I’m happy to announce that my paper on the Twitter alternatives rstat.us, Twister, Quitter, and Gnu social has been accepted to the online journal Fibreculture. The paper, “Building a Better Twitter: A Study of the Twitter Alternatives Gnu Social, Quitter, Rstat.Us, and Twister ,” draws on interviews with social media alternative makers to explore the (productive) frictions that occur when the alternatives make contact with with the mainstream Twitter. I use my previous work on “critical reverse engineering” to examine four points of contact: pragmatic, genealogical, legal, and normative.
I am so grateful to the social media alternative developers who spoke to me: Matt Lee and Donald Robertson (Gnu social); Hannes Mannerheim (Quitter); Miguel Freitas (Twister); and Dave “Wilkie” Wilkinson and Carol Nichols (rstat.us). I’ve published here on the S-MAP my interview with Carol (it’s a great read — check it out), and I hope to publish more interviews with developers and users.