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So...No More Twitter?

I'm not going to rehash what's going on over there at the bird company, mostly because I don't really know what's going on, but also because there's been more than enough articles and threads of people much smarter than me discussing it. (Here's a link to some smartie pants' article over at MIT, as shared by Matthew Simpson of Awesome Friday Podcast on Twitter (lol): Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks.)

I've had my Twitter account since 2009 but have never been a heavy user. I first started actually engaging with others on it during lock down, and of course, since starting this second career as a film critic, I've used it as my primary "marketing" tool. I've been told by many people I need to improve my Twitter game to get my name out there and build a following, but I've never been able to do what is necessary to achieve that. Maybe it's a knock off of real life where I much prefer one-on-one interactions versus big group situations.

Even as a light-to-medium user, I've naturally been thinking about what I'll do (social media wise) if Twitter becomes so unusable I decide to log off. Reddit is a fun place for anonymous discussion and silly memes, but I've always hated the interface and I liked Twitter because it was just a deluge of random things instead of joining specific topics of interest. I'll probably move the handful of friends I've made on Twitter to a Whatsapp group to keep in touch. But what of the film criticism career?

I thought about a few options: Mastodon (I feel like this works as a quirky, niche internet thing, but not so much as a mainstream platform, oh hey tumblr); Instagram (I have an account, but it is a struggle to get me to use it); Tiktok (stop that); Substack (I don't flatter myself enough to think anyone other than my mom would sign up to a newsletter written by me and actually read them); and, Medium. Medium seemed like the best option. A place to write film-adjacent content where I could build a following and hopefully direct them to my work. My biggest problem with Medium, though, is writing without ownership and without payment. I considered using another domain I've had saved away for years (and paid a pretty penny for) to create a personal blog that could expand beyond film, but I did have enough wherewithal to recognise that this may create SEO problems.

So here's where I've landed: the much neglected "Blog" category on my already existing site, that I've largely considered an electronic CV. I still don't believe anyone other than my mom will read these posts, but at least I don't have to set up a new platform and I remember enjoying the blogging era of the internet. And in a move I may regret given the amount of spammy bot messages I'll receive, I'm going to enable comments to perhaps get some form of interaction.

It's not a one-for-one replacement for Twitter, but it's one that suits me and even if it doesn't do anything by way of "building my brand" (gross), I'll enjoy the process nonetheless.

I've made big proclamations like this before so who knows how long this new era will last, but for now, I'm committing to a weekly Friday blog and I hope you (mom) will enjoy them, and maybe some people not related to me will, too.

A note about the banner image: it's a screen shot from a 1964 Japanese film called Pale Flower, that I have been obsessed with recently. The obsession is specific to Mariko Kaga, the lead actress and the woman pictured. Her face is magic.