You may or may not be aware of the thriving, friendly and helpful community of editors, colorists, motion graphic artists, audio mixer, assistants and post-production professionals that have been actively engaged and involved in Twitter for nearly 15 years. I won’t claim credit for starting this community, as there have been many, many people who have made it what it is over the years but I will take credit for a 2008 blog post that seemed to have kicked it off for many of us.
Where the Twitter about editing all began
I had only had the original Editblog up and running for a couple of years when this Twitter thing came along and seemed interesting. I decided to set up an account and thought it would be fun to see if we could get some other editors out there on there so we could communicate in this new 140-character way.
just posted a blog post to try and get folks to Twitter about editing
— Scott Simmons (@editblog) March 22, 2008
While the original blog post is long gone since my original website that housed that early WordPress install is gone, The Internet Archive Wayback Machine has preserved it for us all to see:
The original Twitter about editing blog post from 2008.
And then we visited the Twitter about editing thing a year later in 2009, actually here on ProVideo Coalition.
Ahh, the memories. What is great about that blog post is all the names and handles in the comments of people that signed up for Twitter and became part of the early Twitter editing and post-production community. While the Twitter hashtag had been around since the beginning, someone coined the hashtag #PostChat at some point a few years in, and it became a regular tag to follow.
There was a period where there were regular weekly #PostChat hangouts that might run for hours. Spin-offs for that happened with motion graphics and audio. I’m sure there were many camera and production-related chat hashtags that I was never a part of. #TimelineTuesday gave editors a glimpse into how other editors setup their timelines. Often we gasped a how messy some editors could really be!
— Tom Strachan (@tstrachanedit) November 15, 2022
Hashtags themselves were even relevant a very long time as you could search #PremierePro, #MediaComposer or #FCPX and find useful information and a helpful community always ready to answer a question or offer up a tip. In recent years a lot of those hashtags have become flooded with marketing spam, sales pitches and shameless self-promotion making them almost useless.
What Twitter has done for me
It’s no doubt that the Elon purchase of Twitter and the subsequent descent into suck that has been happening isn’t what any of us want to see. And it’s downright scary to think that a platform many of us have invested hundreds upon hundreds of hours into (not to mention thousands upon thousands of characters) might die and leave us with a way to connect to so many friends (Don’t forget to download your Twitter data for … well, because you can). As big of a cesspool and hate-filled platform as Twitter can be, for many of us, it isn’t that at all, but rather it can still do what Twitter originally did best: connect you to like-minded individuals.
If not for Twitter, there are many people I would have never met and been able to call friends. There are countless amounts of knowledge I gained from questions asked, conversations lurked, comments favorited and articles shared. There are direct message threads that went on for days and even weeks, only to pick up years later. There were meetups there were planned in the Twitterverse only to manifest in real life at conference after conference.
Is anybody that's at NAB yet riding this Las Vegas monorail? Is it a good way to get around?
— Scott Simmons (@editblog) April 13, 2008
And there are people that, upon meeting in person, you have an instant connection with because you know them first by their handle and then second by who they are because you’ve known them for years on Twitter.
I’ve gotten work from Twitter, meals from Twitter, gear for Twitter and many, many drinks from Twitter. And I’ve also given a lot of all that as well since so much of what makes Twitter great is that back and forth, give and receive.
Where do we go if Twitter flies away?
While I certainly hope Twitter doesn’t fly itself into a window and die, it’s worth looking at what an alternative to the Twitter Postchat community might be like. It seems many are making a move to Mastodon, an open-source Twitter clone. A very smart and very helpful Twitter regular Felipe Baez has setup a Mastodon server called postchat.io for the post-production community, and I am going to follow that one.
Thanks to Felipe for doing this. It’s worth noting that Mastodon is more work than Twitter, as Felipe is doing a lot of this hosting and setup himself. I asked him about this, and he has 3 server instances set up and backing up, so the workload isn’t trivial. Who knows what the uptake will be for post-chat Mastodon. A social media community is only as good as the users that are there, so time will tell.
Off we go to whatever stays and/or whatever is next!