To Block or Not to Block on Twitter, the Solution is Clear

Update : Here’s another great post about spam on twitter.

Twitter has been around a little while now, perhaps it is even becoming mature, and certain patterns of usage are beginning to make themselves clear. Retweeting, the practice of forwarding on an interesting tweet to one’s followers, has become standard and will soon be added by Twitter on their main site.

Another phenomenon that has entrenched itself is spam messages.  This isn’t surprising, every new communication medium quickly develops its own sort of junk mail.  Luckily in the electronic world it is easier to take action against junk marketers than in the real world.  Email spam filters have advanced tremendously, if you use a webmail service you should very rarely see spam in your inbox anymore.  Twitter, unfortunately, is still in its golden age of spam with no filters instituted by the twitter servers and few third party services that help.  So far I have noticed a few types of spam on twitter and for all of them there is a solution that each and every one of us can help with until Twitter gets its act together and institutes some system to deal with it. (more…)

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The best use of Twitter yet devised… #songsincode !

Here are some of my contributions and some of my favourites I’ve seen in the recent extravaganza of geekiness on twitter (is that redundant?) Here is the story from the guys who spawned #songsincode, with some tips on how to start a trend.

My contributions to songsincode.

My favourite #songsincode contributions from others so far

Twitter version:

this=new TheSongThatNeverEnds(); ...
message(me.friends, this + " will go on and on"); #songsincode

Long Version:

public class TheSongThatNeverEnds{
   public TheSongThatNeverEnds(int some){
      people = new Persons(some);
      sing(people);
   }
   public void sing(Persons people){
      boolean goOnSinging = true;
      for(int i=0; i<forever; i++){
         this = new TheSongThatNeverEnds();
         message(me.friends, this + " will go on and on");
         assert(!people.knowWhatItIs(this));
         assert(goOnSinging && i<forever);
         //just because
         i--;
      }
   stopSinging = false;
}
}

Update : I just found another fantastic use of twitter, maybe not quite as fun as #songsincode but less
work and really, really cool, I'll have to find out if its automated and how they do it.
Its called thelongestpoemintheworld.com and it takes currently appearing tweets and pairs them in rhyming couplets. That's it
 but it turns Twitter into a huge, inadvertent poetry jam. very awesome.

The Spy Who Flamed Me

Apparently yesterday’s massive attack on Twitter/Facebook/Blogger/Livejournal was aimed at a single blogger.  This amazing for  a couple reasons.  First, the attack was massive, it was a Distributed Denial of Service (DoS) attack that used a huge number of drone machines to send false emails and web hits to these services and overwhelmed them so that normal users couldn’t get through.  Its the equivalent of blanket carpet bombing several towns (Twitterville, Facebookberg…) just to get at some guy you heard hangs out in those towns sometimes. (more…)

Harvard Study of Twitter Usage is Flawed

A new Harvard study of Twitter usage has surprised some people with its results, including its authors.  The study indicates that 90% of tweets are generated by 10% of the users on Twitter and that the median number of tweets per user is one.   The researchers and the media seem to be surprised by this, but this is because they have not thought about the usage patterns of Twitters users. In other words, they don’t understand how people use Twitter.  (more…)

Understanding Twitter on the Front Line

So, for anyone who still doesn’t understand how twitter can be useful here is a good explanation of its impact on the G20 protests.  Think of it as a universal, burst broadcast medium.  It becomes useful when everyone writing about a particular event or topic colludes to use a common tag, in this case #G20, so that everyone interested can filter just that topic and hear the chatter of what’s going on.  Search and filters (which is just really watching the changing results of  agiven search)  is an essential part of it.

BBC NEWS | Twitter on the front line.

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