Our Thoughts on the State of Twitter
This episode is one of our quickest turnarounds yet, but we felt the need to talk about this as soon as we could. With the recent acquisition of Twitter, the platform is changing in a variety of ways. Our hosts Rich and Catelin give their thoughts on the past, present, and future of the platform along with some very strong opinions and fun tangents.
Shot of Whiskey
This week's cocktail isn't really even a cocktail. We went with a simple shot of whiskey to discuss the current state of Twitter and where it's headed. A strong drink perfect for the strong opinions hosts Rich and Catelin will both have during this episode.
- 1.5 oz. of your favorite whiskey
StepsPour into your favorite shot glass and enjoy!
Rich: Okay, Catelin.
Catelin: Let's get to it.
Rich: Buckle up.
Catelin: I am ready.
Rich: We rarely do like...
Catelin: Super topical.
Rich: ... super topical stuff.
Catelin: Or, like super...
Catelin: ... time bound.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Rich: But we just hit a point where we felt like we had shit to say.
Catelin: I have feelings.
Catelin: They're coming out. Sorry.
Rich: So basically, this one's going to have an E on it, we know this is going to be an explicit one, there's going to be F bombs dropped. Catelin is actually enjoying a shot of whiskey at the moment.
Rich: Which is our drink for this one, because folks we're talking about Twitter and we're going to need a shot-
Catelin: The glorious hellscape that it is.
Rich: Yes. Dumpster fire-a-palooza.
Rich: So we going to need... I might need two shots of whiskey and I don't really drink whiskey just to get through this.
Catelin: Yeah. Yep, it's happening.
Rich: All right.
Catelin: One of the... our note from Producer Zack says, we'll probably need this shot to discuss the current state of Twitter. And the footnote is, "Objectively, of course." And I would like to go on the record and say, I did not sign up to be objective.
Rich: All right. But we also did talk about this isn't just going to be take down of Elon.
Catelin: No, it's not just like a... No.
Rich: Because there's plenty of people doing that. And honestly, he's doing a really good job himself on-
Catelin: Correct. Not doing himself any favors.
Rich: Yeah, so we do have a list of things that we think. I don't know if we can learn is the right word, maybe. Or, can understand from what's going on at Twitter. So essentially, for those not in the know, I'm assuming most everybody know knows.
Catelin: Everybody knows. Right?
Rich: But Elon was pretty much forced to buy Twitter.
Catelin: No. No, no, no. He forced himself.
Rich: He did.
Catelin: Because he thought that his money was going to get him out of the situation. And then when he realized he signed a non-binding contract, and the government court in Delaware was like, "Bitch. no, you got to buy it."
Rich: Yeah, and then he followed through.
Catelin: He was like, "Oh, either I pay you a lot of money and don't own Twitter, or I pay you a very similar amount of money and own Twitter."
Rich: Yeah, it was a really...
Catelin: So he chose the less terrible of two options.
Rich: I mean, kudos, I guess to the Twitter board for having that in there.
Catelin: No, and they protected their shareholders.
Catelin: Which is exactly what the board was supposed to do.
Rich: It is, and it's why they had to even consider the offer in the first place. Anything that is a potentially credible offer from a fiduciary standpoint, they've got to consider.
Rich: And so they had to, and it's frustrating. But the way the whole thing went down is basically somebody said, "Elon, you should buy Twitter."
Catelin: [inaudible 00:02:34]-
Rich: And then he's like, "How much?" And then they're like, "44 billion." And he's like, "Okay."
Catelin: But the kicker was, it was just all a joke to him because his offer price was $54.20 cents. So $4 and 20 cents a share, 420, it was all a weed joke. He's just sitting around making... Yeah.
Rich: Yeah. Well, he makes weed jokes, and some 69 jokes, and he just makes jokes. So anyway, but now we're down a rabbit hole of Elon, which is not what this is necessarily about. I mean, it is because he owns it, and he's doing things. But I mean, a couple of things that have struck me from the day he took over, like walking in with the sink, like tweeting the sink thing.
Catelin: And I still, I think I was so annoyed by the way all of it happened, and my, the internet should be a nice place to be, sensibility.
Rich: Yeah, I know that. Yeah.
Catelin: Yes, I know... like, in a perfect world, the internet is safe for everyone to use. And the things that I was hearing and digesting about the situation was that that was not going to be the case under privileged white man leadership who made all of his money during the apartheid in Africa so...
Rich: Yeah, I mean, his dad gave him his money.
Rich: From running the emerald mines, I believe it was.
Catelin: Just really bad. So shocking that he's a racist, weird.
Rich: So it's not a self... Like he's not a self made person by any means.
Rich: He inherited his wealth. He's...
Catelin: Like, he's done well. And yes, Tesla's a beautiful product, and PayPal and all of the, that's great but-
Rich: And I mean, Tesla, he didn't invent.
Rich: There were two guys who created that, he bought it and then has sort of taken on...
Catelin: "I've founded this company."
Rich: Which he didn't.
Rich: So there's some of that. There's a lot of ego. And I think when you get to that billionaire status, ego is going to be a huge thing.
Catelin: He's surrounded by sycophants. Yeah.
Rich: Well, yeah. There's also not liking being told no.
Catelin: He doesn't have anyone in the room who's like, "You know what, maybe this isn't a good idea."
Rich: Well, he did, but he fired them all.
Rich: So I think from my standpoint, as somebody who owns a company, albeit a slightly smaller company than Twitter.
Catelin: It's like a...
Rich: Just a little bit smaller.
Catelin: Though not as much smaller based on all of the quitting and the layoffs.
Rich: Give it time. Give it time.
Catelin: Maybe... That's not funny.
Rich: What kind of struck me as odd is I want contrary and divergent opinions in the room. I want people to share with me their thoughts. And I mean-
Catelin: You don't always like it in the moment.
Catelin: Which is fair.
Rich: And I may always go with it, but at least I've been informed about how somebody else feels about it, or a thought somebody else has. That's super valuable. Again, it's that old, if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.
Catelin: You're in the wrong room.
Rich: You're in the wrong room room. And for people like Elon, if you're the smartest person in the room, good for you. Don't let anybody smarter than you in. And that's just a weird place to be for me. And it's a weird place to go with employees who are giving you counter opinions to what you think and just saying, "I'm going to run this."
Catelin: I think the biggest struggle for me is that those people knew more than him.
Rich: Oh, yeah.
Catelin: But because he had money, it was not a meritocracy to begin with.
Rich: Well, he's got the title too, he's owner.
Catelin: But, yeah. And so to come in guns a blaze and say, "I know more than you about how the internet should work." When they've been running the internet for the last 15 years, just the ego was too much, and then the complete implosion of any sort of safety and moderation on the platform.
Rich: Yeah, which is getting him into trouble right now with Apple, and Google, the EU-
Catelin: And the EU. Exactly.
Rich: Potentially the federal government, Congress is talking about things.
Catelin: But there's no... So the United States federal government can talk all they want, they have zero actual legislation in place-
Catelin: ... to moderate or regulate how internet platforms work.
Rich: The one time they tried to do it-
Catelin: They don't understand how the internet works.
Rich: Well, right.
Catelin: They're all septuagenarians who have no fucking clue. We don't have time for that today either.
Rich: Right, I was going to say, the one time that Congress did try to regulate the internet-
Catelin: It was embarrassing.
Rich: Right, the conversations that were being had. People were explaining what a server was, and what the fiber cables were in the backbone, and it's like, seriously people?
Catelin: None of that is actually relevant to how content moderation should be.
Catelin: And how the internet is a utility now and should be governed as such. But we don't have fricking time for... There's so many things that...
Rich: I think that part of what it shows you is who's in charge matters. And that in a capitalistic society, the people who own the companies and run the companies, it matters.
Catelin: We can no longer rely on private industry to do the right thing, and that theme exists across...
Rich: This existed since the country was formed.
Rich: And before that. The Industrial revolution taught a ton of people that when you have a nine year losing arms in mines and workshops.
Rich: The government stepped in.
Catelin: So the like the Labor...
Rich: Relations Board?
Catelin: Thank you. But also unionization, and the labor revolution that happened post-industrial revolution.
Rich: Once we had to leave our houses and farms to work.
Catelin: That will be necessary in the context of the internet, and we're not there yet. And the internet, like capital I, internet keeps growing beyond the scope and capacity of the US government to regulate.
Rich: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
Catelin: So right now, we're relying maybe on the state of California, but definitely on European countries to govern companies that operate globally, which is all right. In this context, it's all companies.
Catelin: Where we are relying on other people. And then for some reason, Apple has become the police of the internet. And I use Apple products, they make a beautiful product, but I don't want them to be the arbiter of truth about what is good and bad on the internet.
Rich: Yeah. I think that for them, that they want to ensure that their platform is a fairly safe place for people to be.
Catelin: But they know that they've hung their hat on privacy and safety because that is monetizable in.
Rich: That's what people want.
Catelin: Like, now and in the future.
Rich: Yeah, you can charge people for safety and for privacy.
Rich: Absolutely. So I think that what you bring up and talking about rolling it back to the internet being this global thing, and it's important, and blah, blah, blah. Unless you're in North Korea, and then you've got four websites and that's all you can go to. But there's this idea of-
Catelin: Is it four? It feels like it's probably less than four.
Rich: It's a small number, it might even be 14, but it was a really small number. But the importance of one platform. So I've been on Twitter since March of 2008, because I'm old.
Catelin: I want to say that's about the time that I joined.
Rich: It could be.
Catelin: I was an early adopter of Twitter, because I love-
Rich: And so you would've probably been college-ish, 2008?
Catelin: Yeah. I want to say it would've been like 2009.
Rich: Yeah, it's at the top of your profile.
Catelin: Maybe like early 2009. Mm-hmm, I know.
Rich: So I used Twitter in the beginning to find people like me who were outside of where I was. I mean, in 2008, where was I in 2008? Denver? I think. But using it to kind of branch out. I mean, we joke about AOL and how you could find your own people in chat rooms and the things.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Rich: Twitter kind of became the same thing. Hashtags were invented there, and that was a way you could follow like-minded content. I found other photographers, I found other gay people. I found all kinds of stuff in the US and around the world. And I've been having conversations with these people now for 14 years.
Rich: Right? Math hard.
Catelin: 2008 till now.
Rich: Yeah, 14.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Right?
Rich: Yeah, 4 + 8 is 12. Yeah. Sorry, I had to go out down that rabbit hole.
Catelin: Well, it's 12 years. No.
Rich: 4 + 8 is 12.
Catelin: Jesus, don't... Cut all of this out.
Rich: All right.
Catelin: We're not doing math.
Rich: No, it's fine. It's been 12 years.
Rich: But anyway...
Catelin: 14, you're right.
Rich: 14 years, yeah.
Catelin: That's not going....
Rich: Anyway, since 2008 I've been having conversations for more than a decade with these people, is what my point is.
Rich: And it's really the only platform I talk to a lot of them. And there's probably a few dozen, but watching people scramble and try to figure out what's next, and where to go.
Catelin: And to maintain those relationships without being like, "My phone number is..."
Rich: So I don't want to give them my phone number, I don't want text chat. I don't necessarily want them on my Facebook page. Instagram isn't conducive to conversations.
Rich: [inaudible 00:11:23]-
Catelin: Not in that way. Well, and Twitter used to be really fun, and pithy, and funny. I remember being really upset when they increased the character count, because part...
Rich: Yeah, right. Fit it in.
Catelin: Seriously, like part of the pleasantness of Twitter, the fun game was like, how funny can I be with 140 characters?
Rich: Mm-hmm, and now it's 280.
Rich: And URLs don't count. Well, they count for a small number. I think-
Catelin: Seeing I've... Yeah.
Rich: And then images don't count, which used to, it used to be the URL of the image counted. So yeah, so for me it was this piece of society that connected like-minded individuals, but in small groups, but in public. It's like we had this giant public forum where there were a whole bunch of conversations happening and I could overhear a conversation across the forum and I could walk over there and join it, but I could also stay in my conversation like being in multiple places at once. So it became a huge connector. I mean, Twitter has started revolutions in countries. Twitter has organized righteous protests in places where unfairness is happening, it's really been very useful and now that's all in question.
Catelin: And so I think that's the real struggle is what sustained Twitter in that way, they really have never been able to successfully monetize their platform.
Rich: They've had trouble with that.
Catelin: Which is part of the reason that the company was taken private to begin with was because the $54.20 cents was more than the share price that it was trading at.
Catelin: And so the cultural relevance of Twitter has never been translated to financial relevance for their shareholders.
Rich: Yeah. I mean, it's never really been capitalized in any...
Catelin: Properly, no.
Rich: ... good way. There have been attempts at it. I mean, in that piece where there were some large advertisers, and I say were because so many of them have bolted now.
Catelin: Because it's not a safe place to be.
Catelin: When your ads are appearing next to white nationalist bots not a good look for a company that's trying to appeal to a broad audience.
Rich: Yeah. And I think there's also a piece with some companies about, I mean, Twitter's laid off, what, 75, 80% of their team now.
Catelin: Something like that. Yeah, it's hard to keep up honestly.
Rich: It's huge, and so going through those huge cuts, and maybe that's necessary because the money's not coming in. But it's one person now dictating what's worth it to sacrifice profit for and what's not, versus a board, or versus a group. I mean, we're in a similar situation, I can do whatever I want with expenses and with pay and all that, but I need to keep enough people around to run the company, and need to keep them happy and all of that, and I understand that. That seems to be almost willy-nilly with engineers that were fired but then begged to come back.
Catelin: Come back because the whole thing was just going to self-immolate.
Rich: Well, and there were some that were laid off then brought back, which means the severance and all that is, I think null, because they're back at the company now. So they reversed the layoff, and then summarily fired for not producing enough. So yeah, did you not hear about this?
Catelin: Oh, my gosh.
Rich: It just happened a little while ago.
Catelin: I had to tune out some of it-
Rich: I know.
Catelin: ... because it just was like, I so get so spun up so fast that it's like.
Rich: I hit points where I just really want to mute words like Elon, and even the word Twitter, just mute it. But I don't, because I feel like one, from a business standpoint, I need to understand what's going on with the platform. And two, just from a curiosity, I love a good shitty reality TV show where everybody's horrible to each other.
Rich: Twitter has never been that for me. It's been a really great place to find friends and hang out and chat. I mean, I have people on there that I would consider a friend that I've never met in life. And there's some where it's like, "Hey, I'm in your city." And then we'll go have coffee, or go have a drink.
Rich: Which is really cool as well.
Rich: Tweetups need to happen again. They'll never happen again, I don't think.
Rich: You didn't ever do a tweetup?
Rich: This was super early. So the gays were good at Tweetups.
Catelin: That makes sense.
Rich: Essentially, you would get people together in a town, like a bigger city, Chicago would happen, San Diego would happen. And you would post and try to find, around a topic of some sort, like we could do a tweet up of photographers in Iowa, or in Siouxland, or whatever we wanted to. Chicago it's much easier to do and you get a lot of people.
Rich: And basically you would just invade a bar. You wouldn't rent space. There wouldn't be like... You wouldn't cater food or anything like that, you would just invade a bar, and order what you wanted to and just hang out. And you would wear a little name tag with your Twitter handle on it. You could put your real name or not so that people could put a face with a name. This was not an unusual thing.
Rich: Like, back in 2008, '09, '10, '11.
Catelin: Yeah, I joined in September of 2009.
Rich: Okay. So a little bit later than me, but so the Tweetups were great and it made everything real. And then you had this deeper connection with these people on Twitter, the other thing that I love is-
Catelin: I think that's an interesting tangent on the Metaverse, and then VR, and the importance of human actual connection and interaction.
Rich: I mean, if somebody could just let me build my Twitter network in VR and we could all just go hang out with our little headsets on and cocktails. I mean, I don't like people generally, like strangers, and being in large crowds, I know you're different.
Rich: I like being at home. I like my cocktails and wine and my dog, so I could have a dog next to me and I could probably recreate that dog in my metaverse.
Catelin: Oh, my God. You could have two dogs.
Rich: Well, I have two dogs. You could have four.
Catelin: You could have four dogs.
Rich: And they wouldn't poop anywhere. I would probably program in the poop in because that'd be fun. But to be able to be in my house, be safe, be comfortable, and be able to control who comes into that sphere, which I think is the other thing that I'm seeing on Twitter is so many people locking down their profiles. I mean, mine is open, I haven't experienced any shit yet. I could, but I also don't dive into those conversations very often. Unless you're my senator, or my governor, or mayor. I'm going to tell you what I think, that's just I feel like constituents should tell whether they agree or disagree.
Catelin: Correct. Yeah, and they're in more of the cultural value of Twitter.
Rich: And I'm going to call you out when you do something I don't like.
Yeah, and it was really great. And that was a really great piece, and the Supreme Court said they can't block actual constituents.
Catelin: Public figures, yeah.
Rich: The public figures, they can block other people but not their constituents. So it's just this place that's starting to close down for me and become more compartmentalized. And that makes it harder for somebody I follow for you to see them respond to me and think, "Well, that was a witty response. I want to know that person."
Catelin: Now that you say that, I have been seeing so many more of the gray little boxes that's like, "You can't view this tweet because of their settings."
Rich: And the retweet is grayed out.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah.
Rich: And I think what's great, I think I found Ty Rushing because of you. So @Rushthewriter, who has been really fun and interesting.
Rich: And we've had enough back and forth and have enough connections now that I do see his stuff and it keeps going, and it's great. But I wouldn't have seen that if you and he both had locked down profiles. Now he's a journalist, so locking it down is really not good for him.
Catelin: Counterintuitive for him, mm-hmm.
Rich: But if you both had locked down profiles then I wouldn't have seen his responses to you because I wasn't following him and I never would've known he existed. And he's somebody that I've tried to have drinks with him a couple of times and we're never in the same place.
Catelin: Same place at the same... Yeah.
Rich: But I still would. I absolutely would. So shout out to Ty, you're reporting is fantastic.
Catelin: Yay, we're very grateful.
Rich: And so are your movie reviews and live tweets. So that's the other thing. So live tweets before we did streaming, before TikTok was out there...
Rich: ... that's how we got what was going on.
Catelin: Because it was fast and digestible, and wasn't full of a bunch of superfluous garbage.
Rich: Yep, and you could take it-
Catelin: You had to get right to the point.
Rich: Yeah, and if there was a hashtag for an event or something you could follow, you could open only that hashtag and just see what's going on.
Rich: I mean, it was just such a... There's so much value in the platform that I... And again, it's not monetary value, is the problem, and when you start looking at a platform like that from a monetary only point. I get it, I get you spend a lot of money to buy something that maybe you wanted to buy, maybe you didn't. But I mean, figuring out... I feel like all the wrong things are happening to actually turn it into a profitable platform and that it's just continuing to collapse on itself.
Catelin: Mm-hmm. It's almost like the current ownership doesn't have any relevant experience.
Rich: I mean, I feel like that's true. Yeah, and I think that a lot of the experienced people are gone, the senior leadership is all out, they peace out. And some of them took a-
Catelin: I was like, did they piece out, or were they asked? They were like kindly told to fuck off.
Rich: A large chunk of them were invited to seek success elsewhere.
Rich: But then the ones that were left were like, "I can't stay here." The people in charge of their security and content moderation, and those types of things were like-
Rich: They were like, "We can't actually do it and I could be held legally liable for it when it goes down, I'm out." Like, "I can't be a part of this." I mean, I've been in compliance, that's part of what I was looking at.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah, safety and compliance.
Rich: European compliance and US compliance and things like that. I've been a part of companies that have compliance departments and it's very, very serious. And compliance people can get in trouble if they don't enforce things, and if you get to a point where it's unenforceable.
Catelin: Yeah, so I was listening to an interview with the former head of Safety and Compliance, I'm going to get the title wrong because I'm not as well versed in this, but he was talking about how Twitter previously had policies in place that governed the way they decided to moderate. And those policies stopped being the final say.
Rich: Well, yeah.
Catelin: That the governance became just like, "Because I said so."
Rich: Well, it's by poll now.
Catelin: "I'm in charge because I said so."
Rich: It's by Twitter poll, there's just an ask and, "Do you think we should do this?" And yes or no, and then-
Catelin: Yeah. And the thing I've learned about myself is that it's less about what you actually do and more about whether or not you're a giant fucking hypocrite while you do it.
Rich: I think that's true in a lot of life.
Catelin: Yeah. Yeah, so many things. I was watching a documentary recently where I was like, the behavior of this guy doesn't bother me it's that he told other people not to do exactly what he was doing, so that's a bummer. But in this case, his whole thing when he was trying to get out of buying Twitter was the bots, the bots, the bots, and your users are all bots. As if he hadn't, like Tesla's share price had not benefited from bot activity on Twitter.
Rich: Well, of course.
Catelin: And now as if his polls are relevant, actual sample sizes of people and not a bunch of fucking bots.
Rich: Well, you can run profiles. I think that they ran. You can run your profile through, and I do it every once in a while to see how many people are bots.
Rich: There's some that'll tell you who they are and you can block them.
Rich: Yeah, which is really great. So somebody did that on his, and it was like 72% bots following him. That hasn't been turned off.
Catelin: It's all just like a bunch... Yeah.
Rich: Since he owns everything he can do whatever he wants, like turn that shit off.
Catelin: And it goes back to the idea that he just wants a bunch of people around him that are like, "You're doing such a great job."
Rich: So I mean, is it a good thing if he gets tired of that at Twitter and moves on to another project?
Catelin: Fuck yeah.
Rich: I mean, presumably there's rumors that he's looking for as CEO to run Twitter who's not him.
Catelin: Because he can't run three fricking companies-
Catelin: ... and do a good job at any of them. Is he the CEO of SpaceX, and Tesla, and Twitter?
Rich: And Starlink.
Catelin: Starlink? Oh my...
Rich: Yeah, the internet service. Yeah, which is actually really good. But I think that's the other thing is he's now very publicly toxic to a lot of people. Tesla's share price has been plummeting.
Catelin: And what happens when Tesla's share price plummets so far that the loans that he has against that, he's going to be underwater so quickly.
Rich: Everything could be...
Rich: I mean, Ford could buy Tesla, I guess maybe. Apple could buy Tesla. Apple could buy everything. Apple could buy most countries in the world with their money. But yeah, so I think that's where we're going to hit a point here maybe before the end of the year where it's like either he's going to move out, somebody else is going to run it and it's going to stabilize and come back around, and maybe it'll be profitable and the rest of his companies might stop their stock dip and come back up. Or, it's going to be just gone. It's just going to implode. I mean, I think that the code alone, from what I've heard from people who code-
Catelin: It's so fragile.
Rich: There is... Yeah, there's a lot you have to do. I mean, if you play an online game that gets regular updates, you know that things that have been working perfectly, suddenly there's an update for new features and these things that worked perfectly for two years are now broken. And that happens with a Twitter, or a Facebook, we all see it all the time. So it just blows my mind that all these people are gone.
Catelin: Okay, so I want to predict what happens, or how long does it last in its current iteration. I would say by the end of Q1 '23...
Rich: It's gone or changed.
Catelin: Like, it doesn't exist. Yeah, I think it either just implodes because the code is so fragile and unmaintained, or it's shut down either by the app store, or the EU's moderation regulations.
Rich: Yeah. I mean and with a global platform, if the EU blocks it...
Catelin: There's no point.
Rich: Yeah. I mean, if it gets pulled from the app store, our current apps will continue to work for as long as the code lets them continue to work and the phone does. That happens with a lot of things where it doesn't get removed from your phone right away. But it's just, yeah, I feel like, so... And maybe this is just me being overly optimistic because the platform's been so important to me.
Catelin: My how the tables have turned.
Rich: I know. I feel like he's going to hit a point where either he gets bored, or frustrated, or actually listens to people.
Rich: Like Mark Cuban is telling him, "Dude, do something else. You're screwing this up."
Rich: And Mark Cuban is huge on Twitter and a really good businessman.
Rich: And a nice guy.
Catelin: And like not a huge piece of shit.
Rich: Right. Well, there's that. Yeah, he is a real nice guy.
Catelin: The bar is not so high.
Rich: And he's telling him like, "Dude, get somebody else to run this. You can't do this. You don't know what you're doing." So I think that either that'll happen, either he'll get bored, and move on to something else. He'll get really, really frustrated and just not want to deal with it anymore. Or, he'll listen to somebody and somebody else will be put in to run the company. I think he'll still have his hands in it. But at Tesla, he's not there every day on the floor making little tweaks to cars and changes, which is what he's doing at Twitter. I mean, it's the equivalent of deciding we're going to put three wheels on the car now.
Catelin: It's a tricycle.
Rich: It's in the factory while it's being built and redoing it. And he doesn't do that there. He doesn't do that at SpaceX. Starlink, I'm not even sure how involved he is. But those companies have really good solid leadership that pushes things out the door, and though as a Tesla owner, I will tell you, it is absolutely a rolling beta test. The whole car is a rolling beta test.
Catelin: Yeah, you have taken your life into your own hands.
Rich: Oh, yeah. And I mean, they're like this. We just don't do autopilot anymore because after it slammed on the brakes in the middle of the interstate in the middle of the night with no cars around us, we were like, "God, if a semi had been behind us, it would be through us now."
Rich: And that happens, the phantom breaking and stuff. But there are other people running that and dealing with that. He's not in everything. And I think he's running Twitter as a one man show, and as somebody who runs a company that don't work.
Rich: You just can't do it.
Catelin: As much as there aren't enough hours in the day, yeah.
Rich: That's it.
Catelin: Do you know what I didn't have on my 2022 Bingo card? Was like Mark Zuckerberg not being the worst CEO. Didn't see that coming.
Rich: Oh, God.
Catelin: Didn't see it coming.
Rich: Sorry Mark, we drug you into it. Although he's got to be sitting there going, "At least they're not point me now."
Catelin: "They're not looking at me."
Rich: But he had his little bit in the news where his wax figure at Madame Tussauds looks more like a human being than he does. Which was-
Catelin: Okay, but it's not... so we will not-
Rich: I know, we're not talking about Facebook, it has its own problems.
Catelin: We're not criticize... No, but we will not criticize people based on the way they look. The merits of Mark Zuckerberg is that he is a bad person.
Rich: Oh, it's about his behavior.
Rich: Yeah. I mean, he is a terrible person.
Catelin: I don't care what you look like, you're not a nice guy.
Rich: Yeah. I mean, when he lied to Congress, I was kind of out.
Catelin: This is like a bummer.
Rich: It's like, "Okay, great."
Catelin: But also where were the repercussions?
Rich: Oh, there aren't any.
Rich: Yeah, none. I don't think Elon will have very many repercussions either personally.
Rich: He's not going to go to jail.
Catelin: Not in the US.
Rich: No. I mean, I don't even think the EU is going to criminally prosecute him.
Catelin: And there's also... Yeah, but there's not a fine that will be enough of...
Rich: No, because if...
Catelin: The damages will not be justifiable for either of them really to change their behavior.
Rich: No, because there is no EPA for the internet.
Rich: Like, if he was dumping raw sewage...
Catelin: It's like the FTC, but they don't have a fucking clue.
Catelin: And they also have no enforcement, or the head count that's required to do the research. And yeah, it's...
Rich: Yeah. I mean, there are government bodies that sort of regulate it and make laws, and we've got laws in Congress and stuff, but there isn't one body with clear rules of, you can do this, you can't do that. Like, dumping sewage into a river you will get a fine, it will hopefully hurt.
Catelin: The fine will not make a difference, and it won't be enough to clean up the damage and we'll all just be drinking forever chemicals, but carry on with your business.
Rich: Sure. But there's nothing even remotely like that where we could fine-
Catelin: No, no.
Rich: Or, we've got that. It just doesn't exist for what's going on there. And I've also noticed, the people that I'm seeing in my timeline... We probably don't have time for this, I think we're supposed to wrap up.
Catelin: I tried.
Rich: They are more, they're not people I follow. Like, first of all, I do not follow Elon Musk. I have never followed Elon Musk.
Catelin: But he keeps showing up.
Rich: Every single tweet is there multiple times a day. I know people who've blocked him and his tweets will show up.
Rich: And that's also, so part of me is like, is the code failing? Or, has he overridden the code and that's now a new feature that everyone can gets to see Elon's stuff?
Catelin: It's not a bug, it's a feature. Yeah.
Rich: And a bunch of other stuff that I'm seeing that drives me crazy. So I've actually just gone to my list, I call it, People I Actually Know. And I just use that. I've got another list called, You Are Worthy, which is people I don't know, but that I follow. I should probably just merge those two and that should just be what my Twitter feed is.
Rich: Forget everybody else.
Rich: But yeah, and I've been tweeting less. I've been frustrated. Like, it should be a place for me to shit post about Love is Blind 3, that's what I should be doing on Twitter. Or, share a cocktail with some people too, with you and your husband.
Catelin: Yeah, I've certainly found my usage has decreased since this platform is imploding. I was like, "Well, I don't really need to be there." And also it was depressing because it was like every other tweet was like... It was like the violins of the Titanic were playing in the background, and I was like, "I'm just going to hop on a lifeboat. I got to get out of here."
Rich: Well, and I'll do that. I haven't deleted everything. I need to archive everything, but I haven't done that either.
Catelin: Download your data.
Rich: Yeah, which I do usually annually.
Catelin: Oh, interesting.
Rich: Yeah, I keep everything. But I haven't bailed yet, and I haven't deleted yet. And I know people are doing that, but I just don't feel like it's right. I also don't know where to go. Like, yes, I have a Mastodon account, Hive turned into a hot mess.
Rich: So Post I got the invite.
Rich: I clicked on it.
Catelin: Yeah, they're really-
Rich: Did a two-factor authentication, I put the code in and then nothing happened.
Rich: And I clicked the button again and nothing happened. And there's a little thing that says, "Need help, click here." I click there, it takes me to the homepage of Post, not to any support place where I can actually tell somebody. So I was like-
Catelin: Yeah, I got a very nice email from the founder who was like, "Just please bear with us, we're doing the best we can."
Rich: Oh, can you reply to him and tell him, your friend Rich can't get in?
Catelin: Well, but I am also not in.
Catelin: I'm still on the wait list because I don't have any internet status.
Rich: Ah. Well, what happened with me is I reserve my name like I do on every platform. And then, so I was like, "Okay, I'll just start over. I'll just go back to the original link to create it."
Rich: Well, now it says this username is already taken. And then my phone number, this phone number is already used for an account. Click here to reset your password. I go to reset my password. "This account isn't activated. You can't reset your password." So I'm having some trouble with Post. I do like it, there's monetization built in, which I'm curious about. If you want to engage. But we'll see what happens. So I guess we'll come back in maybe end of Q1. And Zach can put this down on his list. Is Twitter dead, or not? Like, did it die?
Catelin: What happened?
Rich: Did it get leadership? Did it get resurrected? Is it alive but irrelevant? It's been very relevant for a very long time. And then if it is gone, or irrelevant, what took its place?
Rich: I mean, Automattic that owns WordPress and WooCommerce also owns Tumblr now after Verizon bought it, took all the porn off it, they bought it.
Catelin: Interesting, yeah.
Rich: And so they're saying that they want to reinvent the platform in a 3.0 version to function a little bit more like a Twitter, so they're thinking maybe they can replace it. It's a familiar platform, people have accounts. What took its place? Is Post the thing that took off, and all of us are paying 50 cents to read private tweets.
Catelin: I know a lot of tech people excited about Post.
Rich: Yeah, I've got-
Catelin: I have a pretty significant tech [inaudible 00:33:56]-
Rich: There's a lot of ad people that are excited about it as well.
Catelin: Yeah, yeah. Well, and I think publishers are excited about it too because it allows for additional monetization of their content.
Rich: It's micro-monetization.
Catelin: Yeah, yeah.
Rich: Which Twitter never got. It allows the Washington Post to monetize when you click off, but they never monetized it on platform in a different way, which gets you to a different audience. Paying 50 cents for one article, I might do that, but I'm not subscribing to the Washington Post every single time I want to read a story.
Catelin: Right, yeah.
Rich: I mean, it's insane. All right, so-
Catelin: Join us at some point in the future when Twitter doesn't exist anymore.
Rich: Yeah, we're concerned and sad about the shit show that Twitter has become.
Catelin: Mostly I'm angry. I have not moved through the anger phase of the...
Rich: I haven't gotten to anger yet.
Rich: I'm still just sad and overwhelmed about the situation. That's where I am. I haven't even gotten to anger. I think that if it really starts to break, or if enough of my people like leave, I'll get to anger and then we can work through that together probably with a couple shots of whiskey.
Catelin: Yeah, I think that's a great plan. Yeah.
Rich: All right. We'll see you then.
That's it for another episode of Cocktails, Tangents and Answers.
Catelin: We hope it was as much fun to listen to as it was to make.
Rich: You can find me on Twitter, or Instagram at @RichMackey, I try not to make it too difficult. It's just my name. And you can find our agency at Antidote_71 that, that's A-N-T-I-D-O-T-E_71 on Twitter and Instagram as well.
Catelin: And you can find me at home sipping a craft cocktail prepared by my in-home bartender, it's my husband.
Rich: We'll be back with another episode every other week, and a whole new cocktail recipe. Plenty more tangents and of course answers to those pressing marketing questions.
Catelin: And if you'd like to send us a question, you can go to CTApodcast.live to send us an email.
Rich: Or, you can call our hotline at (402) 718-9971 and leave us a voicemail. Your questions might be used for future episodes of the podcast.
Catelin: For now, like and subscribe, and tune in next time.