The last 7 days have been illuminating to me. In the second half of last year we kept hearing about all these changes that were coming to Twitter. It’s always been and, kind of even now, is still my favorite social media platform. So I figured that things could change but none of those things were going to change me, or change on me if you prefer. Man, was I wrong.

twitcleaner

The first thing I ended up having to change was TweetDeck. I’ve extolled the virtues of TweetDeck for years and thought it was the easiest and most customizable platform for accessing Twitter. At some point near the end of the year it started going a little wonky; yes, that’s my technical term. It would hang up here and there on both my main computer and my laptop.

Turns out Twitter, which had bought the company last year, had decided they were going to change the entire platform around. They had started trying to move everyone to a browser version but then decided to allow a standalone version as well. I had heard nothing but bad things about it so I figured I would just continue running the old program; what could they do?

Turns out they could actually just stop it by changing how Twitter worked. I decided I didn’t want to wait until the last minute so I downloaded the new program to the laptop first to test it. It’s not so bad; not as easy to use overall as the original program, and you can’t change colors or do some of the things you could do before but it’s doable. Why they took away the ability to hit Enter & have your message go is puzzling but they’ve set up some shortcuts you can use to get it done. It’s taking some getting used to after almost a week but I’ll get there.

The next surprise was something else I talked about here called Friend or Follow. This allowed you to run a process on their website to see who you might be following that was no longer following you. That way, you could decide if you still wanted to follow those people. It’s still around but now you have to become a member, and it says some other things have changed as well. It actually might be good but right now I’m not in the mood to have to sign up for anything new. I’m probably going to have to get over that one of these days because everything’s changing isn’t it?

Then last night the final straw came when I tried to access something else I’ve talked about over the years, Twit Cleaner. What this process did was go through everyone you were following on Twitter and rate them and how they performed on the site. In other words, were they even participating, were they just sending out links all day long, were they using certain platforms to send everything out, were they blathering all day, etc. Then you could select which people you didn’t want to follow anymore and over the course of an hour or so, depending on how many people you were following, it would remove those folks; plain and simple.

Alas, I guess this last Twitter change was too much for the creator, especially since he wasn’t making any money off the thing, thus he decided to shut the entire thing down instead of spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out all the changes and recode the entire thing. And he stated that he’d had to do it previously; wow. You never know the dedication that someone else puts into something you get for free sometimes, and most of us don’t know the behind the scenes stuff for much of what we use. In leaving though, he left us with these words, which are prophetic:

Perhaps the key thing?
Never play football when someone else owns the field.

So obvious in hindsight.

Think about that one for a minute because it’s deep, deeper than you might imagine. Remember the question I asked last week on is social media giving you everything you need? It’s been an almost unanimous “no”, yet when you think about it, none of it belongs to us. We didn’t create it, we don’t own it, and we don’t pay for it, and even if we did pay for it nothing says we’d still get everything we wanted because, as with everything else, unless we can code it we never quite get everything we want from anything; that’s deep also.

Sigh… I’m lamenting all these changes to Twitter and yet I have to acknowledge that other social media platforms are changing as well.

Its not really a free country...
Creative Commons License Chad McDonald via Compfight

If you’re on Google Plus you’ve noticed that the image you can use has increased in size, to the point where your image can be as big as what we’ve always called “the fold” for websites.

YouTube is changing as well, going to something called OneChannel, where not only will your background look different but you can put up a much larger profile image there as well (Google owns both, as you know).

The final thing is that Facebook is also changing things again, first to the one column format and soon, since I’ve heard a few folks already have it, its interface will look like, at least to me, what Google Plus’ interface looks like, with much bigger images showing in your space and fewer “business/fan” page insights showing up unless you’ve proven you want them; sigh again… As speculated on Hot Blog Tips Facebook could be moving towards a paid model for business/fan pages even moreso than they’re pushing now. If that actually does happen I’ll abandon my page fully; it’s not something I often think about doing for anything but I will.

As Bob Dylan said, “the times, they are ‘a changin’“.
 

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