I’ve quit the Twitter

On September 24th 2023 I posted my last tweet to the Twitter (or X as it is called now). Since then I have not posted to the Twitter, or replied to any posts. I have retained my account though as I have an improbable hope that one day things might go back to the way they were. I think though that it unlikely.

I had found over the last few years that my engagement with Twitter was declining and that I was finding it less useful as a social networking tool. There were days and weeks when it was really useful and interesting, the LTHEChats or as a back channel at a conference, but most of the time it wasn’t really working for me.

Over the last few months though, after Elon Musk bought the Twitter, I have noticed that not only engagement continued to decline, but also the functionality of the site was starting to break down. Combine that with the increase in hate speech, right wing rhetoric; I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would leave, and I did so in September.

I have been a fan of micro-blogging (as it was called back in the day) since 2007. Something I heard about on a podcast. I joined Twitter, like quite a few other people in March 2007.

This was my first tweet.

This was from my second day on Twitter…

In an effort to really understand the potential and power of a micro-blogging service such as Twitter, I made a conscious effort to use the service on a regular basis. Often I would be working, take a break, grab a coffee, and think oh I must post something to Twitter so would post I was drinking a cup of coffee. Now I like coffee, but it wasn’t long before I had a reputation for coffee drinking on Twitter. Something that has stuck ever since.

In 2007 I actually didn’t use Twitter that much that year, though I was using a different micro-blogging service called Jaiku. Jaiku was a microblogging social network and mobile app that was founded in Finland in 2006, a month before Twitter. It allowed users to post short messages, or “jaikus”, sharing their thoughts and opinions on all kinds of subjects. The main reasons I used Jaiku, was firstly the community. My community was on Jaiku, and that was where the conversation was. The second reason was that Jaiku supported SMS.

In the US you could send and receive tweets by SMS, but this was not supported in the UK. Jaiku did support SMS, and some members of my community preferred that medium for engaging with the service.

SMS was much bigger in the 2000s and since then has been generally replaced with messaging services and something called WhatsApp!

The SMS constraint of 140 characters was the reason why Twitter (and Jaiku) restricted their micro-messages to 140 characters.

Jaiku was acquired by Google in 2007, but Google failed to integrate it with its other products and services. It also stopped other people from signing up, and then killed the SMS integration. As a result, Jaiku’s user base dwindled, and the service was shut down in 2012.

Though well before then I had migrated back to the Twitter, as more and more people I knew from the educational community found and started engaging with Twitter.

2009 was the year that delegates at ALT-C discovered the Twitter! In 2008 there were roughly 300 tweets and about forty people tweeting, in 2009 the amount of tweeting went through the roof!

Over the next ten years I would use Twitter on an almost daily basis. I used it to post (social) updates, professional updates, share links. It was a great tool for adding a communication back channel at conferences. 

I liked using IFTTT to gather information on people’s tweeting. I used the tool myself to share Instagram posts.

A highlight for me was the #LTHEChat tweetchats. Though I didn’t participate every week, when there was an interesting topic, it was fun to engage with that community.

But over time things started to change.

I posted this tweet in October 2021

I think it was a combination of the algorithm, but also a lack of engagement in Twitter from my community, and probably importantly I wasn’t really posting anything of interest.

Over the next two years I found Twitter less and less interesting and less useful. There were occasional peaks of engagement and activity, but for the most part, for me, it was declining.

When Elon Musk bought out Twitter, things just got worse. Much of the functionality started to break down. Changes to the algorithm meant I was getting less engagement, but more extreme messages were appearing in my stream. 

In the end I had enough and I left. After posting nearly 63,000 tweets over sixteen years, it was time to call it a day.

I will admit to visiting the site now and again, but I am glad I left. Still not fully engaged with Threads and Bluesky as alternatives though.

Twitter WordPress Widget stopped working

With all the changes and problems over on the Twitter. One impact has been that the Twitter WordPress Widget has stopped working.

Instead of the stream of tweets, you get the impression from the error message that I don’t use twitter.

screengrab of the Twitter WordPress Widget stopped working

Though I don’t use the widget on this site, I do use it on other sites.

Thinking now, do I remove the widget, leave it, or what.

I guess what is key, am I still using the Twitter?

IFTTT will require a subscription

I have been using IFTTT (If This Then That) for quite a few years now. Though over the last few years my usage has got quite minimal. During some research activities using tweetchats and hashtags I did use it quite a bit for work.

Now in the main I use a recipe to post native photographs from Instagram to the Twitter.

So it was with minimal disappointment to read in my inbox this from IFTTT.

Starting on May 23, all free users will be limited to 2 Applets and unable to access Twitter Applets. We hope you understand this change is designed to help us support our community and continue to focus on improving IFTTT. To ensure that your existing Applets continue without interruption, consider upgrading to Pro or manage your Applets via My Applets.

Now the subscription is not excessive, at £2.50 per month, cheaper if you pay annually. However I really don’t think I will get £30 of value from IFTTT over a year. I can configure Instagram to post to Twitter automatically, or I could even just post manually.

I still also get two free applets if I need to use IFTTT.

IFTTT Instagram connection fixed

It appeared that my IFTTT applet I use to publish my Instagram photos to Twitter was broken. 

I use the Applet, Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter which takes an instagram posting, posts the image to Twitter. You can share your Instagram postings automatically to Twitter from Instagram, but back in the day this would only post a link. So rather than post each image manually to Twitter I used IFTTT to do this automatically. It had been working fine for years, but recently stopped working. I did get a notification, so I went into IFTTT disconnected and reconnected the applet. I then posted an image to Instagram to check it was working.

Got me thinking I might want to see how IFTTT an worth with Mastodon. Though I do intend to wait and see how Mastodon fares, and if auto-posting is a thing there.

Moving to Mastodon for the coffee

I moved to Mastodon this week.

Elon Musk started to impact on the Twitter, so much so that lots of people were talking about moving off the Twitter and onto other similar services, with Mastodon getting much of this traffic. We had some discussions about Mastodon at work. I went out and created an account on mastodon.cloud and then discovered I had already created an account before, well back in August 2018, on mastodon.social. So, I went back and deleted the new account and started to use the original account.

Though I had been on Mastodon since 2018 the recent influx has got me back on the app. Though my stream of stuff seems to be mainly people telling people how to use Mastodon and what and what not to do on the service and how it is different to the bird place (they mean the Twitter).

Reminds me of Twitter in 2009 when there was a similar level of new users starting to use that service. Back in 2008 I wrote this blog post about how I used the Twitter. I basically said Twitter was all about the coffee.

You can say pretty much the same about Mastodon.

However for me Mastodon is all about the coffee.

It’s the coffee you drink with colleagues during a break from work, where you discuss work stuff, but also discuss your commute into work, what you saw on TV last night, what bizarre thing you just saw, the weather.

It’s the coffee you drink whilst browsing the web and when you find an interesting web  site and you post the link to your blog, in an e-mail, on your VLE.

It’s the coffee you drink in a coffee shop, where you’re reading the paper, reading a book, chatting.

Mastodon is the coffee you drink in the Library reading a journal, a book, writing stuff.

It’s the coffee you drink with fellow delegates during a break or at lunch at a conference. Where you discuss the keynotes, the presentations, the workshops, where you are going next, your hotel, the food, the coffee, what you do, where you’re going, what gadgets you have in your gadget bag.

Mastodon is about these moments, but without the physical and geographical limitations. Mastodon also allows people from different institutions, different sectors, different organisations, different departments to share these moments. I brings in people from different industries, different countries, different perspectives.

When you decide to follow someone, ask yourself could you drink coffee with this person, would they drink coffee with you?

At the end of the day Mastodon is all about the coffee as Twitter was in the day.

No more old Twitter

Back in August 2019 I wrote a blog post about how to use Chrome or Firefox extensions to use the “old” Twitter web interface instead of the new Twitter interface.

So you don’t like the new Twitter?

Well you can revert back to the old one in a couple of ways.

If you are running Chrome or Firefox then there is an extension you can install which forces your browser to use the old Twitter interface.

Alas, as of the 1st June, changes at Twitter has meant these extensions no longer work and you are now forced to use the new Twitter! When you attempt to use them you get this error message.

I am now looking for a Twitter client for my Mac which looks like the old Twitter…

I want the old Twitter back....

Using iPad as separate whiteboard in Teams

So you want to use your iPad a whiteboard in a Teams meeting? Well this is one way in which you can do this easily. You will need an iPad (obviously), a whiteboard or drawing app and it helps to have another device (main computer) to interact with the meeting as well as using the iPad to draw from.

This post came about after seeing this tweet on the Twitter from Charles Knight.

It got me thinking about whether this was possible, but also how you would do it. So I quickly tried it out and it worked fine. I did tweet a response, but have now written it up as a blog post so others can refer to it (and I can remind myself how to do it as well).

Though you can screenshare direct from the iPad, once you are screen sharing on the iPad, you can’t see the chat or other members on the Teams call.

One solution is to join the meeting from both your main computer and your iPad at the same time.

As well as screen sharing you can also share other content or video from your iPad as well.

So on the main computer start or join a Teams meeting.

Continue reading “Using iPad as separate whiteboard in Teams”

IFTTT Instagram Twitter problem fixed

A couple of days ago, the IFTTT recipe I used to post native Instagram photos to Twitter stopped working. I used IFTTT as the sharing function on Instagram to Twitter only posted the link, whereas with IFTTT the process posted the full image.

However in the last few days, it has stopped working, and I wasn’t entirely sure why. I checked my IFTTT applet process and saw this.

I recall getting an e-mail from IFTTT, which now I can’t find, but I didn’t think applied to the applet I was using. Well it still may not apply, but I did the following and this appears to have fixed the problem.

What I did was re-authorise IFTTT to access my Instagram account.

Go to this page (ensure you are logged into IFTTT).


Click Settings

Click Edit

You will then have an opportunity to reauthorise IFTTT and Instagram.

And then reauthorise IFTTT to access your Instagram account.

I then posted an image to Instagram and low and behold it turned up on the Twitter.

It’s interesting now though whereas before the applet created an ift.tt address the process now uses the instagr.am address.

Changing hosts…

Image by Colossus Cloud from Pixabay
Image by Colossus Cloud from Pixabay

I recently changed hosting for my WordPress blogs. My main reasons for changing were, my host was unable to update the version of PHP which would result in being unable to update to the most recent version of WordPress. They did offer me a new hosting contract, but I would then have to migrate my blogs across, so I decided that if I needed to do that I might as well review new hosts. I had had reliability issues with my existing host. I was also concerned about upgrading to SSL (https). Both Chrome and Safari were marking non-https sites as “non-secure”.

It’s not as though I was doing e-commerce on my blogs, but it looked like Google would drop non-https sites down in their search results. I also thought the “non-secure” identification might worry people.

There were a few challenges, mainly as I took the opportunity to move a couple of my blogs to a domain of their own. I say opportunity I wasn’t sure I could recreate the same setup with the new host that I had with the old one.

Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay

Decided to record and log what I had done, just in case I needed to do this again. Continue reading “Changing hosts…”

I want the old Twitter back….


Alas, as of the 1st June, changes at Twitter has meant these extensions no longer work and you are now forced to use the new Twitter! Links have been removed to the extensions.

So you don’t like the new Twitter?

Well you can revert back to the old one in a couple of ways.

If you are running Chrome or Firefox then there is an extension you can install which forces your browser to use the old Twitter interface.

GoodTwitter for Chrome

GoodTwitter for Firefox

Install the extensions and your browser forces Twitter to use the old interface!

I want the old Twitter back....

There is another way without installing an extension which is as follows.

Click More

Click Settings and Privacy

Click About Twitter

Click Directory

Click Home (sometimes you click Notifications first)

You should then have old Twitter back.

So there is a lack of persistence, but there is also a quicker method is to use the URL


which I’ve added to my bookmarks for quick access.

I can’t get this method to work on Safari and persist though.