Have you ever followed a single ‘thread’ of information that opened the door to even more information. That’s what I’m hoping will happen with the new social media app, Threads.
If you haven’t heard of Threads, it is Meta’s answer (think Zuckerberg and Facebook) to Twitter. I use Twitter (and Facebook) to get information. While I love the various genealogy groups on Facebook and learn a bunch from the users in those groups, I also turn to Twitter for information.
While I follow genealogists on Twitter, I also follow news outlets, reporters, and scientists. When Swine Flu hit in 2009, I became fascinated with the evolution and spread of the virus. Twitter was one way in which I was able to connect with scientists from around the world that were researching the impact of that virus. Thus, when the Sars-Cov-2 virus started infecting people in China, I was seeing tweets from these same sources about this new disease – way before Covid hit our news channels. As covid has evolved I’ve followed more and more researchers of this disease and those impacted by it.
Thus, my Twitter feed is a combination of genealogy, science, medicine, national news and faith. While several instances have indicated that the Twitter platform is floundering, I have continued to be a faithful user because the other platforms haven’t met my needs.
- connect with a variety of people from around the world
- searchable by topic — including Covid
- ability to share a blog read in Feedly
- ability to automatically share my blog posts (now broken by Twitter)
Sometime earlier this year, I created an account on Mastodon, but did not use it. At the time, I did not record what ‘server’ my account was on. This made it difficult for me to tell others about my account. I later moved my account to mastodon.social. While I have an account on Mastodon, I have NOT used it enough to feel comfortable with it. However, my feed is currently ‘full’ of genealogy news since that is the only users I’ve connected with on Mastodon.
Another platform that is similar to Twitter is Tribel. While some of the users I follow on Twitter have accounts on Trible, this platform does not seem to be very active. When I searched for posts about genealogy, I found very few. Since the results are not shown in reverse chronological order, it is hard to tell how much recent activity there is. Even the list of ‘trending’ posts only had a few for today.
And that brings us to the new Twitter option, Threads. Quite a few genealogists have accounts on Threads. And I’ve been able to locate many of the other Twitter accounts I follow in Threads. As I’m writing this (on Friday afternoon), Threads has a major downside when it comes to my usage: I cannot search by topic. When I put genealogy in the search field, it brings up lots of users with genealogy in their user name. However, it does not allow me to see a list of posts ABOUT genealogy.
So, how do these Twitter alternatives work with Feedly? As long as I have the appropriate app installed and logged in on the device where I’m reading Feedly, I can not only share the Feedly post to Twitter, but also to Mastodon, Tribel or Threads.
So what about sharing my stuff? Can I set up my blog to automatically share to these other platforms? While I had my blog configured to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Instagram, Twitter is now broken. While WordPress can’t fix the Twitter issue, it has added Mastodon to the list of sites I can automatically submit my posts.
Hopefully, WordPress and Meta will work out an agreement to allow the automatic posting of WordPress blogs to Threads.
Based on my stated needs it looks like it is time to learn to use Mastodon and to keep checking Threads to see whether it will improve its search feature and allow a connection from WordPress.
So, I can be found on
- Facebook as Marcia Crawford Philbrick
- Twitter as mcphilbrick
- Mastodon as @mcphilbrick
- Tribel as @mcphilbrick (Marcia Philbrick)
- Instagram / Threads as mcphilbrick (Marcia Crawford Philbrick)
I won’t promise to look at all of these platforms on a daily basis, but I will try.