Farewell Twitter!

A follow-up to »Farewell Twitter?«.


HTTP status code 426 is Upgrade Required. According to Wikipedia, the client should switch to a different protocol. We’ll get back to that.

Last week at CSS Day, there’s been a certain vibe in regards to Twitter/X. For starters, essentially nobody on that day—well, actually, CSS Day is two days—called it X, and neither will I for the rest of this article.

I committed to neglecting Twitter and doing my live coverage on Mastodon instead. Others did too, better than I ever could, all in all I think it went well. People who couldn’t be there agreed.

Did I fully neglect Twitter? Well, I participated in aforementioned vibe by going there on day 2, nudging people to come over to the fediverse. Little did I know, what I posted on that day would be the final curtain.

Early days

When I joined Twitter in July 2010, I didn’t even tweet right away. That happened several months later. Before that first tweet, my Twitter handle was @mb140. Soon I renamed it to @cssence, which also led to the purchase of the cssence.com domain. I’m glad I did. The initial handle @mb140 wouldn’t have stood the test of time. My initials were “MB”, they changed when I got married. “140” was the original Twitter character limit, emphasis on was.

Over time

My approach to social media has always been a rather passive one. In those almost 14 years on Twitter, I tweeted 426 times, replies already included. That is 2.5 tweets per month, or what other people tweet per hour.

That said, I’ve always used Twitter as a comment system for my blog, a rather neat way of oursourcing functionality, so my blog can remain “static”. I did achieve this courtesy of in_reply_to web intents, the only feature where Twitter outshines Mastodon. Without any JavaScript, those tweet intents are simple deep-links to twitter.com: Once clicked, a page with an input field opens, that is tied to an existing thread, and visitors can start typing their replies. Given the decentralized nature of Mastodon, there is no single URL you could point to, so an equivalent feature can never be this straightforward.

The (beginning of the) end

The year 2022 started with a potential accessibility improvement, I’ve changed my handle one last time. But only to @CSSence (same name), in hopes of benefitting screen readers with the now included uppercase letters.

Later that year I joined Mastodon as part of the #TwitterMigration caused by Elongate. I then put my Twitter account in a dormant state, but it didn’t last.

In hindsight, the course correction I did last year turned out to be unnecessary.

In less than two years on Mastodon, I’ve churned out an average of 2.5 toots per week. At this rate I’ll get to 426 toots by the end of 2025, so what took almost 14 years on Twitter might take a little more than three years on Mastodon.

Will I eventually delete my Twitter account? Or will I keep it, so that old URLs remain intact? I haven’t decided yet, but whatever happens, my site is ready. The tweet intents below my blog posts are gone, and I’ve removed the remaining links to my Twitter profile and tweets.

I’ve decided to never tweet again. This time, there won’t be another course correction like the one last year.

HTTP status code 426, Upgrade Required. I wrote 426 tweets. For the second and final time, I’m done with Twitter. I’ve upgraded to Mastodon.

Mastodon is no silver bullet either. It can be a useful tool, but before anything else, make sure you have your own place on the web.