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twtxt

This is the social media future! For real!

Twitter no longer exists. X is continuing to go downhill. Threads is part of Meta. Bluesky is not being used by anyone, and Mastodon is too complicated. There is only one true social media platform!

What should a good social media platform look like? I've written about it before: It must primarily be decentralized and open source. Every person should be able to set it up and use it quickly. Of course, we all immediately think of one thing: twtxt.

Twtxt works like this: Every website owner makes the endpoint /twtxt.txt available under their own domain. It's probably quite obvious that this file is a simple text file, formatted in a specific way:

2024-01-19T18:11:32+01:00    Hamburg remains stable, 130,000 people against<a href="https://maurice-renck.de/en/tags/tag:fuckAfD">\#fuckAfD</a>, that was great!
2024-01-19T11:22:16+01:00    Bought a low-profile microphone arm. Why didn't I do this earlier?! So much more stable! So nicely organized

As you can see, the (UTF-8) file contains one status per line, divided into the date and the 140-character text, separated by a TAB character. That's it! Done!

If you want to mention other users, you can use the usual @ syntax, for example: @<source.nick source.url>

You can create such a file yourself, have it generated automatically, or fill it with your own CMS. There are hardly any limits to your imagination. I convert my Mastodon Feed using a Kirby route.

Reading

Now creating such a file is pretty pointless if no one can read it. For this, there is a client that you can install. With the Quickstart command, you can create your own "account":

twtxt quickstart

Yes, it's a terminal client!

Once everything is set up, you can start following other users. For example, follow me:

twtxt follow maurice https://maurice-renck.de/twtxt.txt

You can view your personal timeline with the following command:

twtxt timeline

Of course, you can also unfollow others, see who you are following, and post a status if it doesn't work through the CMS. You can find all commands here.

I must admit that I fear using the terminal might be off-putting. Honestly, I only discovered this feature on my site a few days ago, and I find it somehow charmingly nerdy, so I wanted to write about it. Maybe you do too.

And for those who don't want to use the terminal, you can still use Mastodon

What you could do now

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