Tag Archives: twitter

French gov’t bans mentions of social networks by name on radio

I love this:

How do you say Facebook and Twitter in French? You don’t – at least, not if you are on radio or television, where French officials have banned any mention of them unless they are specifically part of the story.

Conspiracy theorists springing up all over the place as to why they’ve done it; the rationale makes a kind of sense to me, however – it’s in the spirit of fairness, so as to not discriminate against other lesser, commercial social networks. Even if its total rubbish, I love that sentiment. There’s something very colonial about it, and I’m surprised the British (given the other strictures at the BBC about supporting commercial organisations) haven’t tried it ("that anti-competition stuff, old boy, it’s simply not cricket.")

At least, force broadcasters to mention (and have a presence on) every other social network in the spirit of fairness. It’d take a week…

Interaction with brands on Twitter

Twitter logoI’ve tweeted at a few brands recently to satisfy my blog-curiosity about one thing or the other. @amazonuk to ask about packaging,  @mini to point out that its website wasn’t working properly in Chrome, @duracelluk to ask about its AA battery charger, @qwertee_com to let them know about my t-shirt review (and give them an opportunity to defend the quality of the cotton) and possibly one or two other media programmes (the Apprentice, Game of Thrones et al).

Now I know that the media programmes will be inundated with mentions, and perhaps even Amazon might get more tweets than it could cope with, but Mini was the only company to get back to me. The theory of having a direct connection to a business is a good one but it seems that not everyone is coping as well with providing an outlet to direct interaction as you’d hope.

I think brands should stick a disclaimer up there if the account isn’t monitored, or if people don’t intend to respond. It’s only fair to set expectations…. You can understand why even slightly arbitrary studies like this one come to the conclusions that they do… Or maybe it’s that – as a mere customer and a PageRank 2 blog writer – I don’t merit their attention…

My personal social media syndication strategy

The blog is connected to the… Twitter… The Twitter’s connected to the… Google Buzz… The Google Buzz is connected to the Facebook… and somewhere it all ends up a mess.

Inspired by this new WordPress feature, I’ve been trying to work out how to best link my various social sharing tools so that people can keep up with me as they’d like to. Here’s where I’ve ended up by way of automatic syndication / cross posting:

1) My blogs (this one and LSR) syndicate to Twitter, Google Buzz, LinkedIn and my Facebook page

2) My Google Reader shared items (interesting news stories I’ve seen around the web) syndicate to Twitter, and Google Buzz

3) Twitter syndicates to nowhere; if you’d like to keep up with my Tweets, follow me. I don’t think I’ve even connected it to LinkedIn.

4) Flickr syndicates to Facebook and Google Buzz (although I use it less and less these days)

5) I don’t pay attention to FriendFeed, Quora, MySpace, FourSquare, YouTube, Friendster or any of the half-dozen or so other, less useful to me social venues. But who knows, someday I may do.

6) Gyminee / Dailyburn may become useful again once I restart the diet and the half-marathon training, and Runkeeper probably needs integrating somewhere – it does automatically post to Facebook.

If the world understood and used RSS readers I’d be less concerned about all of this, but given that not all of you do, I’m going with this approach. Hopefully its focussed enough and there isn’t so much overlap its annoying.

I need a personal social media strategy? Who knew!?

What do you do to simplify the share/follow experience for your friends/fans/family?

IPv6, Twitter, and leaving the lights on

Saw this video whilst scanning through anecdotes of Twitter’s uptime on its blog.

Control Lights with Twitter from Justin Wickett on Vimeo.

Interesting not because I think its a particularly useful application of Twitter to turn lights on and off, but because of the growing chatter around ‘IPv6’, a technology protocol understood by few people outside the networking but that will come to have more relevance as the Internet carries on its ongoing march.

Essentially, every Internet connected device there is has a unique address. In your case, it may be your broadband modem, and every other machine connected to that shares that IP address. This IP address under the protocol we currently use, IPv4, is a unique identifier of that device and takes the form of four three digit numbers separated by full stops. For example, The upper limit on each three digit number is 255, I think due to some relationship between the way the protocol works and hexadecimal base.

What’s happening thanks to cheaper and cheaper technology allowing connectivity, more and more advanced devices supporting connectivity and the general all-around goodness of Broadband is that people have more and more devices they’d like to enable as unique devices on the Internet. You might already monitor an IP CCTV camera remotely, or login to Slingbox, or want to use Twitter to turn your bedroom lights or oven off.

Gradually, as these requirements grow we’ll use up the 4.3 or so billion addresses IPv4 allows and we’ll really need everything to switch up to IPv6 – which supports trillions. There’s been limited imperative to move over to IPv6 in the past as people genuinely haven’t been able to understand why they would every need more than 4.3 billion addresses. Well, the maths has gotten a little bit easier to understand thanks to growing ‘net penetration and an understanding of how we can use the net in different ways that makes things like giving a light bulb an IP address useful.

Which is pretty cool, from where I’m standing.

NB There’s absolutely no need for the light bulb in question here to have its own IP address, but it is the principle I’m talking about here, people. Sure, it’s just massive geeks doing this stuff now, but Facebook just had geeks on it for a while and look at it now…!

Twitter’s usefulness diminished by good intentions

I’m sure these guys meant well. They’re trying to explain the micro-blogging Twitter service to people — whether because they were paid to, or because they just want to promote it… but: it wholly misrepresents the usefulness of Twitter.

I do like the style of the video, though

Sure, there’s times when its helpful to know the minute details of the lives of the people you follow – but mostly, it’s a fantastic collaboration tool. Does anyone know… Can anyone recommend… Has anyone done… Can anyone make it to… Once you have a network of people in place you get wholly enlightening and entirely useful responses.

Oh – I’m here.

Twitter trolls

I got a bit overexcited earlier today and posted disagreement with Kate Bevan’s piece in yesterday’s Guardian on Twitter troll & spam, which I’ve since taken down.

It turns out I agree with her, if I think she used a (IMHO) misleading headline (“Why are there no spam or trolls on Twitter”) — whilst there are plenty of ‘friend whores’ on Twitter, as I commented yesterday, the extent to which they irritate consists of occasional emails as Twitter notifies you that you’ve been added by someone completely random, not the relentless onslaught of botnets sent to drown you in waves of computer generated link-hogging spam. But anyone who uses Twitter with any regularity will have experienced the troll-like idiocy of the friend whores and therefore be confused by the headline. But maybe that’s the point…

Thanks to DoctorVee for pointing me to the story. I hope no-one works out a way to turn it into a spamfest, as I’m rather fond of Twitterland.

Twitter is not (exclusively) an ego-tool

People continually say to me that they don’t get Twitter, the microblogging service that integrates with Google Talk, amongst other things. “No-one needs to know I’m having a cheese sandwich for lunch,” they say.

Well, they’re right. No-one does need to know you had a cheese sandwich for lunch. But Twitter brings usefulness and joy to me in a number of ways.

1) With my friends/personal contacts, I catch little snippets and insights into their days. Great for pub chat later, as you have immediate, real, interesting things to say to them beyond “how was your day” or “how was work”. Knowing that people are working on specific projects, or have been reading certain things etc., is a nice enhancement to the relationship.

2) For keeping in touch with several of the journalists I work with (Chris, Simon, Sally’s ‘Getting Ink Requests‘ blog & others), it has great moments. For a PR professional, knowing people are writing about things, thinking about things, or just some context about them helps when you pick up the phone and pitch them stories. I have no doubt there are parallels for this kind of usefulness in other industries.

3) On a more practical level, it’s a great, great way for polling interests, opinions, and the knowledge of a large number of people in a short time. Dennis, Mike, Hugh, Drew & others do this with great frequency. Even people who are relatively new to the medium are getting into it.

4) I get breaking news faster than my RSS feedreader can bring it to me.

The third element here is probably the most useful. Group IM for polling knowledge has huge potential, in business and personal life both. If Twitter extends its functionality such that you can group contacts and ping people with specific expertise/relationship to you on a specific front, that would be fantastic. Think messages like “@friends Anyone for the pub tonight?” or “@workcontacts Anyone know why Microsoft doesn’t support Silverlight on Windows Mobile yet?” or… whatever. It has cool potential.

I have two frustrations with Twitter (not including my issues with the various client applications I’ve tried, none of which is adequate, and the frequent downtime the service has). First, I don’t understand the “friend whores.” I’ve just been added by someone into Semi-Professional American football, following over 2,000 people with only a third as many followers. Why?

Second, I simply don’t have enough of my friends and contacts on it. If I had more of the people I actually speak to in real life, it’d be more useful as a service.

I get great links, insight and have useful conversations on Twitter. And I learn what (a couple of my friends) have for lunch. It’s all good.