Sat 2022-Nov-19

De-twitter-fying This Blog

Tagged: About / Obscurantism / Sadness

It seems Twitter is dying. Time to armor plate this blog so quote tweets survive.

RIP Twitter?

XKCD 2347 has the dependency problem uncannily right! So, yeah: Twitter seems to be dying. Musk has fired all the site reliability engineers, made demands senior engineers deemed unacceptable enough to quit, and generally destroyed internal knowledge of bespoke systems. Years of building have created undocumented (and unknown) circular dependencies, so when it next crashes… it may never come back. XKCD #2347, shown here, is (as usual) uncannily on point.

It would be ironic but useless to refer to Twitter threads about this, so here’s a Vanity Fair article that covers the nontechnical ground. [1]

in the roughly 2.5 years of this blog’s existence, it has embedded tweets many times, using Twitter’s own embed code. When Twitter disappears, so do those references!

So I’ve spent the last 2-3 days screenshotting the $O(10^2)$ tweets quoted, and hyperlinking the resulting image to the actual tweet, while it lasts. Crude, but effective:

  • Page loads are way faster
  • Clicks still go through to the tweet and its surrounding conversation
  • If Twitter goes, the screen shots stay here, because I host it now
  • But… I have to use up some storage for those screenshots.

It’s a fair trade.

Feel free to tell me if I’ve missed any, but my friend grep and his crew think I got them all:

    $ grep "twitter-tweet" _posts/*.md | tr -d "[:blank:]"| sort | uniq | wc -l

    $ ls -l ./images/ | grep ".*twitter.*" | wc -l

Notes & References

1: D Cai, “Twitter Is Dying, and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself”, Vanity Fair, Nov 2022.

Published Sat 2022-Nov-19

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