I am semi-retiring from Twitter. I will maintain the @PainSci account and use it lightly for business announcements, mainly as a way to continue to show that the lights are on and someone’s home — but basics and highlights only. I’m through with routinely trying to produce artfully concise promotions of site updates and pain science news.
I have serious reservations about continuing to invest in any social media platform, but on Facebook I can at least drive some respectable traffic and enjoy some substantive shop talk.
My “social” experience on Twitter continues to be anemic and fragmented, and it doesn’t matter why anymore — I would have fixed it by now if I could.
No sure why, but after years on Twitter I still feel like I’m awkwardly tapping a mic and saying “Is this thing on?”— Paul Ingraham (@PainSci) August 14, 2015
And my marketing metrics on Twitter are still pathetic after many years of regular tweeting. Twitter generates a trivial 10 percent or so of my referral traffic, and just a fraction of a percent of all traffic. That is, of the roughly million visitors PainScience.com attracts every month, only a few thousand come because they clicked a link on twitter. Sure, you could fill a good-sized theatre with that many readers, but this business is powered by an audience that would fill several big stadiums. I hate to lose even those few readers, but they aren’t enough to justify the time I spend writing tweets.
As a writer, I really like using Twitter, in the same way that many writers enjoy the creative challenge of working within arbitrary and whimsical trammels. Many times I have enjoyed the rush of crafting a perfectly condensed sentence. (I’m serious! You know you’re a writer when.) But I can amuse myself as a writer in ways that are much more fruitful.
Meanwhile, Twitter seems hell bent on actually driving me off! I have all the customary complaints about the company and the platform, but the recent hobbling of third party Twitter apps was the last straw (or bale of them). #breakingmytwitter Not content to merely gripe, it is the specific thing that actually pushed me our the door.