What is Blathr?
It's the answer to my own shower question: “What if there was Twitter for people who are good at HTML?”
Blathr is like Twitter, except about me. It's a place for me to write little thoughts and quips and musings and to generally blather without having to deal with the limitations of Twitter. Among them:
- I don't have to adhere to Twitter's character count rules. While I understand that Twitter is supposed to be a microblogging tool, and not a place for prose, sometimes you just need an extra bit of flouish to make your point. Clearly, I'm not the only person who bumps into these limitations, or we wouldn't have tools to help people publish multi-part articles on Twitter, and then another set of tools to make them more readable. It's all a mess. So I'm just going to microblog on my own terms.
- Twitter is a service. Someone else's service. Blathr is me, and my service. I can't get kicked off of my own service. Some faulty code marketed as artificial intelligence can't decide that I'm a robot and lock my account. I can't get downvoted, optimized, shadow-banned, or otherwise marginalized in my own home.
- If people choose to look at Blathr, they're going to see all of my content. It won't be pushed below a promoted post for the latest singing toothbrush, or social fad.
- Readers won't be interrupted by ads. They won't get counted, tallied, profiled, or tabulated. They won't have their personal information sold to someone else, because I don't collect any information at all.
- I'm writing this for me, and my friends. My friends get to see my thoughts. And I get to look back in time to see what I was thinking. Back in the days when everyone kept a journal or a diary, it was enlightening. This is very similar, but with a modified level of privacy.
- As someone who considers himself to be a technical person, it seems silly to rely on someone else to publish something so simple. The only advantage to using Twitter over Blathr is that Twitter allows my thoughts to be easily seen by a group of people selected by Twitter to see it. I'm not doing this for applause, so there is no advantage to using someone else's platform.
Why “Blathr” and not “Blather?” Because dropping vowels is very nostalgic of the 2010-era tech scene when namespace collisions were both common and inconsequential.
As a side note, I originally called this project Meeter, combining “Me” and “Twitter,” but it turns out that name is already being used by a video conferencing company. “Blathr” is currently only being used by a pet clothing company in New Jersey, so from a legal standpoint, I'm O.K., since two entities can use the same name, as long as they're not doing the same thing. Like Dominos Pizza and Dominos Dry Cleaning.