Tag Archives: Twitter

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More Undeserved Press and a Strange Photo Illustration Fail

Ann and I ended up in the news again today, this time in a New York Post article about Twitter. I used Twitter to send out updates on what was going on during labor. I’m probably not the first to do it, but it’s an interesting use case for an article like this, aimed at introducing some new tech that’s been popping up more and more in popular culture.

But when I noticed the accompanying photoillustration I had to post this screenshot. Notice anything a little off?

Ann and I featured in NYPost, but something's not quite right...

Click here to see the full-sized screenshot. The caption text seems to imply that it’s a photo of Ann. For those of you who don’t know us personally, Ann’s not actually a white person like miss stock photo here.

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Twitter user directories – Wefollow vs. Justtweetit vs. Twellow

I happened to notice Brian’s tweet that he is officially the sole authority on burritos in Twitter, at least according to Wefollow, a Twitter user directory.

Twitter is the only major service I can think of where sites have popped up to provide a function so basic as user directories. This is due in part to their great API, but also because they don’t provide any real functionality on their site. You can search for users individually and import your contacts, but the suggested user page seems uselessly weighted toward the most popular people on the entire site.

Who should I follow if I’m interested in usability or cartography or legume horticulture? I took a look at a few directories, which follow slightly different models:

– Has a list of predefined categories
– Each user can only be in one category
– Users are self submitted

– Users can be tagged by any word or phrase, though the most popular show up as main categories on the home page
– Each user can use up to three tags
– Users are self submitted

– Has predefined categories, a large list that looks similar to Open Directory.
– Each user can be in up to 10 categories
– Seems to pick up users automatically, but users can add themselves to additional categories

My guess is the more specific the categories, the more useful the organization system will be. Wefollow gets points here for allowing open tagging but the front page, with such broad categories, isn’t as useful as the search or drill down pages. Twellow actually works pretty well, since the built-in category list is so extensive.

All three seem like they might be a bit open to abuse, since users can add themselves to the directory – with Twellow and Wefollow, at least they have to be logged in to their account to do so. But if I were a spammer and had found some way to use Twitter for spam, I could quickly add my spam accounts to these sites as well.

It would be really interesting to see a measure of quality other than just the number of followers. For example, if I say I’m in the haberdashery business, the system could check to see how often haberdashery shows up in my tweets – that could be a quality score for the classification, used in concert with number of followers, which is a proxy measure for the quality of my account.

Has anyone else used these directories, or others? Would you follow someone just because they’re the most popular person listed in your area of interest? Let me know in the comments below.

A Twitter Experiment: 15 Movies, 30 Hours

I’ve been known to do geeky things.  For one, I’ve been experimenting with putting parts of my life on the web live via Twitter.  For another, I’ve been going to a 30-hour science fiction movie marathon with friends for the past 14 years.

It’s time to merge the two together in a Twitter Experiment this weekend.  Starting on Friday, 7 p.m. EST I’ll be posting updates to Twitter about the movies, ridiculous sci-fi plot devices, funny cracks from the crowd, and the general movie marathon experience.

Now for some questions and answers:

Q:  How can I follow along?

A:  Follow me on Twitter and watch the snippets roll in.  Alternatively, if you’re connected to me on Facebook you can watch my status updates, it’s the same thing.

Q:  I’m going to be there, how can I participate?

Let me know in the comments below, we’ll make it a thing.

EDIT:  Use hashtag #marathon34 in any Tweets.

Q:  Why would anyone have even the slightest interest in this?

A:  The CWRU Science Fiction Marathon is really an excuse for a bunch of sarcastic people to shout insults and rejoinders at a movie screen.  It’s like a huge, live-action, sleep-deprived version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Q:  No, I mean why would anyone have the slightest interest in you going to a movie marathon?

A:  Point taken, its not like I’m famous or anything (outside of being temporarily internet famous in Australia, of course).  Luckily many of my readers are friends, colleagues, and a bit geeky themselves. If you’re going to get a tiny-text-snippet tour through a science fiction marathon, though, I might as well be your guide – I have a fair knowledge of the genre, I used to be a movie reviewer, and I like to make sarcastic comments.

Q:  How is this possible?

A:  An iPhone, and WiFi or the regular data connection, that’s how.  I might also play around with my G1 phone with Android a bit.  If my connectivity fails for some reason, I reserve the right to basically give up and pretend I never even mentioned it.

One other thing I just can’t leave out of this post – when I mentioned this to my coworkers, they poked fun.  My coworkers at Google.  That’s right, I’m officially too geeky for Google.