos and images. Even opinions.
Not so much.
As a matter of fact, Twitter has been going to hell (and back) for quite a while. Long before Elon Musk entered the picture. Not that he’s made it better.
Here’s what my friend, Steve Strauss, said about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.
“Want to ruin your small business? Then all you have to do is take a few pages out of Elon Musk’s playbook.
You should read Steve’s entire Twitter article over at USA Today.
That said, in this post, I’m going to share how Twitter used to be great.
How Twitter changed the world…including my tiny slice of it, and how it’s quickly becoming meaningless. Especially in the world of business and franchising.
The Thing That Attracted Me To Twitter
Speed. That’s what did it for me. Mostly because of my ADD. I like fast.
I also like getting my information in short snippets (at first). That made Twitter a perfect fit for me, way back in 2007.
That’s right. I joined Twitter 15 years ago.
At the time, there weren’t many people from the franchise industry on the platform.
But there were small business owners and experts, entrepreneurs, and a massive number of tech-minded folks. It was a cool mix of people.
And because of Twitter, I’ve been able to meet dozens of great people in business and in life. Personally. It was the best.
Basically, a collection of smart people who taught me how to write better, how to grow my business, and how to be me. Thank you!
And I’ll never forget the opportunities and the doors that have opened for me because of them. Never.
Note: please accept my apology if I didn’t mention you above.
Now I’m going to talk about how Twitter used to be my go-to source for breaking news.
How Twitter was the best place for news.
Twitter On February, 2012
On Monday morning, February 27, 2012, I logged onto Twitter.
I looked at my feed, and then went to see what was “Trending on Twitter.”
It was #Chardon. My first thought?
I didn’t think it was Chardon, Ohio, a wealthy community located about 20 miles east of me in the heart of the snow belt. Turns it it was.
(Image courtesy of the Associated Press.)
I quickly turned to the local news channels to see what was happening. I learned more.
Then the shooting quickly became a national story.
It was a horrible event.
Years later, I ran into a high school friend who shared his experience on that day.
In a nutshell, two of his kids were students at Chardon High School-and they were there that morning.
Fortunately, neither of them were physically injured. But mentally?
They’re still dealing with it. But as a family.
For a couple of years, Twitter was my #1 source of breaking news.
At the time, Twitter broke news faster than any of the radio or television networks did. Or could. And now?
“Twitter is, for better or for worse, one of our best ways to get information out during an emergency,” says Kate Hutton, an emergency manager in Seattle, who has used Twitter for official communications since 2015. “It’s a bullhorn that you can use.”
That quote is from an important article from The Scientific American. It’s worth a read.
That said, I still use Twitter for news, throughout my day.
Thing is, it takes a lot longer to find said news. Why?
Because it’s become harder and harder to decipher what’s real. What’s not. And what are nothing but lies.
Lying Should Be Unacceptable On Twitter
I’ve lost friendships on Twitter (and Facebook-which I left) because of lies. And the arguments that took place related to them.
Some of those lies came from a former (thank goodness!) President. Dude lied all the time. Still does.
As a matter of fact, he was kicked off the platform via a “Permanent Suspension.”
From the Twitter blog:
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
You can read the details of the suspension here.
Twitter’s new owner just erased the “Permanent” part of Trump’s suspension. That’s a problem. Why?
Because if he’s allowed back onto the platform, other liars could be, too. And that’s not helpful. Especially in these crazy, unpredictable times.
Times in which dozens of elected officials are spewing out lies…and hatred, on a daily basis. Like this guy from Ohio. How embarrassing. And they continue.
Lies about who won the 2020 Presidential election.
Lies about voting…and voting machines. And mules. Really?
Again, these things are not helpful.
Can Twitter Be The Best Again?
I’m worried that it’s over for Twitter.
But it’s been kind of over for a while. A couple of years for sure. Why?
Because there’s too much garbage.
Plus audience reach sucks.
And business-wise, Twitter isn’t a “thing” anymore (for me).
Businesses can buy Twitter Followers. It’s easy.
But why do businesses and individuals do it?
So they can look big.
Heck, there’s someone who’s new in franchising who has gained 60,000 followers in less than a year. That’s unheard of in franchising…unless it’s a big franchise brand. Which makes it obvious to me that he purchased almost all of them. So?
So people cruising Twitter for useful information on buying a franchise look at his Twitter account, and think to themselves that he must know what he’s talking about. Look at all his followers!
Note: the owner of the account buys Re-Tweets too. Nice.
Then There’s Elon
And now an immature (but brilliant) entrepreneur owns the platform. A guy who changes his mind on an hourly basis. A guy who doesn’t “seem nice.”
Somebody who may not be the “best” guy to own Twitter.
I guess the reason my feed has lost 32,000+ followers since @ElonMusk took over Twitter—after consistently gaining followers for 8 years—is because these readers (now ex-readers) aren’t 14-year-old 4chan edgelords and therefore don’t appreciate a CEO who needs Adult Supervision https://t.co/Ej2t1VAv9J— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) November 21, 2022
The question is this:
How the heck can Elon Musk help Twitter become great again?
Wait. I have an idea.
He could get a few million hats made. Blue hats. With the famous checkmark.
And the following phrase:
“Make Twitter Great Again!” Right?
Nah. It doesn’t really work.
Kind of like Twitter now.
In truth, it may be time to move on. From the ugliness. From the lies. From the crazy.
Because unfortunately, nothing stays the same.
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