Not on Twitter please

From Peter Suber
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Worth discussing but not on Twitter

  • In a June 2016 blog post, I asked, "Is there a well-understood hashtag or abbreviation that means: Worth discussing but impossible on Twitter?"
  • At the time there wasn't one. I proposed "WORDBIT" as an awkward acronym for "WORth Discussing But not on Twitter." But it was too awkward and I haven't used it.
  • I'm still looking. Let me know if you notice a good one emerging.
  • If I had one, I'd use it often, while linking to this page where I can explain myself.

Dialogue without oversimplification

  • I like dialogue. I like to answer questions and objections when I can, especially when people have questions or objections about my own work. But I don't like oversimplification. In fact, I like dialogue in part because it helps us avoid or overcome oversimplification.
  • Hence, I don't like dialogue on Twitter. Or I don't like it once it reaches the point when serious contributions require more than 140 characters. For most interesting dialogues, that's very early in the process.
  • If I'm in a Twitter thread and someone asks me a question that requires an answer that Twitter cannot accommodate, I'd rather shift to a more accommodating platform than oversimplify or fall silent.

Shifting to a more accommodating platform

  • If I point to this page from one of my tweets, here's what I'm proposing:
    • Send me an email with your question or objection. I'll reply by email.
    • Post your question or objection to Google+ and I'll reply. Or if you'd like, I could start the thread on my own G+ account and you could reply.
      • The advantage over email is that others could watch our dialog, join in, share the URL, and so on. It can be as public and participator as Twitter, but we wouldn't have to stultify ourselves.
      • I know this kind of public, long-form dialogue could also work on FB. But I've deliberately deleted my FB account, and recommend that you do the same. Let's not go there. For reasons that are similar but not as strong, I don't use LinkedIn.
      • I know this could also work on Diaspora, Mastodon, and other social-media platforms. I hope that one of them or some newer alternative takes off and becomes better for this purpose than G+. But they haven't done that yet.

Return to my home page.