Twtxt and twt.social

I’ve played on and off with twtxt a little and keep the feed out here: http://tilde.club/~jbaty/twtxt.txt. Here’s a snippet of my old twtxt.txt file…

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2017-10-15T08:45:06-04:00	Hello, this is a test from twtxt
2017-10-15T08:54:53-04:00	Testing the post_tweet_hook to see that it copies the file to my server
2017-10-15T09:11:16-04:00	Moving my public twtxt.txt to tilde.club/~jbaty/twtxt.txt because it seems fitting there
2017-10-15T16:24:10-04:00	Fun with text tools today https://www.baty.net/2017/some-text-based-things-today/
2017-10-16T07:17:40-04:00	Good morning, several people!

It’s a fun, simple idea; just a text file as social media feed. I’m already spread pretty thin online so it’s only been an occasional toy, but of course someone (James Mills, aka @prologic) is trying to make using the format easier and more approachable by wrapping it in a web UI. Here’s his description from the about page

Technically twtxt.net is a twtxt client in the form of a web application. You are viewing an instance of this software at twtxt.net. twtxt.net allows you to make small posts in a simple easy way without privacy concerns, advertising, tracking or the fear of censorship. Think of twtxt as somewhat like Twitter™ but unlike Twitter™ twtxt and twtxt.net are designed to be decentralised.

James was kind enough to give me my own “Pod” at baty.twt.social and I’ve been tinkering with it for a few days.

I haven’t spent much time with twtxt.net yet, but it’s been fun writing short posts knowing that the underlying format is open, portable, and easy to deal with. There’s no telling where any of this will go or whether it has any chance of putting a dent in the other established networks, but I’m rooting for it.

A couple things I’d like to see. First, the web UI appears heavily mobile-weighted and I’d like to see a more concise layout for desktop. Second, there seem to be a lot of “mentions” in my feed whose purpose is unclear to me, e.g. FOLLOW: @twtxt from @jack using twtxt/0.1.0@988f2a7.

I expect that discoverability, cross-server mentions, and conversations will continue to be improved, making the whole thing an increasingly-viable alternative to, say, Twitter. It’s awesome that people are working on this stuff.