This is what happens when you reply to a tweet with a #reallylonghashtag with the New, Improved TweetDeck:
Stop it from quoting the whole hashtag, you say? As if.
Project: Rollback begins this evening.
This is what happens when you reply to a tweet with a #reallylonghashtag with the New, Improved TweetDeck:
Stop it from quoting the whole hashtag, you say? As if.
Project: Rollback begins this evening.
I started following Van Dyke Parks on Twitter because, well, hell, he’s Van Dyke Parks, genius a few degrees off plumb but no less a genius for all that. I did not expect Twitter to send me suggestions based on someone so sui generis, but they did, and they make a surprising amount of sense:
Two influential (as distinguished from “large”) record labels, two off-center singers, and a famed alt-radio station. Good show, Twitter. See if you can maintain that standard.
Although indulgences are in fact free gifts, nevertheless they are granted for the living as well as for the dead only on determined conditions. To acquire them, it is indeed required on the one hand that prescribed works be performed, and on the other that the faithful have the necessary dispositions, that is to say, that they love God, detest sin, place their trust in the merits of Christ and believe firmly in the great assistance they derive from the Communion of Saints.
[Pope Paul VI in Indulgentiarum Doctrina.]
Indulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks — such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate’s house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.
But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.
Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican’s sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the “rites and pious exercises” of the event on television, radio and through social media.
“That includes following Twitter,” said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis’ Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. “But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet.”
This is not, I hasten to add, a Get Out Of Hell Free card.
(Via Pejman Yousefzadeh.)
TweetDeck pushed out a new version this week (3.0.5), and while the improvement is useful, there are a few items from the old 0.38.2 that I’d like to see reinstated if at all possible:
Surely these can be tacked on without adding more than a few feathers’ worth of program bloat.
Twitter’s Follow recommendations are, often as not, comically absurd; a substantial percentage of my timeline every day is taken up by people reacting to them with variations on a theme in the key of WTF. Having handed over most of my tweetwork to TweetDeck, I don’t often see the recommendations posted on my actual Twitter page. However, Twitter is more than happy to notice whom I’ve most recently followed, and thus suggest (via email) “accounts similar.”
So, day before yesterday, I decided I would follow teen heartthrob turned respected mathematician and author Danica McKellar, probably because I saw someone I was already following retweeting something she’d said and I went “Oh, she’s on here?”
The following (urp) afternoon, Twitter dispatched the following list of recommendations:
Now all these folks have something to recommend them, although their relationship to Danica McKellar is unclear — except, obviously, in the case of Fred Savage.
Oh, well. As long as we’re up, here’s a gratuitous photo of The Actress Probably Still Revered As Winnie Cooper:
The least obvious, I suppose, is Jewel Staite, unless Twitter is trying to remind me that she played Jennifer Keller (!) on Stargate Atlantis.
Some days I can actually get it together:
On the plus side, at least I have enough self esteem left in me to be called asshole about 20,000 times before it starts to make a dent.
— Joan of Blackhart (@MsBlackhart) June 25, 2013
Timing, of course, is everything:
@MsBlackhart This never happened to Pablo Picasso.
— Charles G Hill (@dustbury) June 25, 2013
@dustbury Oh my god. Charles. I sincerely think that you may have just tweeted my favourite tweet of all time. Good job!
— Joan of Blackhart (@MsBlackhart) June 25, 2013
The reference, of course, is to this.
When I post new posts on robohara.com, notifications get posted to Facebook (via the FacePress plugin) and Twitter (via WordTwit). When I need to update both Facebook and Twitter at the same time, I’ve been using TweetDeck.
Over the past week FacePress, WordTwit, and TweetDeck have all stopped working. Cheese and rice, man.
It started with TweetDeck, which forced an upgrade and then informed users that the new version no longer supports Facebook. Essentially that means that TweetDeck now only supports Twitter. That’s stupid. If it only supports Twitter, then why would I use TweetDeck? The entire point of TweetDeck was that I could funnel multiple social streams into one single interface. If TweetDeck only supports Twitter, then I’m not sure what purpose it serves. From now on I’ll just go back to using Twitter’s default interface. TweetDeck has been deleted.
The reason TweetDeck did this, of course, is because Twitter bought it and didn’t want to expend any development time supporting someone else’s API, especially Facebook’s. (Early versions of TweetDeck even supported MySpace, fercryingoutloud.)
While troubleshooting TweetDeck, I noticed that my last couple of blog posts didn’t get posted on either Facebook or Twitter. Apparently, over the past week both sites updated their APIs, causing older plugins (like the ones I was running) to stop working. Facebook said, “update your plugin”. I checked the FacePress website and was informed that the plugin hadn’t been updated in three years. Greeeeeeeat. After an hour on Google I found that Jetpack for Facebook offers the same functionality — I just didn’t know it because I’ve been running an older version of Jetpack. After upgrading it, I was able to link robohara.com with Facebook once again.
Now this is out of my wheelhouse, since I’ve worked diligently to keep this site and Facebook as far apart as possible, but allow me to put in a few kind words for Jetpack, which I use on all my sites except this one: it does a whole lot without making you jump through (too many) hoops.
I had to do the same thing with Twitter. WordTwit had to be upgraded and new security keys had to be generated. After going all of that, I realized that Jetpack handles Twitter connections as well as Facebook connections, so after doing all the work to get WordTwit to work again I uninstalled it and added Twitter to Jetpack as well. Sheesh.
I used WordTwit for a while, but ultimately switched to WP to Twitter, mostly because it was better about serving up error messages. And in fact, most of the errors I encounter are due to slipping time stamps — server time here never exactly matches Twitter’s server time — or a failure to rouse the gnomes at bit.ly, rather than anything related to the plugin itself.
Twitter, in an effort to persuade users to buy ad space, is making some of their analytics available. Some of the stats to report about my followers (777 at last count):
Since at least some of those followers are institutional in nature, I suspect they count everything that isn’t explicitly female as male. I haven’t lately broken down those I follow similarly, but last time I did, there was a small female majority.
The Top Interests list is not quite what I expected:
I don’t seem to draw a lot of sports fans.
Once upon a time, by which I mean the year 2010, I accepted every Facebook friend request I got and I kept my Twitter feed public. Then I was part of three separate incidents in which my social media “friends” pulled various details of my employment, my family life, and my most embarrassing photos (which is to say most of them, really) in a couple of attempts to get me fired from my job, affect my personal life, and/or incite people in my general neighborhood to vandalize my cars/house/already-questionable lawn.
And he did what you’d probably do: backed off and went private. But this, too, has its disadvantages:
It frustrates me to no end that I can’t use social media to connect with the people who legitimately enjoy my writing — or even the people who legitimately dislike it and want to share their concerns and/or criticisms. I’ve been told to convert my Facebook page to a “fan page”, which seems repugnant. I cannot imagine that I have any “fans”. By the same token, I’d like to make a comment on a movie on Twitter without being the target of a sack full of shrill invective from somebody who’s still angry about something I may or may not have done with the wife of somebody he doesn’t even really like. You get the idea. What’s the point of being on FB and Twitter if you’re just building the proverbial walled garden?
I am able to deal with this only because I lead a relatively uninteresting life and have accumulated few detractors. (Who was it who said “Friends come and friends go, but enemies accumulate”?)¹ And I’m still, I think, fairly compartmentalized: I tend to treat Twitter as general distribution and Facebook as friends only, though inevitably there is some overlap on both ends of the line.
¹ I’ve seen this quotation, or an approximation thereof, attributed to Thomas Jones, to Arthur Bloch, and to Jayne Ann Krentz.
Earlier this week, persons unknown hacked their way into an Associated Press Twitter account and issued one bogus tweet, which promptly caused a 140-point drop in the Dow Jones industrials. Corrections were hurriedly issued, and the DJIA returned to its previous level.
This incident, says Lynn, ranks among “the top ten idiotic news events of all time,” and she prescribes a solution for those market woes:
I know how to fix the stock market. It needs to run like an older version of Windows. Every time someone buys or sells, after a 30 second delay they are asked, “Are you sure?” Then, if they choose “Yes”, there’s another 30 second delay before anything happens. And any time the stock market drops more than 100 points it blue screens.
I’d make only one change to that: delete “an older version of” and replace it with, um, well, nothing, actually.
I hadn’t thought about it lately, but it’s true: I haven’t so much as clicked on my instant-message client in months. I suspect I have seen the wisdom of this viewpoint:
One thing I hate about the electronic age is the expectation of immediacy. Some forms of electronic communication, however, have greater expectations of immediacy than others. Like instant messaging, for instance. I once had instant messaging eons ago, but I am prone to multitasking and getting distracted by more important things than random chitchat. This, of course, pissed off people I was IMing with so I ended up not doing any sort of instant messaging at all. E-mail, on the other hand, is more flexible. I respond fairly quickly if it’s from family or work, but otherwise I can put it off for a couple of days. Or respond not at all. (Or pretend that it got lost in the aether if it’s from someone I don’t really want to talk to.) Twitter is a mix between the two. While I like the IMing aspect of interacting with other people online in a semi-immediate way, I don’t think many people would get really angry with me if I get distracted and respond two hours later.
I am not particularly adept at multitasking, so I probably pissed people off even more. And I have informal Response Times for email, depending on my own priorities: six hours is a hurry, 24 hours is more likely, and 48 hours is the default for some high-volume correspondents. (It does nothing, I have discovered, to reduce their volume.)
The record for slowest response to one of my tweets? Two hundred fifty days: 29 July 2012 to 5 April 2013. “Sorry, I totally just saw this!” she explained. I understood: I’m easy to overlook, and it wasn’t like the matter was urgent.
The IRS routinely looks at your W-2 and that fistful of 1099s. And now they’re reading your social-media accounts:
New reports brought to light by one privacy and data security expert suggest that this tax filing season the Internal Revenue Service may be monitoring social media for any clues of tax cheats.
According to Kristen Mathews, a partner attorney at law firm Proskauer Rose LLP who specializes in privacy and data security, there are reports that the IRS will be checking into individual Facebook and Twitter accounts for improprieties.
Though the agency says that it will only conduct such monitoring if a tax form raises a red flag, it is somewhat unclear to what extent it will be capable of delving into social media accounts.
You think maybe that drunken debauch in Dayton you plastered (while plastered) all over Facebook might get your expenses disallowed?
(Via this Jules Shapiro tweet.)
Not wishing to face an immediate learning curve when Twitter kills off the original TweetDeck, I installed the new version on the home box last night. Observations:
So it goes. #vonnegut
Twitter announced yesterday that various versions of TweetDeck, including the one I’ve used for five years, will be put out of their misery in the next few weeks:
To continue to offer a great product that addresses your unique needs, we’re going to focus our development efforts on our modern, web-based versions of TweetDeck. To that end, we are discontinuing support for our older apps: TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone. They will be removed from their respective app stores in early May and will stop functioning shortly thereafter. We’ll also discontinue support for our Facebook integration.
Reaction in my tweetstream was swift and negative. After all, this isn’t the first time Twitter bought something and then turned it into, um, something else. (There is no small irony in the fact that Twitter’s TweetDeck blog, where this announcement was posted, is on Posterous, which is also being killed.)
There will continue to be desktop apps for Mac and PC, we are assured, which if true means there’s a slight upside: I can get rid of Adobe AIR, the environment in which this old version of TweetDeck runs. (Any day I can get rid of something that Adobe updates at random intervals is a good day indeed.) Still, this new fancy-pants API of theirs had better be able to solve quadratic equations, wash the dishes and walk the damn dog.
As the kids say, +1 for this:
As a way to establish and maintain an identifiable on-line presence, I think Facebook is probably around for the long haul. I think there is research on this that says so. Facebook seems lately to have read that research, and come to a decision that it wants to move in on LinkedIn’s turf by offering people a work identity. This, I believe, is a mistake of enormous proportions. I’m basing that on a presumption that people use these tools the way I do, and that’s always problematic I realize. But I don’t want current work contacts to see me on Facebook. Maybe past co-workers, the ones who are kinda “cool.” But there is no reason to go mixing up these two worlds, and if I’m going to be pushed into it because that’s just the way the system expects me to use its services, then I’ll be on my way out too. That’s probably what’s been happening, since most Facebook inhabitants behave more-or-less the way I do.
I shan’t be pushed in this matter. I made a rule for myself about three minutes after signing up for a Facebook account, to the effect that under no circumstances would I accept friend requests from co-workers. (Mentioning this once or twice in front of carefully selected staffers has pretty much insured that I don’t get any, either.) Past co-workers, the ones who are kinda “cool” — no problem.
I can’t, of course, do a thing about Twitter other than hide the entire lot of 32,000 tweets, which is more trouble than it’s worth. And unless someone’s doing a better job of hiding than I’d have expected, I have exactly two Twitter followers from the shop.
Twitter, which bought mobile-blog service Posterous last year for some preposterous sum, is now taking it behind the woodshed and shooting it:
On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.
If you have stuff there, you have until the day before to retrieve it.
Le Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie has now taken l’umbrage over the word “hashtag,” and while French Twitter users will not necessarily have Le Commission looking over their shoulders as they type or text, the government-approved term is now “mot-dièse”: “sharp word.”
We’re all entirely too familiar with the phrase “all the good ones are taken.” Several times a week I hear from someone who wants a really good — and really relevant! — user name for Twitter or Tumblr or Instagram, or a short and snappy domain name. I used to inform them that the time to have asked for such a thing was N months ago, where N = more than they ever imagined. And it’s true even in highly specialized areas of interest:
So, you’re a chemist and you’ve finally decided to find out what all the fuss is about with this thing called Twitter. You decide to sign up, but, for whatever reason, you don’t fancy using your own name. Maybe an element; that would be cool wouldn’t it?
Indeed it would. But how many elements are there, anyway?
[T]here are 114 named elements (we’re ignoring those ununelementium placeholder names) to choose from. Surely some of the more exotic elements must be there for the taking? Well, no. Gone. All of ‘em.
“There may be many others,” said Tom Lehrer, “but they haven’t been discovered.” Fat lot of good that does you now, though.
And what about @gallium, anyway? He is a chemist, but not a very talkative one.
And by “your time,” I suspect I really mean “James Lileks’ time”:
Every day I encounter some site I like, but rarely promote to the daily bookmark. I find this interesting. Why wouldn’t I? Because it’s a peripheral interest, and I really don’t need to check up on someone’s vintage kitchen remodel for a month. If ever. So the list of secondary bookmarks grows and grows, until weeded out six months later after a cursory revisit. Each of these pages usually has a Facebook page. Never go there. Why would I?
I am something like that, though you should probably figure that if you read it here, I don’t consider that interest “peripheral.”
What I don’t like about all of this: the fragmentation of presence. If you just have Facebook, lucky you. If that’s what you want. But if you have a blog, you should tweet, and if you tweet, isn’t there a Facebook account and a Google+ account you might want to link to that? Ought not the Tumblr be chained as well, so all updates everywhere are sprayed across all possible platforms?
Short answer: no. Slightly longer answer: there are different audiences, at least in my case, for each of these platforms. (I don’t have a presence on Tumblr.) And nothing I say is so gosh-darn important that I have to push it out to everyone who’s ever heard of me.
At some point after I all but ditched twitter, I realized I missed it, and had a little heart-to-heart with myself about it. What good was twitter for me? What did I enjoy about it before the million followers (which had now “dwindled” to about 920,000)? What was twitter good for.
Well, it was good for making friends, meeting new people, discovering how many talented people are hanging around the internet, getting to do stuff with some of those talented people, having friends to visit wherever we travel, telling offensive, horrible jokes and letting a million people know when I’ve gotten my period.
There it was. I joined twitter for the conversation, for the ability to connect with people who enjoyed the same warped sense of humor, people who liked hockey and baseball, people who enjoyed talking about music and people who liked to banter back and forth, to engage.
My own interests vary a bit, but my motivations are precisely the same, apart from that whole “period” bit.
For some reason, Twitter offered me a deal on ad space:
In support of the Shop Small initiative this holiday season, Twitter is giving away up to $1MM in free advertising to businesses, and you’ve been selected to receive $100 in Twitter ad credits. In order to redeem the credit, you must enter valid billing information and begin advertising on Twitter by December 31. Any charges you incur for advertising over the $100 offer will be charged to the payment method entered at the time you set up your Twitter ad campaign.
Other than toss up thirty thousand tweets, I have no idea what I did to deserve this. I know people with greater volume and far more of a following who didn’t receive such an offer.
Of late, there have been some weird delays in getting everything loaded up here, and while it’s easy, even instinctive, to blame SiteMeter, which has had several inexplicable outages of late, the real culprit most of the time is Twitter, whose widget I’d carefully rewritten to match the site design. They have announced that they’re dropping support for said widget Real Soon Now, and they’re pushing Embedded Timelines in its place. I have duly installed the contraption, and it does seem to load a little faster, which may be simply due to the fact that it’s less customizable. I do, however, find it disconcerting to see all these Mini-Me apparitions down the sidebar.
Rainn Wilson tweeted this Monday: “I’m like Zooey Deschanel without the quirkiness, beauty or vagina.”
Replied Zooey: “Why? Did you get bangs?”
In response, Rainn put up a vintage photo of himself at around age 14.
You know what’s coming next, right?
On the left, one of Zooey’s high-school yearbook pictures; at right, Rainn’s vintage photo. In view of same, we find Mr Wilson to have made his case, or at least two-thirds of it.
A woman hands a book to the librarian. Only it’s not one of the library’s books:
She pulls out of her bag a beaten-up copy of Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho.
Lady: “You are a young girl. You are not an old fogey. Therefore I am not intimidated to tell you what the book is about.”
She leans over and whispers, “It’s … all … pornography.”
Lady: “Do you know why men visit prostitutes?”
[Librarian]: “I don’t…I’m not really…”
Lady: “It’s not about sex. You’d be surprised.”
The librarian duly tweets about the experience.
Which tweet is promptly retweeted — by Paulo Coehlo.
Tipping her hat to this review — okay, I don’t know if she actually ever wears a hat, but work with me here — she announces that she’s going to read the book, once the library’s own copy is returned from loan.
Which got me thinking: do we, here in the Big Sanitary, have this book in our library? Yes, we do: two copies, one at the branch nearest to me, neither of them checked out at the moment.
Maybe I need to read this book, just to keep the momentum going. And no, it’s not pornography.
This is perfectly clean, in case you b minor:
(Snatched from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Facebook page.)
This is actually two, two, TWO gripes in one, but I didn’t want to break up the paragraph, so here’s at least some of Scott’s explanation for not doling out the free ice cream this week:
This latter, of course, is what I consider further justification for sports on the radio.
Along these lines, more than once (which I suppose equals “twice”) I’ve discussed the possibility of a @42ndAndTreadmill Twitter account with the sysadmin, and a few days back he allowed that he was planning on doing some experimenting with the Twitter API so the thing could be fully automated. I pointed out that we couldn’t automate everything, inasmuch as inevitably some folks would want to tweet back at us, and he decided that maybe this wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Possibly the year.
Adam Gurri’s Stories of Progress and Stagnation, which you should read even if it takes you all day, contains this wonderfully rueful sentence:
At Founder’s Fund, the venture capital firm at which [Peter] Thiel is a partner, they have a saying: “we wanted flying cars, and instead we got 140 characters.”
Feel free to tweet this.
When I first had the unmitigated gall to stick Facebook share buttons on individual posts — I still haven’t done it on the front page, and likely won’t — I noted that the FB script merely displayed a logo, and I added the term “Share” to the template manually.
Facebook has since glued the word “Share” to the button, which meant that all 12,000-odd posts in this database had “Share” on either side of the logo. It didn’t take long to fix the template, so the posts will be corrected as the cached copies expire, but FB’s text size for “Share” is smaller than my default and therefore smaller than the “Tweet this” text next to the Twitter button on the next line, so I had to tweak that as well, but they still didn’t match exactly. Finally, I decided if we’re going to have dissimilar styles, we’re going to have completely dissimilar styles, and I installed the officially licensed Tweet Button. (Which is bigger, so nyah.)
I suppose there’s a way to do this for Google+, but Google prides itself on its incomprehensible documentation, so I’m not considering giving them a button any time soon.
Update: Got the Google+ to work. On the first try, even.
Further update: Also got the newer FB button, since the old one is facing extinction.
[Twitter i]s just a means to an end: communication. Bemoaning the constraints of the form is like whining about the rules of the sonnet.
I am not one of those people who resents having to fit something into a size or a pattern. One of the reasons those early Motown records were so great was that they were short enough to get out of their own way: until Marvin Gaye’s version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” the Gordy machine routinely chopped ‘em down to less than three minutes. Those editing jobs were sometimes clumsy, sometimes worse than that — see, for instance, the Supremes’ “Reflections” or “I’m Ready for Love” by Martha and the Vandellas — but rules is rules.
Of course, having once written an almost-sonnet, I’m not likely to grumble about having to make things conform to a specific format.