What I'm Doing Instead Of Twitter

I announced that I was leaving Twitter before I had most of my plan in place. I still only have part of my plan in place, but I thought I'd capture my thoughts as a way to spur action on my part.

TL;DR; Here's the links on where you can find me going forward:

  • Mastodon: Random short-form thoughts, observations, and gaming content. Follow if you want the firehose of my whole self.
  • This Blog: Weekly long-form thoughts on open source, maybe a newsletter. Follow if you primarily want my perspective on open source sustainability.
  • Instagram: Infrequent pictures and personal stuff. Follow if you'd feel bad for not inviting me to your wedding, Christmas party, or cookout.

Reflecting on how I use Twitter

When I decided to leave, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I used the platform in the first place. In particular, I was curious about my relationship to who I followed, who followed me, and why. In the end, I felt like I was switching between different user personas, depending on context.

  • Collector: My primary user persona. I'm looking for information - current events, how my friends are doing, new emergent topics in open source. I know I'm collecting when I'm lurking.
  • Reporter: My secondary user persona. I'm live-blogging a conference or event, providing observations or commentary about what I see happening in the ecosystem, or amplifying.
  • Promoter: Where I spend the least amount of time, and where I should be doing more work. I've done something I'm proud of and I want you to know about it.

When I landed on this articulation, it helped me come up with a basic sense of what I wanted to do.

On Collecting

If I want to keep Collecting, I need to stay connected, and I need to read more intentionally. I decided that Mastodon had a role in my life to help me stay connected (@duane@hachyderm.io), and it's also likely the place that I'll post the bulk of my random obseervations, and gaming/D&D content (at least for now). Mastodon will be the firehose of my full self, much as Twitter was.

I'm also fine with not being on the bleeding edge of the breaking news. and so I'm rounding out my reading with some daily news journals (The Washington Post, The Irish Times). In almost every case that I could cite off the top of my head, tuning in real-time didn't really do anything for me but add stress. There are some exceptions to this, but I think I'm fine reading about it all later. Whatever it may be.

But staying connected  also means connecting with people more directly. I've done some of this by getting back out to conferences and in-person gaming events, but I'd like to do more of it. And honestly, I don't know what that means yet. More on that later I guess.

On Reporting and Promoting

If I want to keep Reporting and Promoting, I need to write more. I've been an on-again/off-again blogger for years, mostly off-again. But leaving Twitter presents me with a new opportunity to lean into this. So, I'm going to try it all again.

My aim is to post one long-form open source post a week with observations about the landscape, and maybe a second post with articles and collected links. I don't know how this will go yet, but I do know that I have a lot of things to say when it comes to open source, both as a sustainer and an OSPO Leader. I'd like to start externalizing some of these thoughts more effectively. This blog will be where that happens, and if you're primarily interested in my perspectives on open source, work that I want to promote, or talks I'm going to give, this is the place that you'll find that information.

Live-blogging of conferences will likely be on Mastodon, but I intend to roll up any significant observations into a blog post. Of course, all blog posts will be cross-posted to Mastodon, so if you follow there you'll probably catch them.

On Personal Updates

Occasionally, I have things that I don't share with the entire world. I post these things to a smaller audience on my Instagram (http://instagram.com/duaneobrien). But I'd like to say a word here before you ask to follow.

This is a somewhat more intimate medium for me. It's unlikely to contain any work content, only personal stuff. It may be private or public, depending on how I'm feeling. I post to Instagram pretty rarely, and usually only with pics of myself, my family, or fun things I'm working on that aren't work related. Maybe you know me like that, or maybe you don't, or maybe you use Instagram differently than I do and this seems weird. That's ok. I struggled a bit about even putting it in here. But I think I have a little guidance that might help.

If you'd feel bad for not inviting me to your wedding, or a medium-sized Christmas party, or a summer cookout, then yeah I'd say go ahead and ask to follow the account and I'll probably follow back. If you wouldn't put me on your Christmas card list, or even think to invite me to your wedding, or if I'm outside your cookout invite list, then I might not approve the follow or follow you back. It doesn't mean I don't love you or that we're not friends. It just means Instagram's a little but more of a privatey-but-publicy space for me.

This Is An Experiment

I can't predict how it will go. But it's the direction I've pointed myself.

Onward and upward.

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