Is Twitter Dead?
I've been actively using Twitter since 2009, seriously since about 2015.
Twitter has helped me grow my network, and build an audience which I never thought would be possible for an introvert like me.
The recent acquisition by Elon Musk, has had a lot of users wondering what the future of Twitter will look like. A free speech haven perhaps? Or a town square full of lies and conspiracy theories?
Last night I even googled "is Twitter dead", to my surprise there has been blog posts and news stories going back years trying to figure out an answer.
I thought it funny, given the interest in the topic, that there wasn't a single page website, that answered the questions. So I figured I'd build it...
How was this built?
My first thought was to build a really simple single static html page, that just had the word "no" in it. Throw it up on a cloud hosting platform, so I didn't have to worry about scaling/maintaining it.
However, as with most things, the health of Twitter is a complicated thing. People are writing about it all the time, and will continue to write about it. Will Twitter be dead at some point? Maybe.
I'm interested in the latest news, I'm sure other people are too. So the single one word answer, was not enough.
So I went back to the stack that I'm most familiar with Laravel.
I bootstrapped a default application, and added the Breeze starter kit. Breeze adds some very minimal authentication features, and also adds some basic styling using Tailwind.
Since I decided I wanted to track some news stories, I added a table to manage the links. My original plan was just to log into the database and add these manually with SQL.
The I remembered that I Filament makes it really easy to build a simple admin panel to manage stuff like this for site administrators, so I added that. This is what the admin panel looks like...
I pushed the site code to Github, added the site to one of my existing servers on Forge and that could have been it, site live.
Building for Scale
Chances are nobody is going to look at this site, I built it less than an hour for some fun on a Saturday night. But hey you never know.
What's the best way to make sure I don't have to worry about spikes in traffic?
Laravel has ways to handle this pretty easily. View caching makes it very efficient to build and serve dynamic content with very small servers, but I wanted something a little more robust. So I decided to put the site behind a Cloudflare CDN.
Cloudflare will, for free, serve my website to users from all over the world using their global network. So why not take advantage of such a nice offering.
On top of that I'll also get free GDPR compliant website analytics, no banners needed.
Configuration is a breeze, they even generate self signed SSL certs you can use to have full end to end encryption for your websites, not that I needed that here but always good to try these things out when you don't need them.
Just need to update the DNS to use Cloudflare servers and I'm done.
Website live, check it out: https://istwitterdead.com/
I'm still on Twitter, for now, just @mubashariqbal if you have any questions or comments.