Archive for Tweetwaffle

It doesn’t work that way

Unless things have changed a whole lot more than I think they have, and I have no reason to think they have:

Screenshot from Twitter: Jesus Christ followed you

Then again, that’s about what I said when that notification came in.

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Shortable stock

It is no secret that Twitter is losing money hand over fist. It’s easy, I suppose, to blame corporate governance, such as it is, but maybe there’s something else at work:

My thought is that for every new person who tries to express coherent thoughts in bursts of 140 characters or less, at least one current user discovers that even when it can be done no one is interested and quits. Apparently there is a limit to the number of people who figure the best response to a watered-down oversimplified knee-jerk reaction to an event or statement is to squawk out another one.

If nothing else, this would explain user growth, of which they have had essentially none.

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The turn of a friendly card

Twitter cards have been around for several years, but I couldn’t remember ever seeing one. I did, finally, get dealt one last night, as a thank-you-for-sharing response by an Alaskan fashion blogger:

I guess that’s kind of neat in its own way, and it probably doesn’t carry too much of a bandwidth payload. Then again, I’m inclined to think that the idea of an Alaskan fashion blogger is kind of neat in its own way — especially one with an umlaut.

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Artificial tweetener

As of yesterday, the Windows version of TweetDeck is dead, dead, dead; I reluctantly switched over to the Web version, which I deemed marginally acceptable at best. If I find a reasonable workalike, I vowed, that’s where I’m going.

This is where I wound up:

Tweeten is available for Windows 10, 8, and 7. Our Windows app is currently in beta, and you can download it from the links below.

There followed links; there are OSX and Chrome versions as well. I jumped. It looks about as much like TweetDeck as is algorithmically possible without being actionable, and it doesn’t eat a browser tab while so doing. According to Tweeten’s profile, it was “Developed by @mehedih_ and @gus33000” in England and France. The first of those chaps is Mehedi Hassan, deputy editor of MSPowerUser.com. If he sees me with a hat, I will take it off the moment I recognize him.

There are, inevitably, some things that scream “Beta!” The Light theme is indistinguishable from the Dark theme, and column widths don’t seem to be adjustable despite a toggle. On the upside, it doesn’t scroll stupidly the way TweetDeck always did, which is reason enough to keep it right there.

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The ghosts of Olympic Stadium

This seems a reasonable question to ask in 2016, and the Washington Post duly asks it: Why does a long-dead baseball club need a Twitter account?

The Montreal Expos don’t exist anymore. They’re a defunct brand that hasn’t seen the light of day since 2004. But they almost certainly have way more Twitter followers than you do.

By a factor of, oh, let’s say, twenty.

Baseball fans scrolling through their Twitter feeds today might have noticed a ghostly presence popping intermittently onto their screens. That’s because the Expos, dead for the last dozen years, appear to have somehow acquired the tweeting habits of a bored teenage girl who can’t stop thinking about her ex-boyfriend.

Then again, there is method in this seeming madness:

Montreal baseball fans were excited to be hosting a pair of spring training games this weekend between the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox. This marks the third straight year the Jays have concluded their spring exhibition schedule at Olympic Stadium, site of all those fuzzy Expos memories of yore. It’s a fun occasion for the expected 100,000 fans descending on the area, and, more importantly, it’s a chance for the city to show Major League Baseball that it craves a team again.

I note, just for amusement value, that the Expos’ account is on three Twitter lists, while the account of the Washington Nationals, the current designation for that franchise, is on only two. (I’m on 121, but don’t ask.)

And the Expos responded to the WaPo this way:

Also a reasonable question to ask in 2016.

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Still doing it wrong

The standalone TweetDeck client is being killed off:

Twitter announced today it is shutting down the TweetDeck app for windows on April 15.

Which they buried in the third paragraph of a new-features promo.

And why would they phase out arguably the most popular version of an application for which they paid £25 million five years ago? Why do you think?

Twitter’s plan is to push all users to Twitter.com for their advertisement revenue.

Yeah, right. They just dished up a 4.0 version; I’m betting that they tried, and failed, to wedge ads into it.

In the meantime, tweetdeck.com will continue to work in browsers. Maybe. They did mention Chrome.

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Listing this way or that

I have never taken advantage of Twitter’s “List” function, mostly out of a misplaced concern that I might concentrate on one group of tweeters at the expense of all the others; if I need to monitor a concept or a hashtag, I can always create a temporary column in TweetDeck. And frankly, I’m not all that comfortable with associating people’s names with, say, “women with whom I have no chance whatsoever, dammit” or “people who perversely believe that Trixie is Best Pony.”

That said, I’m on 121 lists compiled by other people, and the vast majority of them are “people I know” or “people who hang on #blogchat.” Nothing particularly accusative. Two of them, however, do make me smile: Writer’s point and Online Media. They help to preserve the illusion that I have something to say.

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You still talk too much

This happened last night:

75000 tweets

Since the 26th of October, the date of my 70,000th tweet, I’ve picked up 94 followers and I’m following 64 more people.

Of course, the scary statistic is this one: 5000 tweets in 116 days. That’s forty-three a day.

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Mustard out

These items were next to each other in my tweetstream last night, around a quarter to nine:

TweetDeck screenshot featuring mustard references

“Yeah, they were all yellow” — Coldplay

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Changing with the times

I really don’t have much of a counterargument for this:

I have a similar annual spend. Then again, I probably have more posts than most.

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Tweetier than thou

It began here:

Seventy thousand tweets later, where it stands.

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Exception noted

Monday morning, Twitter was glitching all over the place, prompting this observation:

I’d say that Brian J. begs to differ, except for the fact that I can imagine no circumstances under which Brian J. would beg.

Anyway, I put up a correction.

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Multiple death syndrome

I’ve been wanting to know this myself: Why is Leslie Nielsen STILL dead?

This week there have been waves of online sympathy over the passing of actor Leslie Nielsen prompting many to quote their favourite and most memorable lines from films such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun.

The only trouble is Nielsen actually died in November 2010 aged 84.

That didn’t stop thousands of online users sharing this BBC story without checking the date and so it appeared that Nielsen had just died.

As a result the article popped up in the “Most Read” section which resulted in even more people sharing it. And the snowball rolled on gathering weight. Many people shared their own personal tributes on Twitter and then felt foolish when they discovered the truth.

One possible explanation:

[I]f a person’s celebrity is below a certain level some of their fans may have missed news of their original death. And if they randomly search to find out whatever happened to a star, they may discover a report of their hero’s death, but not notice the date stamp. And so another snowball starts rolling downhill.

It’s chaos theory making its presence known via social media. An entirely innocent variation of the Butterfly Effect.

Fortunately, it’s easy to check up on Abe Vigoda.

(Via Fark.)

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Predictive smartassery

Christmas morning, I was bleary-eyed and running about 60 percent brain function, but I still managed to come up with this:

No response. (Too early, you think?) Then, an hour later, this showed up:

Bless you, Mr Harvey, sir.

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Citation unneeded

There’s a practical limit to how much you can squeeze into 140 characters, and by now you’d think that everyone would know that. Apparently not:

I sometimes wonder how narcissists manage to get by in the world unless they’re wealthy or politically influential enough to attract a flock of sycophants eager to tell them that their egocentric Weltanschauung is correct. It must be crushing for them to be reminded on a daily basis that the universe absolutely does not give a shit about them, and that most of their fellow humans care hardly a particle more than that. Of course, I’m assuming that they aren’t completely delusional; perhaps they go about distorting everything they hear and experience until it supports their own grotesquely-inflated sense of self-importance. I can’t imagine any other way that some random tweeter with a couple of dozen followers could actually expect a positive response to his demands that I produce citations and links for statements made in 140-character tweets. Yet I encountered not one but several of these last week; these champions of Not Getting It apparently failed to grasp the difference between a tweet and an academic paper until I none-too-gently reminded them that a tweet looks like this and an academic paper like this.

I have seen activists tweet back at people to the effect of “Shouldn’t you be getting your own information?” At first this seemed a bit high-handed; but it eventually occurred to me that finding my own links to stuff would stick better than just having them give me a bunch of links to stuff, and besides, there’s a better chance I’d hear more than a single side to the story while doing my own searching. So no, I don’t consider anyone responsible for my continuing education, except for myself.

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Beat on the bot

How many of you would be delighted to see someone like this suspended?

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How to auto tweet without getting your account suspended?

A bit of self-justification here:

My twitter got suspended though they were not specific why. They just said multiple violations to the twitter policies. Yeah really big help. I assumed it was because I was auto tweeting from google alerts. How am I suppose to tweet a lot of news from google when I don’t want to sit here all day doing so? How do some people get their accounts suspended for auto tweeting and some don’t? I have a life and don’t want to sit here all day long tweeting news from google alerts manually. Do they automatically tweet stuff just once in a while, one a day, once a week or what?

Darlin’, if you’re tweeting nothing but news from Google, by definition you have no life. And the likelihood that you’d get any followers is pretty close to zip.

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Rolling in the derp

I have long suspected this situation of prevailing with many celebrity Twitter accounts:

Adele also partakes in “Rumor Has It”, a fan Q&A. Asked if it’s true that she doesn’t have access to her own Twitter account, she responds that it is. “I’m not a drinker anymore, but when Twitter first came out, I was like, ‘You’re drunk tweeting,’ and nearly put my foot in it quite a few times. So my management decided, ‘You have to go through, like, two people, and it has to be signed off by someone’.” (Despite the lack of access, she says that she still writes her own tweets, which are then posted by her staff).

Perhaps I need to watch this stuff a bit more carefully.

(Via Laura Northrup.)

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Foot, meet bullet

Twitter evidently thinks this is a really swell idea:

We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.

The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.

What people? Earth people? The heart symbol does not “convey a range of emotions.” It conveys exactly one emotion — admittedly, a complex one, but still only one.

And “like” makes as much sense in this context as it does on Facebook, which is to say none at all. Zeynep Tufekci has already explained this once:

Let me explain with a sad example. I saw a heartbreaking video recently, two refugee kids wading in water among floating dead bodies, being brought, finally, to safety. A man comforts them, “come on baby,” he says, “we made it,” while the children cry. It broke my heart. This is a topic I write about often, and one my social network cares deeply about, as many are from the war-wrecked region producing these refugees.

I read your piece about native video. So I downloaded the video, and uploaded it natively to Facebook, just to make sure. I published it as a public status update. The first comment I get is on how my friend cannot “like” it.

And of course, lacking actual likes, the video goes largely unseen:

It will mostly get ignored, because my social network has no way to signal to the algorithm that this is something they care about.

Of course, that was Facebook. Does Twitter make situations like this look any better?

I’ll take that as a “No.” Twitter didn’t think this one out; all they can see is well, Facebook has it, and Facebook is making money.

And if my Twitter feed is at all representative, a lot of people do not “love” it.

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You talk too much

You worry me to death:

User profile featuring seventy thousand tweets

I mean, come on. Seventy thousand?

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We have sunk to this

Somebody evidently thought that was clever. The horrible aspect of it, though, is that said somebody probably still has a job.

(Via @inthefade.)

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Hashing it out

The US Geological Survey has a new and unlikely partner in earthquake spotting: Twitter. Yes, really:

Did you first hear about the devastating earthquake that struck Sichuan on Twitter? You’d be surprised at how many did, as the social-media platform was actually faster at reporting the earthquake than the US government organization tasked with monitoring such events.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has 2,000 earthquake sensors but the vast majority of these are based in the US. This limits the USGS’ ability to monitor earthquakes in the rest of the world. To cover its blind spots, USGS has teamed up with Twitter.

Millions of people use Twitter to report earthquakes, but the data needs to be fine-tuned for it to be useful. USGS analyzed these tweets and found that those tweeting about earthquakes kept their tweets short. They also realized that those tweeting links were less likely to be users experiencing the earthquake firsthand.

And they’re getting good at it, too:

It only took one minute and 20 seconds — from just 14 tweets — to be alerted of an earthquake aftershock in Chile.

In 2014, the USGS was alerted to the earthquake in Napa, California in 29 seconds using Twitter data.

And I rely on Twitter myself in these instances, since I haven’t actually felt one since the big 5.6 back in 2011.

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Dystargeted marketing

This was waiting for me on TweetDeck yesterday morning:

Follow message from @yawn

I have to admit, they do have a pretty nice product line of nightwear for women, though I really can’t imagine any circumstances under which I’d buy any, being (1) not a woman and (2) disinclined to wear anything to bed for the last half-century or so.

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Making it up in volume

I hate being confronted with stuff like this:

Mostly because I have to admit that I’m closer to thirty a day than to three. (A shade under 29.8, in fact.) Then again, I never said I was effective at this sort of thing.

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It could be terse

Alternatively, “we put the suck in succinct:”

Then again, how much exposition do you need for a link to a cat video?

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Almost perfectly in sync

A mere two minutes apart:

Adjectived noun is adjective. Sort of.

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Pictures to burn

Within a few minutes of each other, these Twitter notifications appeared:

Taylor Swift wannabes

As Swift herself might have said: “Fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake.”

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Greatest hit

Said I last week:

[T]ruth be told, I’ve flourished on Twitter, if only because I am practiced in the art of the one-liner.

That said, lest anyone think I’m some sort of Social Media Avatar, this is my single most popular tweet ever, and it’s pure fluff:

I trust you weren’t expecting an exegesis of Reinhold Niebuhr.

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Perhaps meant for each other

Two souls with a single thought, however far apart:

Text from Calvin Harris about scissors

Text from Taylor Swift about scissors

Of course they’re dating.

(Via TSwiftDaily.)

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#getdressed

One analyst swears that Twitter is about to de-smutify itself:

According to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey tech analyst Robert Peck, Twitter is preparing to purge an estimated 10 million porn-posting users. Ditching such a large chunk of users sounds drastic until you do the math: Twitter claims to have 302 million monthly users, so getting rid of the explicit posters will only account for about 3 percent of its total—although that’s just counting the users and not their followers.

Why would they do such a thing? Perhaps because of this incident:

Nielsen, the television and digital measurement company, was forced to halt one of its paid-for Promoted Tweets campaigns this week after its ads were served against profile pages dedicated to pornography, according to Adweek.

The Nielsen paid-for tweet, reading “Am I getting the most value from my media buy? Learn what other questions you should ask in our webinar recording,” appeared on the “Homemade Porn” and “Daily Dick Pictures” profile pages, Adweek reports. The trade magazine says ads from other brands including Duane Reade, NBCUniversal, and Gatorade also showed up in feeds next to pornographic images and videos. The problem appears to be tied to a new ad format “Suggested by Twitter,” which only first rolled out in March.

Which suggests that this is indeed a bug and not a feature.

And there’s always the problem of defining porn beyond “I know it when I see it,” because, well, you probably don’t, and I can’t imagine how you’d automate Miller v. California.

Just for the record, I follow three individuals with porn, or at least porn-y backgrounds: one current performer, one retired, and one who possibly aspires to stardom. The retired one posts nothing questionable at all. Then again, I am not one to look down my nose at sex workers, who in some ways could be considered, um, manual labor.

I also follow a handful of naturists, most of whom post nothing untoward, though I’ve seen some, um, odd retweets pop into my timeline. (Last night presented a fairly unique experience: how do you compliment someone on her new dress when you’ve hardly ever seen her in any kind of dress at all?)

Twitter’s media policy is simultaneously clear and murky:

If you upload media that might be considered sensitive content such as nudity, violence, or medical procedures, you should consider applying the account setting “Mark my media as containing sensitive content.” We do not mediate content. All content should be marked appropriately as per our guidelines.

After all, “should” is a long way from “must,” and there are an awful lot of people out there who, if asked, would come down on the side of “must.”

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139 or bust

There is this so-called Rule of Social Media which says: “Don’t use all 140 characters. Give people room to retweet with a reply.” This rule was obviously conceived before the current version of the Twitter quote function, but it’s not something I’ve ever worried about, and neither did Lynn:

Ridiculous! Sometimes 140 characters is barely enough and you expect me to limit myself to even fewer?

I have written an amazing number — amazing to me, anyway — of 141- or 142-character tweets, necessitating on-the-fly editing, preferably without lapsing into txtspk. I get perhaps more than my share of interaction, and I have yet to hear anyone complain that my tweets are too long.

While we’re at it, this Facebook “rule” and Lynn’s reply:

Don’t Like your own post. — Do people do that? Actually, I wouldn’t do it but I don’t see how it could hurt or inconvenience anyone. So someone’s post has 4 likes instead of 3, or 1 instead of none. Is this really a problem? Sure it says something about you if [you] Like your own posts but other than that…

If FB ever gets a proper Dislike function, I plan to downthumb as many of my own posts as I can.

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