Posted tagged ‘twitter’

Twitter haters and why they hate

October 6, 2009

Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Biz Stone told New York magazine that “[Twitter] is about the triumph of the human spirit.”

I want to believe this. I really do. I enjoy tweeting and reading the random and funny musings of friends (for the most part) and the occasional stranger. I’m convinced that tweeting is the closest thing I will ever experience to “celebrity”-dom. It’s your very own virtual paparazzi where a bunch of eyes (somewhere out there) are tracking your every move and thought. (Or at least I hope so or else we’re all just shouting into a deep, black abyss aren’t we?)

At the same time, I know a majority of the material on Twitter is – to put it kindly – unimpressive. It’s not profound, it’s not meaningful, and I really think it’s the furthest thing from a “triumph of the human spirit.” (And if it is – well, I don’t think I need to say we’re all in a whole lot of trouble.)

But hey, I think it’s fine to dabble in the Twitter-verse for personal entertainment periodically throughout the day. Like the old adage goes, “Everything in moderation.”

Even so, amongst the mainstream who sing Twitter’s praises I’ve discovered a rare breed of hardcore Twitter haters out there. And I’m not talking about people who are frustrated when Twitter’s server goes down for the 26th time because of security fails. Nor are they Tweeters who want to voice a few qualms or complaints with the network. Nor are they people who just don’t get it and see no point in it thus don’t sign up to use it. They don’t fall into any of these groupings because at the end of the day – all of the people above still login to their accounts and keep tweeting.

No, I’m referring to Twitter haters who go beyond just thinking “Twitter sucks.” These haters avoid using the social network. They have thought deep, long and hard about Twitter and have all reached the same existential conclusion: Twitter is leading to humanity’s social downfall.

They loathe the cute little blue bird and everything it stands for.

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Do your parents Facebook or Twitter?

September 24, 2009

I found the following 30-sec Verizon commercial highly amusing:

Parents on Facebook and Twitter – it’s quite a predicament.

When Facebook first launched in 2004, it was an online social network strictly for college students to connect and keep tabs on each other. A private club of sorts for the college crowd. Once it’s popularity sky-rocketed though, that’s when Facebook started opening its doors: First to high schools students in 2005 (which drew protests from users) and then to the general public (which drew bigger, unhappier protests). Nonetheless, this expansion continued and nothing really affected the typical college user’s experience so the Facebook community continued happily on its way.

… That is until friend requests from Moms and Dads started appearing in user accounts.

Then Facebook users everywhere just scratched their heads (or yelled into a pillow) and debated on what to do:

Option A) Accept and give your parents a window into your personal/social life complete with pictures, comments and updates on what you’ve been up to on Saturday nights.

Option B) Decline and face persistent badgering on why you don’t want to be friends with your parents… do you have something to hide? Are they an embarrassment? Why don’t you want to keep in touch while you’re away from home?

Option C) Ignore and face the same consequences as Option B above.

And really, this is not just an issue that plagues college or high school students anymore. Facebook users in their 20s-30s (maybe even 40s) face similar scenarios as the Facebook community demographic begins to expand and include older people interested in exploring these new online fads – aunts, great uncles, grandmas, even your parents’ closest friends start sending you friend requests.

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Twitter spam… yuck.

September 15, 2009

twitter_spam_yuckSpambots on Twitter are really starting to get me down.

I logged in today to find 2 new followers, but my excitement quickly took a dive when I realized they were obviously spam. One was a redhead in what I think was supposed to be a micro-shirtdress and the other was some old guy whose entire page was filled with links to real estate options. And there was also that suggestive “@–” message from “loljasmine” about getting on my webcam and having some “fun.”

This whole porn spamming deal brings back bad memories of MySpace. Remember when MySpace was infiltrated by porn sites and pedophiles? (Actually I think this demographic still overruns the social network…) After the 30th come-on from “susie” and “maria”, I decided it was time to jump ship and give up my MySpace account. It got to be overwhelming to be constantly bombarded by porn spam messages, as well as seeing raunchy pictures pop up as profile pics left and right when searching for friends. I’m in favor of the whole social networking idea, but wading past so much spam to get to the real stuff became exhausting and annoying. It’s plausible to think this is in part why MySpace lost some of its popularity to Facebook converts. Facebook just does a better job making sure their users are real people. It always befuddled me why MySpace didn’t step up and crack down on the amount of porn on their network with NewsCorp as their big-time owner. MySpace lost out on a hefty percentage of advertising revenue since businesses were reluctant to pay for space among porn sites – it’s tacky.

I’m beginning to see a similar trend start on Twitter where porn is being pimped to users.

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Social networks and their one-liners

August 31, 2009

A friend recently showed me a spiffy site called Wayback Machine – basically it’s an internet database that archives old web pages starting from 1996 onward. They have so much stored from all over the web… I started searching some popular websites to see what past versions looked like. (Apparently YouTube in 2005 had a thick, dark grey border and web 2.0 style tabbing. Visually, I kind of prefer it to the current design.)

Naturally, I also had to search Twitter to see how their pages have changed since their massive jump in popularity in the past year or so. Especially since their most recent homepage updates were released just this past summer in July. Wayback Machine archived the first Twitter page version in 2001 and as expected it was very simple – no cute logo and no bird. (Actually the Twitter bird mascot didn’t show up on pages until recently, really.) Looking through the Twitter page archives, I realized that Twitter used a tagline in their old homepage that I never noticed (or never realized was their tagline). This tagline/question appeared in almost all their old versions: “What are you doing?”

It was even on the last version of the Twitter homepage before their summer face-lift. However for some reason, now that Twitter is all the rage it has decided to drop this quick and easy tagline and opt for something more flowery and optimistic: “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.”   

Before this summers new unveiling

Before this summer's new unveiling

After

After

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Twitter goes to Hollywood?

August 24, 2009

twitter hollywood

First, let me just say I haven’t seen “Inglourious Basterds” yet. I seem to be a week behind on my new releases considering I just went to see “District 9” this past weekend. (INSERT TANGENT: Yes, the buzz is right. Excellent overall, though there are a couple plotlines where you really have to stretch your imagination… eerr, and beware of slight motion sickness at the beginning because of the quick cuts and camera shots while running. Probably just me though – I’m sensitive.)

Anyways, I’ve been excited for “Inglourious Basterds” ever since I first saw the trailer during previews for “Angels and Demons.” Over-the-top violence, quirky dark characters, history that doesn’t require knowing anything about actual history… I was sold. (Not to mention the fact I’m a huge Tarantino fanboy.) I expected a masterpiece. Hence my confusion when I read the LA Times review for the film with the tagline: “Quentin Tarantino’s WWII movie has blood, but its heart doesn’t beat.” Ouch.

I like the LA Times, but I don’t trust film critics. I read the review. The guy (Kenneth Turan) seemed to know what he was talking about, providing convincing evidence to back-up his argument. I thought, well I guess it won’t make that big of a splash then. I read the review on Friday, the 21st.

48 hours later, I see that “mini” reviews of “Inglourious Basterds” have taken over Twitter. It’s still going on actually. It’s been talked about so much that it’s jumped to Trending Topic status. (Huzzah! Joining “District 9″on the most popular list I might add.) The tweeple have spoken and the consensus is clear – everyone thought the film was terrific. (Just a few tweet examples: “Tarantino’s best since ‘Pulp Fiction'”, “Best film I’ve seen this year”, “Watching ‘Inglourious Basterds’ again for the 2nd time” … the list goes on.)

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How to unfollow Twitter friends who are boring (and stay friends)

August 21, 2009

twitter mute

Chances are that if you’re among the Tweeple legions, you’ve encountered this problem at one time or another. Every time you visit your Twitter account, you notice this someone’s mundane, put-you-to-sleep tweets have taken over your wall – yet again.

Tweets like:

“The line is sooooo LONG at Ikea.”

“Just got my pupils dilated and I can’t see.”

“Good Morning!”

(And yes, horrifyingly enough, the above are real scenarios I’ve dealt with.)

Now if you aren’t close friends with the boring tweeter, there’s the easy 1-step solution of “unfollowing” them. Done. Never see those tweets again.

Unfortunately, the trouble arises when said boring tweeter is actually a close friend in the offline world. One that’s a keeper. All in all great personality and very good friend material (funny, charismatic, clever)… but for some reason on Twitter none of this comes through and they’re a brick. (A BORING brick at that.) Or they’re simply clueless on how to use Twitter – the right way.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that you KNOW they would be very angry or upset if they noticed you weren’t following them anymore. Even though they won’t say it. What to do?

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Fingerprint Authentication for Facebook?

August 19, 2009

TrueSuiteIEEE Spectrum tells me about an upcoming software by AuthenTec that makes me feel like our world is finally moving toward Spielberg’s “Minority Report.”

Fingerprint authentication technology is no longer going to be reserved for secret high clearance government facilities – instead for us Average Joes, we get to use fingerprint clearance for accessing email, logging into social networks like Facebook or Twitter, and anything else that requires a password.

AuthenTec’s TrueSuite software is adapting fingerprint authentication into a means to make our computer activities more convenient. How? Picture this scenario: Your laptop is installed with this software. On your laptop, you swipe your ring finger (right hand), your Gmail pops up. It’s already logged into your inbox. You swipe your index finger (right hand), you’re looking at your Facebook newsfeed. You swipe your ring finger (left hand), you’re looking at your eBay bidding account.

Different fingers can be used to authenticate different accounts with TrueSuite. On its own, any of these functions are multi-step. (For example, even checking Twitter requires that 1) you wake up your laptop, 2) start your OS, 3) navigate to a browser, 4) go to the Twitter site, 5) login with password. On laptops more than a couple years old this can mean you’ve aged 20 minutes before you find out what was in Ashton’s latest tweet to Demi.

TrueSuite reduces this into a finger swipe.

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