Occupational thoughts

Covering life on the home front.

Posts Tagged ‘twitter

Democracy works.

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Here’s the bit where I get all worked up about democracy because Sarah Brown replied to a tweeted suggestion that she not use the acronym WoW to describe the Wellbeing of Women charity. She’d already had the piss taken out of her by a Daily Mail journalist idiot who didn’t understand Twitter so ambiguous tweets which may or may not be referring to World of Warcraft should be dealt with carefully so as not to catch the attention of dim-witted journalists desk zombies.

This use of Twitter to facilitate dialogue between people in power and citizens is encouraging, and it gives me a big ego boost to get recognised by Mrs. Brown. This experience doesn’t however change my views on Twittter not having any true purpose.

Written by Pierre

September 14, 2009 at 13:35

Posted in politick, technology

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Twitter marketing

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Here’s another Twitter-bashing post which coincides with my using Twitter a lot more than I did before. Of course I’m not using it as a micro-blogging service like what it’s meant for but that’s a story for another time.

My new reason to dislike Twitter is the rise of annoying Spam. Yesterday when complaining that the Xbox was broken I wrote the message “Xbox broken again”.
Because my Twitter posts are redirected to Facebook I got some questioning and sympathetic comments from Andriy and Nate. And then at 3:11 this morning it was announced that James Muddyman was following me. Out of interest I went over to see who he was, he had done an @reply to me with the message “xbox on the fritz? http://www.electronicwarran… can help you out.”

Again out of interest I followed his link, it took me to a commercial website which sold warranties for electronic goods. Then I noticed that his tweet had come from TwitterHawk, my interest has been severely piqued by this point and I take a gander around to see what it’s all about. On the press page I find 3 articles debating whether this site generates Spam or not.

What TwitterHawk does is search for keywords and generate @replies based on those keywords. I assume it found the words Xbox and Broken so it automatically posted a reply with a link to that website which sells warranties. So to boil it down even further: it sends unsolicited messages which mean to sell products targeted at you. Wikipedia defines spam as:
“The abuse of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.”

Some users in the past have set up an account with one tweet containing a link and set about following as many people as they can. Oh some media executive prick can sit in his office smiling confidently about how he’s bringing marketing to Web 2.0; in reality he’s alienating his audience with invasive slimy disguised marketing which will ultimately drive people away from his products or even Twitter itself.

Following this advice, I’m going to post a tweet full of kewords and see how many automated @replies I attract. Wish me luck!

Written by Pierre

September 6, 2009 at 10:10

Posted in technology

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Twitter is not a social network

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I want to make this clear because Twitter gets a lot of hype in the media. All this hype means it has grown in popularity at an extraordinary rate. Even the grand emperor and Oxford City Council have Twitter accounts so we’re not to scoff.

Twitter claims to be a micro-blogging service. However, the unnecessary 140 character limit sometimes reduces it to a link farm, not only that but said links must be shortened to fit under the limit. Alternatively people tweet with text-speak, or they use it as an instant-messaging service. There are a few dedicated twitter users who will use twitter as a micro-blogging service, for example the Documentally man, I fail to understand how he can make a real point about politics/current affairs in under 140 characters… Oh right! That’s why he has a real blog, you know, for actually writing stuff that people want to read.

If we look into further depth about these aformentioned loyal twitter users, we find that they too contravene the defenition of a social network: A survey made last month suggested that the top 10% of Twitter users created 90% of tweets. The presented system of mass conversation between total strangers is a lie. It is not a ‘social network’ it is incredibly anti-social as twitter users harvest followers who they don’t know and propogate a one-way flow of information which was the reason twitter came into being in the first place. Granted twitter is a little more democratic than say newspapers or television, but compared to the rest of the internet it has some catching up to do.

Twitter cannot be a proper blogging site for the omission of a calendar with archives, the ability to comment on a specific item and the low character limit.
It cannot be a social network for the inability to follow conversations, the one-way flow of information and the harvesting of followers which leads to the drowning out of your message.

The only time Twitter really shone doing what it should was during the Iranian crisis when the activists and citizen journalists took Twitter as the vessel for thir message. They chose wisely, but why did they chose it? For a start they wanted a system with short load times due to the bandwidth restrictions of the islamic government (the percieved short load times are actually false… but that’s for another time). Secondly they wanted to be heard, so they organised themselves with a hash tag which could be applied to the masses that were attempting to get the word out. And thirdly, Twitter is accessible by SMS message, which makes it ideal for tweeting ‘in the wild’ so to speak.

You might be able to tell that I didn’t plan this article before writing it, it’s nearly over and I’m even sounding a bit like the Daily Mail, to prove that I’m not totally ignorant about Twitter: here’s my Twitter account.

Written by Pierre

July 22, 2009 at 13:37

Posted in technology

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