When Twitter becomes a blogging platform

I have been noticing more and more serialized tweets. In other words, someone tweets several times in a row because what they have to say will not fit into 140 characters. They number them and fire them off one after the other. That way you, the reader, can reassemble them in your head. Of course the arrive in reverese order (the newest ones are the last one.) Also you need some way to note that your series is over, which might beget a new twitter shorthand <EOM>

Why, if I can attach a 5 minute video or a photograph or a 3 minute mp3 to a tweet, can’t I attach a 2 paragraph messge? Why not allow me to have as much text, and why not fonts and styles? It’s just a matter of time.

The 140 Character Limit was the gimmick that differentiated Twitter from all other messaging platforms at the time. But we in a new era now. Twitter has established itself. Your twitter handle has become almost as self-identifying as your actual name (or maybe more so, because it is guaranteed unique, world-wide.)

It’s a totally natural set up for the ultimate, universal, blogging platform. I see that happening.

Someone said, Twitter is trying to become more and more like Facebook, and Facebook more and more like twitter. And both are the worse for it. Maybe when Twitter starts accepting long messages people will say that Twitter jumped the shark. I doubt it. I think it’s inevitable.

Social Networks: Good or Bad?

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading about social networks in preparation for the 2012 edition of my Brandeis University Course, “Web and Social Applications“. This morning I was preparing lecture notes for “Current Issues In Social Networks”. Here are some good current links I have been able to find:

I have just come from a family reunion where there were people pulling out iPhones at ‘inappropriate times’ and other people debating what has happened to the art of conversation now that we are all Facebooking all the time. (Guilty as charged!) 
 
So between the two I have spent some time thinking about this phenomenon and whether social networks and mobile phones together are a new kind of addictive behavior which is doing real damage to social interactions (that is, human to human, face to face.)
 
Or on the other hand, are they just an evolution of interaction and communication and anyone who doesn’t see it as an equally valid way of interacting must be a fuddy duddy.  Good question! And I don’t really know the answer, not even what I myself think about it.
 
But this article by Zaynep Tufekci contains what for me is a profound insight or claim:
 
 “Finally, I’ve previously argued that some people may be “cyberasocial,” that is, they are unable or unwilling to invoke a sense of social presence through mediated communication, somewhat similar to the way we invoke language — a fundamentally oral form — through reading, which is a hack in our brain. I suspect such people may well be at a major disadvantage similar to the way people who could not or would not talk on the telephone would be in late 20th century.” (from Social Media’s Small Positive Role in Human Relationships)

In other words, I can imagine that when writing was ‘invented’ and more importantly I suppose, when writing was becoming accessible to everyone, that there were those who were bemoaning the loss of story telling and oral history.

I can imagine that when the telephone started becoming popular (as indicated in the quote above) there were those bemoaning that we no longer had to visit together by the fireplace but could just make a phone call.

I myself can remember people who refused to have an answering machine because they wanted to talk, or refused to leave a message because it was too impersonal.

But none of those foretold the end of civilization. They were evolutions which enriched and eventually became a commonplace aspect of the way we interact.

I think that’s a great insight: that being in community or sharing relationships through social media – to our Facebook friends or mailing lists or twitter or even sharing photos in Instagram may seem to be taking time away from our spending ‘quality time’ together.

But perhaps it’s just the next evolution of sharing and relationships – not to displace what came before but adding a new dimension and a new valuable dimension to inter-personal relationships.

RSS feed for for twitter

A simple question that for some reason does not have a simple answer:

“I want to follow someone’s twitter feed using an RSS reader, where is it?”

Well it seems that for some reason Twitter has quite hidden it but as a public service I will share the results of my research with you.

You will find it at:

https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=username

So, for my twitter feed it is:

https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=pitosalas

Of course, users of BlogBridge have a much easier time and have many more options. With BlogBridge you can subscribe to a person, to a list, or even to a general Twitter query, like “Object Oriented Marketing”.

Watch this brief video to see how you would do it in BlogBridge:

Keeping emails and security under control

Do you receive tons of notification emails form your various subscriptions or social sites like Twitter and Facebook and the others? Have you thought about the impact on your productivity all these teasers are?

Well, you might have forgotten (or are you too busy to figure out) how to manage or shutdown the notifications. Check out this handy toy that I just came across: Notification Control.

And in a related story, here’s a similar site if you want to review your security and permissions settings on all these sites. Another chore often put off to our own detriment! My Permissions.

Yeah there’s really very little to these two sites but I think you might find them very useful!

Big announcement about twitter

Actually it’s about Twitter Support in BlogBridge. If you are a BlogBridge user, please try it out. Just click on BlogBridge Weekly Release and it will just work.

If you aren’t still or yet, please help me spread the word!

I have exciting news. We have released a new beta build of BlogBridge with IMO awesome new twitter support. This is bringing us another step to being the ultimate personal social media dashboard.” (from me!)

Spread the word!

Urban Outfitters Rip Off Independent Artists?

This article, “Anatomy of a Trending Topic: How Twitter & the crafting community put the smackdown on Urban Outfitters” is interesting for two reasons:

  1. Photographs that show graphically that Urban Outfitters, in at least one case, seems to have totally ripped off an independent jewelry designer.
  2. A case history of how that accusation spread through a relatively small set of twitter users and tweets and seems to have forced Urban Outfitters to pay attention.

There is lots of stuff on the web about ripoffs in general – “You thought we wouldn’t notice”. Also an interesting comment thread on this page: “Did Urban Outfitters rip off an indie designer, yet again?” where you can see a bit of a debate of whether in fact the original design was truly original.

Things are never as simple as they appear…

Facebook and Twitter Hacking

I guess it’s not surprising that people’s Facebook and twitter accounts are getting compromised. From the New York Times:

“Malicious programs are rampaging through Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, spreading themselves by taking over people’s accounts and sending out messages to all of their friends and followers. The result is that people are inadvertently telling their co-workers and loved ones how to raise their I.Q.’s or make money instantly, or urging them to watch an awesome new video in which they star.” (from From Viral Crooks, Social Networks are Prime Targets)

I just changed my three Twitter accounts, and Facebook accounts to use a “very hard” password. I suggest you consider doing it too 🙂

Tweeting from more than one account?

You might be interested in what BlogBridge is doing about twittering from more than one account:

“Sometimes I tweet on my own behalf (’the weather in Curacao is hot’) and sometimes I tweet on BlogBridge’s behalf (’can I help solve your problem?’) This poses a bit of a logistical challenge for me.” (from BlogBridge blog)

Please weigh in!