Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

Two Great Pictures

Here’s what Twitter brought to me today.  First, from @_Dianne, this picture of lightning over Brisbane, courtesy of

Lightning over Brisbane

Lightning over Brisbane

Next, from @moniguzman, this picture of the 520 floating bridge in Seattle “floating” in fog, via Twinkle Shots:

520 bridge floating in fog

520 bridge floating in fog

Thanks tweeples!


Heuristics for Twitter Following

How do you decide whether or not to follow someone on Twitter?

Everyone has their own “attention bandwidth” that they can devote to Twitter and other social-networking platforms like Facebook,, Plurk, Pownce, etc. Some people can follow thousands and not bat an eye; others cap their following count at a firm number and have an “add one, remove one” rule.

Here are my own personal heuristics for deciding whether or not to follow someone:

  1. Do I feel overwhelmed right now? If not, I’ll probably follow.
  2. Have they followed me? Unless they get dinged for some other reason below, I’m likely to follow back.
  3. Are they spammers? Dinged without remorse.
  4. Do they use a recognizably “real” name, or something like CrazyHippo45? The more real the name, the more likely I am to follow back.
  5. Do they use a real photo in their avatar? If not, I’m less likely to follow.
  6. Do they tweet consistently? If they have big gaps in their tweetstream I’m not likely to follow.
  7. Do they have a reasonable followed/following ratio? I don’t personally care too much about absolute numbers, but if they follow 2,000 people, and only have 20 followers, something smells.
  8. Do they post about topics I’m interested in, or topics I’m not interested in?
  9. Do they have frequent tweetorrhea (e.g. posting 40 times in any single hour): probably won’t follow.
  10. Are they following or followed by people I’m following or followed by? +1.
  11. Can they spell? You’d be surprised how important this is to me.

What are your personal rules for deciding whom to follow on Twitter?

How Addicted To Twitter Are You?

So, coming after the big success of my blog post The 12 People You Meet On Twitter, I present you with the following quiz that will help you make sense of your #1 obsession:

How Addicted To Twitter Are You?

  • You evangelize twitter to others (5 POINTS)
  • You’ve adopted a cartoon avatar for at least some length of time. (5 POINTS)
  • You’ve changed your twitter name at least once. (5 POINTS)
  • You link Twitter to Facebook. (5 POINTS)
  • One of your tags on your blog is “Twitter”. (10 POINTS)
  • You check your follower count at least once a day (10 POINTS)
  • You’ve made new real-world friends among your tweeps (10 POINTS)
  • You have a personal theory of what characteristics make a tweep a good follow. (10 POINTS)
  • You’ve integrated a photosharing website with your Twitter account. (10 POINTS)
  • You tweet on vacation (10 POINTS)
  • You’ve integrated a voice-to-text service with your Twitter account. (15 POINTS)
  • You know the nickname of the guy who founded both Blogger and Twitter. (15 POINTS)
  • You get giddy whenever you hear about a new Twitter tool or mashup. (15 POINTS)
  • You’ve tried at least 6 Twitter clients. (20 POINTS)
  • You have an instantly recognizable personal style for all your tweets. (20 POINTS)
  • You Twitter while watching a big-screen movie. (25 POINTS)
  • You keep Twhirl open all the time so that you can scroll back and pick up missed tweets. (25 POINTS)
  • When you wake up, you check Twitter before you check e-mail. (30 POINTS)
  • You Tweet your airport code as you rush to get to your connecting flight. (35 POINTS)
  • You tweet on the toilet.  (40 POINTS)
  • You tweet while visiting a dying relative in the hospital. (50 POINTS)
  • You tweet while you drive. (50 POINTS)
  • You tweet at a funeral. (50 POINTS)
  • You tweet while waiting to be arraigned in court. (50 POINTS)
  • You Tweet while using the urinal. (70 POINTS)
  • You tweet during a nooner. (100 POINTS)

Add up your points and post a comment!  Share your stories, we’re all friends here.  Feel free to suggest new categories of addiction as well, along with a recommended point scale. to Twitter Bridge

Based on @marinamartin’s experience, I’ve decided to set up a bridge between and Twitter, so that updates I make in one tool can be viewed in the other.

My first experiment was with Brad Williams’ tool, but that appears to be one-way only, from to Twitter.

Another search pulled up kshep’s bridge, which ALSO appears to be one-way only.

Is there such a thing as a two-way bridge?

While I was searching, I saw some tweets that seemed to indicate that there may be a conscious decision NOT to program in two-way updates, due the “closed nature” of twitter and in order to make a “political statement”. Oh snap. I suppose that’s what happens when you get a bunch of talented open-source hackers on a project in an election year 🙂

So here’s where I’m at: if I can’t get two-way updates, then I will mainly use Twitter for the near future. If I can get two-way updates, I’ll use

Federation, heal thyself?

John Cleese is on Twitter, But I Won’t Follow Him (Yet)

I just saw a tweet from Fred that John Cleese is now on Twitter.  As is my usual habit, I checked out John’s tweetstream and have decided that – as much as I love him as an actor – I won’t be following him on Twitter.

The reason?  He’s obviously writing for an audience.  I doubt that John has said “Bloody Heck” in preference to “Bloody Hell”, ever, yet he writes “Bloody Heck” in his tweet.

Turn off your internal editor, John!  When you do, I’ll follow you.

Useless Distinctions: Twitter as Microblogging

Steven Hodson has a post up on Mashable! where he whines that “Twitter is not microblogging”. Before I get into my own thoughts on the topic, I have an initial question:

Who the Hell Cares?

Steven’s apparently pissed that hardworking OBs (Original Bloggers) aren’t getting the respect that they used to, what with the upstarts like Twitter and Tumblr and Plurk infringing on the blogging turf.

I just have one thing to say: for shit’s sake. Get off your high horse already.

Now, as to the question of where Twitter fits in the new evolution of blogging: Twitter and its lifestreaming brethren are definitely blogging tools, if you are smart enough to see blogging in context, and not just as a collection of tools and techniques.  What are the key features of blogging in the historical sense?  Let me take a stab:

  • Public
  • Personal
  • Direct
  • Timely
  • Subjective
  • Worldwide

You tell me how Twitter doesn’t meet those criteria.

Somebody commented on Hodson’s article that his post must have been linkbait.  I doubt it – I just think he’s stuck in a mental trap and can’t – for the moment anyway – dig himself out of his current worldview.  The fact that he came in behind several dozen commenters and tried to turn this into a juvenile “Yay if you’re with me, Boo if you’re against me” doesn’t speak well for his near-term enlightenment.

The Twelve People You Meet On Twitter

If you’ve been around Twitter long enough, certain patterns start to emerge. People start to develop tweeting habits, and for better or worse, those patterns tend to stay fairly stable, at least in my experience.  Some people are composite creatures; others are definitely single-tracking.

Do you recognize any of these people?

  1. GHOST: Starts Twittering, posts a handful of times, then disappears.
  2. NERDCORE: Hopelessly geeky (and proud of it), writes tweets like this: “ states eDonkey as best P2P client on linux But it was shutdown, wasn’t it? Can anyone confirm it?”
  3. FLIRT: Writes a lot of tweets with the word “sexy” and “boobs” and “naked” (not necessarily in the same tweet).
  4. WHORE: Shameless self-promoter of blog posts.  Has 10,000 followers.
  5. WHORE IN TRAINING: Just like a WHORE, but sheepishly apologizes for it every now and then.  Wants 10,000 followers.
  6. MR. GUILTY: Endless naughty-boy revelations about alcohol, gambling, or behaving badly.
  7. ST. CRISPIN: Today is an opportunity! Carpe Diem! I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be alive on THIS VERY DAY!
  8. HIPSTER: Goes to all the cool social networking events and meets with Loic and Scoble and Guy every month.  Lets you know about it.
  9. POLITICAL HARRIDAN: Sends 140-character rants about this or that politician or policy proposal.
  10. INQUISTOR: 90% of their tweets are questions to their “audience”.
  11. DILBERT: My office is dysfunctional and I sort of like it because I can tweet about it.
  12. ZZZ: Sends tweets like “I’m on my 2nd cup of coffee” or “heading home”.

So, which are you? Which other tweeter archetypes am I missing?

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