Sunday, September 14, 2014
Twitter offers an interesting and helpful tool... the ability to create lists of users.
What to use them for
My primary usage for lists is to organize my reading. I follow 11,000 people. Instead of one big, sometimes dizzying timeline -- which I do sometimes read -- I can use lists to break them down into more manageable groups.
I'm sure there are lots of other uses for them, but that's what I do with them.
The maximum number of lists you can have is 1000, and the maximum number of members you can include on a list is 5000. These numbers are so massive that you should never, ever, run up against them.
Each list can be "private", in which case only you can see it, or "public", in which case everyone can see it.
You can keep abreast of someone's tweets through a list, without actually following their account.
Twitter says you can "follow" or "subscribe to" a list, but I truly have no idea what that means. As near as I can tell, following, or "subscribing to", a list does not seem to mean that the tweets of list members will show up on your "home" page.
It's easy to start a list. On twitter.com, e.g., you can go to (a) gear icon > lists > create new list, or (b) do it "on the fly" when listing someone -- i.e. person's profile page > more user actions > add or remove from lists > create list.
It's easy to add people to one or more lists. On twitter.com simply: person's profile page > more user actions > add or remove from lists, then check off which list or lists you want the person on.
And of course it's easy to add or remove someone from the above mentioned "add or remove" page.
So it's real easy to start lists and to add people to lists.
What's not so easy is maintaining the lists, especially if they are lengthy, as twitter supplies no effective tool for that, and application developers have been slow to create one. If you wanted to prune a list, or move or copy people from one list to another, or remove people from a list, you may find it quite time consuming.
The best list management tool of which I'm aware is tweetbe.at It enables you to do many operations much quicker than you could do them on Twitter.com It also doubles as a follower management tool.
To work on your lists you select the desired list from the Lists tab, "load all [members of the list]", and go to work.
The best way to view lists is in applications which are designed to accommodate them in separate columns. On my pc I use Tweetdeck. Some people use Hootsuite. On my iphone I use Echofon or Tweetlist.
But you can view them on twitter.com; just go to your own profile page > lists, click on the list you'd like to read, and go through the tweets from that list.
(A short URL for this post: http://goo.gl/hzFHMK)
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Once Twitter bought Tweetdeck it started eviscerating it, then dropped it altogether except in an unusable web format and then in a usable web format... Tweetdeck for Chrome.
Because I was a Firefox rather than a Chrome user, it meant for me having to run a second web browser, putting my twitter-accompanying bookmarks there, and having two browsers open all the time.
Now Tweetdeck has finally launched an add-on for Tweetdeck to be run in Firefox.
-go to the Firefox marketplace and get the add-on: https://marketplace.firefox.com/app/tweetdeck/
-then set up a bookmark in your Firefox browser for https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/
And you're in business, using Firefox to access Tweetdeck.
And you don't have to use Chrome unless you want to.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
(Updated 7/13/14 6:15 PM EDT)
Why you need to do it.
In order to reduce spammy "following", Twitter has a rule that applies to all accounts which follow more than 2000 people:
Your "following" number must be no more than 10% higher than your "followers" number.
Example A: following 2001; followers 1700 ==> You will NOT be allowed to follow anyone new.
Example B: following 2001; followers 1897 ==> You are ok.
Example C: following 8700; followers 8000 ==> You are ok.
Tip [if you're unable to follow more people at this time]: my suggestion is to start unfollowing some of the people who aren't following you, and unfollowing the people who don't tweet any more, until your following number is no longer more than 10% higher than your followers number.
Tip [if you want to avoid this problem in the future]: make sure to maintain your "following" number at less than, or at least not much more than, your "followers" number, so you don't wind up having to spend a lot of time some day unfollowing people.
Tip: If there are unfollowers who you would like to follow anyway, such as celebrities, news organizations, etc., unfollow them and add them to a list so you can get their stuff without technically following them. That way they won't be skewing your following/followers ratio.
Follower management tool: the ideal
The ideal follower management tool would enable you to:
-quickly see at a glance all accounts which you are following but are not following you back, and any lists of yours on which they appear;
-check off which accounts should be unfollowed and/or removed from lists; and
-whitelist and hide those which you are willing to continue to follow even if they do not follow you back.
If you know of any such tool, please let me know. I haven't found it yet.
Follower management tools which do exist
The follower management tool I used to use was refollow.com, but that changed into something else.
The follower management tool I've been using for the last couple of months is unfollowers.com.
What's good about it is
-it loads quickly
-it has good, useful filters
-it gives you the ability to "whitelist" accounts you are going to follow even if they don't meet your normal criteria
-you can get a list of accounts you've muted or blocked
A word of advice: DON'T use any of unfollowers.com's automated functions; they could turn you into a spammer.
Other follower management tools I haven't checked out lately:
-the "Cleanup" Tool offered by tweetfindtools.com;
-who.unfollowed.me (h/t @klbkultur);
-justunfollow.com (h/t @rM1L);
-Tweepi (h/t @Penny_Wyse);
-rssfriends.com (h/t MariKurisato);
[If you know of others which work well, or if any of my information has become outdated, or if you have any additional information on this evolving subject, please let me know in the Comments section, and I'll check it out. Thanks.]
(A short URL for this post is: http://goo.gl/ZRT18F )
Friday, May 23, 2014
Google Maps came up with a new format that is entirely unusable.
I despaired until I learned that it's easy to switch back to the old view.
Click on the question mark in the lower right hand corner.
You'll find a menu option of switching back to Google Maps classic view.
Click that and you'll be ok again.
That is... until they take that away from us.
Friday, April 4, 2014
How to find info thru Twitter: lesson I learned from Leslie (@1txsage1957), Libero (@ldellapiana), & Eric (@ebrooks)
I really learned this skill from 3 of my oldest Twitter friends, people on Twitter who were here before me: Leslie (@1txsage1957), Libero (@ldellapiana), and Eric (@ebrooks)
I noticed that they were coming up with news stories that were simply not available to me in the mainstream media.
From their work I learned that Twitter was a great tool for finding the news that's hard to find.
I started (a) doing keyword searches for topics that were of interest, following the people I found who tweeted good material, (b) following people who were retweeted consistently, and (c) following the RSS feeds of some of the more interesting websites to which my tweets had led me. These made twitter a powerful tool for finding the stuff that doesn't make it into the mainstream media and the mainstream history books.
I learned the importance of this firsthand in 2004, when I was basically an eyewitness to massive election fraud taking place in Ohio during the presidential election. The Ohio media were reporting on it, but the mainstream national media had adopted a "company line", creating a fictionalized version of what had occurred. I assume they did so because they thought the American people "can't handle the truth".
In 2009 the US "mainstream media" suppressed information about the all important protests of the indigenous rainforest peoples of Peru, who were standing up against their government's illegal attempt to confiscate most of the remaining Peruvian rainforest for the benefit of oil and other mineral exploration interests. These humble people were waging a struggle not just for themselves but for all mankind. Not a single mainstream US media source covered the story. Had they been covering it, the bloodshed which ensued -- a massacre which appeared to include the hunting of unarmed people with machine guns from helicopters supplied to Peru by the US -- might have been averted. The only major media coverage of the protests was in the UK.
Only after the massacre had ensued, did the US media give any coverage, and it was slight, begrudging, and falsely reported.
So I continue to look for the real news. And Twitter helps me do it.
And I can thank Leslie, Libero, and Eric for showing me the way.
(A short URL for this article: http://goo.gl/rxVFEP)
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Twitter is often plagued with people's accounts being infected, then sending out spam direct messages (DM's) or tweets, such as "is this you", or "Hey somebody is saying really bad things about you", or other things calculated to tempt you to click on a link.
Probably the way you got infected was by clicking on one of those links when you received it, and then doing something at the site to which you were connected.
If this happens to your account:
1. Go to your profile "settings".
2. Change your password to a new password having a different length.
3. Go to Settings >Apps and revoke access to everything you see.
4. Go to Settings > Account and make sure your email address is right.
5. Exit from Twitter.
6. Clear your browser cache.
7. Exit your browser.
8. Restart the browser, and log in to Twitter with your new password.
9. Go to Settings>Apps again to make sure that there are no apps which still have access.
And in the future, don't ever click on any DM or tweet link unless you're totally sure of it.
If you receive a spam DM or tweet there are basically 2 things to do:
1. if it's an account you don't know, delete the DM or tweet
2. if it's an account you do know, notify them that their account has been hacked (and if you like you can refer them to this article)
It's not a bad idea to visit your Settings > Apps page, from time to time, and see if there are any unfamiliar apps in there. If so, revoke access to them. If you need them in the future, you'll be prompted.
(Short URL for this article: http://goo.gl/0A01eD )
Friday, March 21, 2014
I'm just relating my preliminary views on this next phase on which I'm embarking.
I became active in blogging and social media starting in 2004, although I joined LinkedIn in 2003. The whole time since then almost all of my social networking and social media activity has been on a desktop. I didn't migrate from blackberry until 5 years ago or so, and then I went to a series of Android phones.
I went in the Android direction because I don't like Apple any more than I like Microsoft, and Android seemed to provide a more open world in which to function. But each of my Android phones was a disappointment to me. They seemed to never have battery power whenever I was about to actually use them for something; they seemed to shut off all the time, and act unstably. So, since I take my Twitter seriously, I never really got much tweeting done on the smartphone, instead sticking almost entirely with my desktop, and sort of envying those who could easily travel in both worlds.
The other day I switched to iphone, and found it to be a better machine in a lot of ways than any android I possessed. It's smaller, fits in the pocket; it's faster and more powerful; you can actually shut applications off easily and save power, and set them not to restart unasked. It even feels more solid.
Since Twitter was the thing I was most interested in accessing with it, my big question was which Twitter iphone app to use. For my style of tweeting the key things I was looking for were: (a) the ability to do "classic" or "traditional" or real retweets, as opposed to Twitter's fake pseudo-retweets misnamed "native" retweets (in case you don't know what I'm talking about, it's all explained here); (b) the ability to easily access lists, because I follow a lot of people, and use lists to organize my reading into manageable groups instead of a single timeline that goes by too fast to pay proper attention to people; (c) speed, power, and simplicity, which I have found are 3 different aspects of the same thing in the computer world; (d) flexibility in picking my url shortener; and (e) a long tweet extender.
On desktop I use Twitter's tweetdeck for chrome, which isn't as perfect as the real tweetdeck was, but is ok; it falls short for me because it gives me no real choice of url shorteners, and doesn't support a long tweet extender.
So I tried a bunch of things, twitter for iphone, tweetcaster, tweetbot, hootsuite, ubersocial, and tweetlist. The one that fit my style the best was tweetlist... tweetlist 4, to be exact.
1. It enables me to do traditional retweets; I just have to click "retweet with comment". And it does it in a very elegant way, because once you've clicked that, the "RT" is inserted for you and the cursor positions itself one space to the left of the RT.... i.e., all you need to do is click "send" (and in case you want to add something to the tweet, you're ready to rumble, no need to move the cursor anywhere at all, just type).
2. It's very easy to access your lists, as there's a "TweetLists" icon at the bottom; click that and you're in business on reading your lists. If you swipe to the left or to the right, you move to the next list. [I used tweetlist to create a "sent" column, so I could check my own tweets, like I could on my twitter.com profile page. I did this by making a private Twitter list called "sent", and then, on tweetlist, added myself as the list's only member]
3. The application is very simple, not fancy, and as a result is fast and powerful. When I press the top of the screen to get to the top of a list it's instantaneous.
4. I was able to pick and choose among 6 URL shorteners, including my personal favorite, goo.gl. (If you're particular about your photo service, Tweetlist gives you twelve to choose from; I'm such a newbie at using a mobile device for cool things like sharing pictures, I wouldn't even know which one to pick, but I'm sure I'll eventually come to appreciate the element of choice).
5. I was given the option of auto expanding oversized tweets, and even given a choice of 2 different services with which to do it... twitlonger and twtmore.
So I'm liking Twitterlist 4.
I think it cost $2.99. I'm definitely a satisfied customer.
If you have any wisdom to share on the subject of mobile tweeting, would love to hear it, and will try to soak up whatever I can learn.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I would need something that's fast, that's good for monitoring lists, and which enables 'classic retweets'.
On desktop I mostly use Tweetdeck for Chrome.
I don't care if it's free or paid.
Some of the names I've seen: tweetbot, tweetlogix, twitteriffic, tweetcaster, twittelator, echofon, tweetlist.
Any suggestions for me?
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
My advice to you is the following:
1. Tweet links to your songs that people can play.
2. Tweet links to your music videos.
3. Tweet about upcoming gigs.
4. If you would like to get mp3's of your music circulating out there, tweet links to free downloads when available.
5. Be interactive with people who show an interest in you; don't be a stiff.
6. If you think that as a "creative" person you're too busy to do what I just suggested... revise your thinking.
7. If you think all you need to do is get signed with a label, and then they can take care of everything for you... revise your thinking. The record companies are out for them, not you.
8. When you tweet your music, DON'T (a) address your tweets to any specific person or (b) send direct messages... that would be s.p.a.m. [unless you are actually engaged in actual dialogue with them]
9. If you want to connect with other people tweeting about your type of music, use "search" to find them, and follow them if you like what they tweet.
10. When you tweet about your music, consider using hashtags to make it easier for people searching for your type of music to find you. [E.g., if you are a jazz guitarist you could use hashtags #music #jazz #guitar, whereas if you're a gospel vocalist you might want to try #music #gospel #spiritual]
11. Think of twitter as a place to interact with, and hang out with, your fans, and to show interest in, and respect of, others... not as a place to just keep promoting yourself and tooting your own horn. Some examples of great musician peeps, who treat their fans like friends, not "fans", are @zoecello, @amandapalmer, and @marysarahmusic.
12. Never send auto-DM's (automatic direct messages sent when someone follows you).
13. Do not write your bio in the 3rd person.
Any questions? Post them in a comment to this post, and I'll try to answer them.
Any additional twitter tips for indie musicians? Post them in a comment, and I'll select some for inclusion below.
Additional tips [most recent first]:
5/10/11 4:25 pm tip from @rob_t_firefly: Avoid the temptation to just hook your Facebook or similar to Twitter, let it pull down your posts into Tweets, and think "okay, I'm on Twitter" and leave it at that. Most Twitter users will not be pulled in by posts they could see elsewhere; if they wanted your Facebook they'd probably be following your Facebook. Tweeting your Facebook posts, Youtube uploads, or whatever else is a good thing to add to a Twitter presence, but it's not the only ingredient in itself.
1/11/11 5:04 pm tip from @GraceRodriguez: Use a tool like Hootsuite, CoTweet or Tweetdeck to schedule reminders for upcoming gigs or links to merch/music for sale.
Since Twitter is a constant info-stream, you can't expect people to see every single tweet..... just make sure you inject your personality into it so it doesn't become spammy [note from RB: I use SocialOomph to schedule time delayed tweets. Also sometimes Tweetdeck Desktop]
(A short URL for this post: http://tinyurl.com/4p5a9sf)
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Ironically, the most important feature on Twitter is one that Twitter itself did not develop, and has never adopted: the traditional retweet.
It was developed by the customers, on their own, and not by the company. And amazingly, to this date Twitter itself has never incorporated it, although doing so would be as easy as pie.
My advice to all Twitter users is that you should not use what Twitter calls a "retweet". It is a counterfeit, and does not have any of the key properties of a retweet. Just skip it.
The true, traditional "retweet" is the life blood of Twitter, and what has set it apart from other similar "microblogging" services. [See my blog post "The awesomeness of the RT" : http://is.gd/4PFbJ ]
Here's how to do a traditional retweet if you're accessing Twitter at twitter.com:
1. Copy and paste the message and name of person sending it to you.
2. Precede it by "RT @" [type "RT", then a space, then a @. It's important that the @ and the name NOT have a space between them].
I.e. it should start out like this: "RT @Username "
[Easier way: If you're using Firefox or Chrome as your browser, you can use the "Classic Retweet" button supplied by Jon Pierce's add-on "Classic Retweet 1.0". If you're set up with that, all you've got to do is hit the "Classic RT" button instead of the fake "retweet" button.]
It may be even easier if you're using a Twitter "client" or application.
If you're using Tweetdeck, Seesmic, UberTwitter, Plume, Janetter, Echofon, Tweetlist, or any of the other myriad "clients" and applications which support Twitter and other microblogging platforms, many provide a way to incorporate the "traditional retweet" as your retweet method of choice. Each uses different terminology, sometimes quite peculiar, such as e.g. "quote", "edit and reply", "Edit and RT", "retweet with comment", etc., and many do not allow you to set up classic retweets as your preferred, default method, but do allow you to choose the classic retweet when you're actually doing the retweet. If your app doesn't enable you to do classic retweets, you should consider replacing it with an app that does.
E.g., in Tweetdeck for Chrome, if you want to do a classic or traditional retweet, after you click the retweet icon you get a choice: "Edit and RT" or "Retweet". ALWAYS choose "Edit and RT" even if you have no intention of "editing". And you'll have a traditional, classic retweet [I usually do NOT edit, but know that I must check the "Edit and RT" option to get a true retweet, rather than a pseudo-retweet].
What's wrong with the thing Twitter mislabels a "retweet"
(1) You can't insert a comment, start a conversation, or join a conversation;
(2) you can't edit;
(3) instead of showing your avatar, it shows the avatar of the original tweeter, which might be someone your followers don't know or have any relationship with;
(4) it prevents you from seeing multiple versions with different comments from different people;
(5) if someone retweets you, it is difficult for you to learn that they did, you will have to go outside your conversational thread [e.g., on twitter.com, you have to wade through your "interactions" to see which of them are twitter-fake-retweets];
(6) if you retweet people, they will never learn that you did, unless they go through that same investigative process; i.e, except for the commercial accounts which use analytics & care a lot about the number of retweets, they will probably never learn that you retweeted them;
(7) your so called "retweets" either will not show up, or will show up in an inferior way, in Tweetdeck or any other Twitter "clients" or applications, and if they do show up, will not prominently display YOUR icon (they will prominently display only the icon of the author of the original tweet);
(8) a fake retweet has no URL and is therefore not searchable. It has no separate identity. It has no identity in, and will not show up in, any kind of twitter search, such as keyword and hashtag searches. Examples of how this undercuts the value of your twitter experience are too numerous to mention, but a stream come to mind.*
(9) you won't be found when people are looking for people to follow with similar interests;
(10) the identities of intermediate tweeters will never be known;
(11) in many instances, to the extent your identity is recognized at all by the recipients, they can't reply to you, or retweet you, or DM you, and may not even be able to verify your user name;
(12) it eliminates discussion;
(13) when the pseudo "retweet" is itself retweeted, whether by rubber stamp retweet or by traditional retweet, you won't be mentioned at all,
(14) if you want to be part of a "hashtag" "trending" event, your pseudo retweets have no impact, since they're not considered separate tweets... only classic retweets will count.
In sum, it takes the "social" out of "social media" by [a] eliminating conversation and interaction, [b] insisting on blind rubber stamping, [c] preventing you from letting your friends know you've honored them, [d] preventing you from knowing your friends have honored you, [e] making you invisible, [f] making it harder for you to meet new friends with similar interests, and [g] removing any clear indication of your identity to your existing friends.
One of the primary uses of the traditional retweet is not to 'repeat' something at all, but to start or continue a conversation, with 2, 3, sometimes even 4 or 5 people participating in a single tweet. In this type of classic retweet, you're repeating something in order to preserve the conversational thread. Here are a couple of everyday examples from some good conversationalists, who use traditional "retweets" as conversation:
The people who engage in such conversations are the people having the most fun of all on Twitter and are the coolest communicators here.
Twitter's pseudo retweet makes such engagement and interaction impossible.
Twitter's management thinks Twitter is for information only and is not supposed to be "social", and that a retweet is for the purpose of repeating, or rubber stamping, the original tweet.
Why did Twitter do this?
My guess is that it has to do with appealing to Twitter's "business" customers (read "paying" customers) -- corporations, celebrities, social media professionals, major news media -- who do not themselves retweet but who wish to be retweeted by others, making it easier to quantify their "impressions", and to enhance their visibility at the expense of the rest of us. Twitter thinks it can make more money from its advertising [euphemistically termed "promoted tweets"] by being able to quantify the number of repetitions they receive.
If you fall into the trap, your interactivity with your friends is shattered, and your visibility to your friends is removed.
Even the "paying" customers for whose benefit this was done are being screwed, although they may not realize it. Instead of becoming a part of the Twitter conversation, they're just getting the same type of paid advertising spam they could have bought anywhere else. And if they do get rubber stamped, they're being 'rubber stamped' by the least experienced, least visible, least influential, people on twitter -- since those of us who are knowledgeable are likely to avoid touching the rubber stamp button like the plague.
This is my advice:
1. Don't use Twitter's so called retweet function.... ever.
2. Use genuine, traditional retweets only.
3. Configure any twitter apps which you may be using to do traditional, rather than 'rubber stamp', retweets. If yours cannot readily be configured to do that, drop it and use one that can. Period. [see "How to set up your twitter apps (or "clients") to do traditional retweets rather than rubber stamp retweets"].
Some people ask "what if the original tweet is too long"? I say that if you really can't shorten it, edit it, or use a "longer tweet" service, then forget it. Why punish your followers by injecting spam into their stream? Your followers are looking for stuff from you, not from strangers. Stuff from strangers, which they didn't ask for and don't recognize, has a name: it's called s.p.a.m. [When people complain that they've been seeing a lot of tweets in their stream from people they don't recognize, that's because of peeps using twitter's rubber stamp button].
The "length" problem should become less and less of a problem, as automatic "elongated tweet" features become more and more available. For example, see Twitlonger and Twtmore
* [a] In the 2010 round of Shorty Awards voting, people were advised that one way to vote was by retweeting. The retweet votes were retrieved through Twitter search with the aid of Twitter hashtags. Apparently none of the votes lodged by the "fake retweet" button were counted, since the tweet had no URL, hence no identity, of its own. It is unclear what votes were or were not counted in the 2011 Shorty Awards. [b] Many tweeters, and many internet twitter applications, use keyword searches in Twitter search to find new people to follow who share similar interests; all use of Twitter's pseudo-retweet is excluded from such searches (Let's say, for example, I am looking to find new people to follow who are interested in indigenous peoples' rights, and use the hashtag #indigenous or the term "indigenous" to locate them. Or let's say I'm asking Mr. Tweet or some other application which helps with "friend finding" to find me people who tweet using the keyword "indigenous". And let's say you're someone who constantly uses twitter's fake retweet technology to send out tweets using the hashtag #indigenous. I will never even learn of your existence, because my search will turn up NONE of your pseudo-retweets. The poor saps who use Twitter's fake retweet are constantly losing opportunities to make new friends who share similar interests.)
(Short URL for this post: http://goo.gl/P8IFAi )
Saturday, July 6, 2013
But if you're ever going to reuse the tweets, you should be very discriminating about which URL-shortening service to use.
I've shortened a lot of links with different URL-shortening services, not concerning myself with the company's pedigree. Big mistake.
A few weeks ago I learned that all of my tux-pla.net links don't work, and just discovered that my is.gd links are often no good either.
So I've been going through the very painstaking work of converting them to goo.gl links (Google's URL-shortening service. I figure if Google goes out of business, then the internet will probably have gone out of business).
I've converted all the tux-pla.net links, but have hundreds and hundreds of is.gd links to go through. Some of the is.gd links work, but most do not, so I have to test each one, and replace the non-working ones.
If you come across one of my is.gd links to a YouTube video which doesn't work, you can try searching for the name and singer in my playlists, find the playlist that has the recording, and go to that video.
And if you ever come to any link that doesn't work, either because the shortened link doesn't work, or because the video has been taken down, deleted, made private, etc.... please tweet me about it so I can update the link.
Friday, May 31, 2013
1. Upload a picture for your 'avatar' so people can see who they're talking to.
2. Put something in your 'bio' so people can get some idea of what you're about.
3. Be interactive (see "the power of ' @ '").
4. Be yourself, not phony.
5. Don't be all about yourself, take an interest in others*.
That's it. Those are the basics. Follow them, and you will have a ball.
Application of the 5 basic rules
The following points are just refinements of points 3, 4,and 5.
6. Retweet other people (see "awesomeness of retweets"). If you like it, retweet it. Use traditional or classic retweets, not the "retweet" button.**.
7. Don't worry about how to get a lot of followers. Just follow, and pay attention to, people you appreciate, and your network will keep on growing. As a general rule, unfollow people who aren't following you. (To learn how to identify and unfollow them, go here).
8. Don't follow celebrities, "suggested" accounts, "must follows", "power" twitters, or "best" or "top" twitters or lists; that is all hype meant to benefit them, not you. Following these types is the easiest way to get frustrated and wind up -- like most people -- quitting, or going inactive. Look for people who are interactive and unselfish, whose style you like, and who tweet about things that are up your alley. You're not here to be a "follower" but to make friends.
9. Don't let yourself be boxed in by Twitter's terminology as to what it is for. It is for anything conversation and writing are for: making new friends, making people laugh, getting a laugh, sharing thoughts, sharing information, making the world a better place, learning, teaching, kvetching, commiserating.... Using it mainly to "update" your "status" is a good way of ensuring that your status is.... lonely.
10. Avoid spammy behavior, such as :
(a) sending auto DM's to people who were kind enough to follow you;
(b) asking people for favors;
(c) following people and then paying no attention to them;
(d) picking fights, starting arguments, splitting hairs, and/or responding to tweets without making it clear what you are responding to; and
(e) sending comments on tweets without retweeting them.
11. If you would like to be retweeted, here's how to improve your chances: (a) make your tweets good, (b) make them short, and (c) be a retweeter yourself.
12. Get one of the free software applications or "clients" that provide a nice, conversational interface and make it easy to follow people's tweets. My favorite is @Tweetdeck for Chrome.
13. Don't follow someone until you've looked at their tweets, and decided you're really interested.
But if you like to keep it simple, you can distill the above rules into 3 simpler rules which are real easy to remember:
* If you're promoting a "cause", help other people promote their causes too. Promoting your agenda, but not those of others, is just selfish.
** When I use the term "retweet" I'm referring to the traditional retweet, not the "rubber stamp" button which Twitter implemented in early 2010 and mislabeled a "retweet". For a more detailed explanation of why you should never ever use Twitter's rubber stamp version, go here.
(Here's a short URL for this post: http://goo.gl/TVLEj5)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Coalition for Queens Presents "Access Code" : learn how to build your own iPhone & iPad apps; no background required
We’re excited to announce the launch of Access Code, our comprehensive and affordable iOS Development course led by an expert practitioner. No previous background required.
We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to learn how to code and begin a career in technology. Our 8-week, 50 hour course will give you the foundations to create your own iPhone and iPad applications. Full scholarships are available.
Learn more and apply today for our Spring Class (starting on May 18th): accesscodenyc.org.
We hope to see you soon,
Jukay, Dave, Frank & Ben
The C4Q team
Share Access Code:
Monday, February 25, 2013
Although Twitter allows 140 characters, it's not a good idea to use them all. The less characters in your tweet, the greater the likelihood that your Twitter friends can retweet your tweets, and/or otherwise interact with you.
The shorter the better.
There are a lot of ways you can cut down on the number of characters without losing ANY of the content. Here are a few which come to mind.
Things that can be left out, with no loss:
-"check this out"
-"here is" or "here are"
-"for more info go to"
-unnecessary periods & colons
-"to buy tickets click here"
-"I uploaded a"
-"in case you missed it" or "ICYMI"
-"How" or "Why" [i.e., instead of "How X will impact...", or "Why X will impact..." why not just say "X will impact"?]
-"Study shows..." or "Report shows.."
-"Here's how" or "here's why"
-"a" & "the"
-"breaking:" or "breaking news:"
Things that can be shortened, with no loss:
-"eight" -- 8
-"million" -- M
-"billion" -- B
-"3:00 to 4:00 p.m." -- "3-4pm"
-"and" -- "&"
-"News from the Associated Press" -- "AP:"
Undoubtedly I'll come up with new things to add to the above list, and so will you; so if you have any good ones, shoot me a comment and I'll update the list from time to time.
(Shortened URL for this post: http://goo.gl/j41YF)
2. Again because I'm a high volume tweeter, I try to space my tweets out when possible. I use socialoomph.com as my tool for doing that. However, whenever I have "@" in my tweet, Twitter often rejects it as an "unsolicited mention". Which means that I can't use my spacing tool for tweets which (a) respond to someone, or (b) mention someone, or (c) retweet someone. So the people whom I would have liked to mention, often the authors or publishers of the blog post or article in question, will never know.
3. The twitter retweet button is another anti-conversation impediment. If anyone retweets me with that, I usually never find out about it.
Twitter is shooting itself in the foot with these things.
Twitter should listen to its users.
Oh and how exactly does it help Twitter to (a) limit the number of tweets I tweet, (b) prevent me from mentioning other twitter accounts when my tweets come from socialoomph.com, and (c) prevent me from knowing who's retweeted me? Answer: it doesn't.
(Short URL for this post: http://goo.gl/HmnpQ)
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Previously I had a YouTube "channel" that was fun. I added YouTube videos I liked to 'favorites' and/or 'playlists'. After you clicked through and played a song, you were still on my channel. In 9 months my channel had more than a million views.
On March 7, 2012, YouTube ruined its channel system.
Now if you click on a 'playlist' link it's hard to find my channel, and if you click on a 'favorites' link you can't detect my channel at all.
So I'm slowly converting all of my 'favorites' links to 'playlist' links, but for now here's how to find my channel:
-when you play a song with one of my 'playlist' links you'll see, at the top of the video player, the name of the playlist, and my name; if you want to leave the playlist and look in the other playlists, click on my name and you'll come to my channel; there you'll see a list of 20 playlists; some of my lists are listed on the front page, to see the rest you have to click "view all"
-when you click on a 'favorites' link, there's no reference to my channel at all, so the only way is to go to http://www.youtube.com/raybeckerman, where the playlists are listed [some are on that front page, for the rest you have to click "view all"].
I hope YouTube realizes how dumb they were to do this.
If any of you know some easier way to work around these barriers, please shoot me a comment. Thanks.
Update 12/18/12 I've also learned that with the new YouTube interface, if you're using a mobile device, or an iPad, many of my links will just take you to my playlists, but won't take you to the actual song. Sorry about that.
(Shortened URL for this post: http://goo.gl/HSJsm )
It has always been my practice to try to credit authors of tweets by using their @twittername so that (a) I am informing my friends as to where on twitter these sources can be found, and (b) I am letting the authors know that I thought well enough of their material to tweet it.
Similarly, when I tweet songs, if the performer is on twitter, I add in or substitute the performer's twitter name, again to let them know I liked their material and to let my friends know where the performer can be found on twitter.
I just learned today that ALMOST ALL of my tweets that are in my feeds are being blocked by twitter as "unsolicited mentions".... i.e. because I wasn't "solicited" by the author or singer, therefore I'm wrong to credit them under their twitter name.
This is insanity, and highly anti-conversation, anti-sharing, and anti-social.
Meanwhile, it now creates probably hundreds of hours of work for me to edit the several thousand music tweets I've prepared, and to go through and edit the hundreds of feeds I monitor.
And from now on, you won't be able to tell from my tweets whether or not the author or singer is on Twitter, or what their user name is, and the authors and singers won't know that I tweeted their material.
So if you're someone whose blog posts or performances I tweeted, and you think I've gone silent... I haven't. I'm going to try to substitute #username for @username, but those won't be showing up among your 'mentions'.
I don't know what to say except !?&%#?!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
If you want to comment on a tweet you should retweet it.* That is by far the best way to comment on a tweet. Detached comments are time-wasters.
When you retweet, you are sharing the underlying tweet with your followers, helping both the tweeter and your followers. You are helping to build conversation, dialogue, and community.
If the tweet is too long to accommodate both the retweet and your comment, retweet part of the tweet and/or keep your comment short, or send the comment in a separate followup tweet, or use a long tweet tool like twitlonger.
Almost always, the right way to comment on a tweet is to retweet it with your comment.
If you retweet, it's not even necessary to add a comment; the act of retweeting is a powerful comment in and of itself. It says: "this is something I find worthy of sharing with those people who trust me enough to follow me".
To comment on, or otherwise respond to, a tweet, without referencing the underlying tweet, is just plain w.r.o.n.g. None of your followers know what you're talking about, and the recipient usually has no idea either, so you're just wasting a lot of people's time.
If you're going to take the time to comment on a tweet, send something intelligible.
Tweets referencing blog posts
If you like a blog post which has been tweeted, you should post your comment on the blog post itself, either instead of, or in addition to, retweeting. But you should not merely tweet.
Some people try to get into a Twitter conversation about a blog post. While that's okay, it's not enough.
Where the tweeter has tweeted about a blog post, the blog itself is the most important place for you to comment.
Twitter is very fast moving, and we miss most of what goes through our stream. By leaving a permanent comment on the blog post, you help to build a genuine, lasting, growing conversation about the substance of the post. If you fail to do that, none of the blog post's readers will know what you had to say.
So if you're going to take the time to comment, you might as well leave a comment where it will have some impact -- on the blog.
If you want to also comment on Twitter, great; but do that in addition to, not instead of, commenting on the blog post itself.
*By "retweet" I mean "traditional retweet" not the twitter "retweet button" rubberstamp "retweet".
(Short url for this post: http://is.gd/f66bf)
Saturday, May 26, 2012
1. searching tweets through twitter's search engines will only give you the last 6 days of tweets
2. tweets are now searchable on Google.com
3. the tweets on Google.com go back much further in time
So if you are searching on twitter, and can't find what you're looking for, you might want to try searching on Google, and see what you pick up.
In order to find my tweet(s) about the screenings of the new Phil Ochs documentary I did a google search "screenings raybeckerman" which immediately produced what I was looking for:
The search results page produced lots of relevant tweets:
Supposedly, if you want to restrict your Google search results to tweets, you can start off with the following parameter: site:twitter.com I.e., if you wanted to do a search for references to the #philochs hashtag on Twitter, your search might be: site:twitter.com #philochs & hashtag. But, based on my playing around with it, it seems that using this method may, for some reason, limit the number of tweets you unearth.
I don't know if this works with other search engines. I tried it on altavista.com, and it did NOT work.
In case you're wondering why you can find the tweets on Google but not on Twitter, I'm guessing the answer is M.O.N.E.Y. Probably Twitter has been holding back on its search results to make searchability of tweets valuable. And Google probably paid for the access.
And if you're wondering why they're not showing up on Alta Vista or Yahoo ... I guess those search engines didn't cough up the dough Google coughed up (or maybe Twitter gave Google the exclusive).
Denise (@dhowell) is a dynamic, really cool lawyer/geek/talk show host/writer from California. She is an "early adopter" of technology, and was heavy into Twitter before I'd ever even heard of it.
She knew me from my blogging and legal work fighting the RIAA (see, e.g. "Recording Industry vs. The People").
When I was new to Twitter, and just starting to try to get a bit more active, she sent me a tweet. It went something like this:
Hello Ray Beckerman (@RayBeckerman) author of Recording Ind v People http://is.gd/1Y6e4 Welcome to Twitter!Now I looked at this welcome, and thought its format strange indeed. I asked myself:
1. Why would she be using my full name, and not just calling me Ray? I know my last name, and don't need to have it spelled out for me.So I thought about it for awhile, and visited her Twitter profile page, and there it hit me what Denise had been doing.
2. Why would she be mentioning the name of my blog? I write the blog. I'm quite conversant with it's name, since I gave it its name.
3. Why is she telling me the URL for my blog? I should know the URL by now, I go there multiple times a day.
My network was around 50 people.
Her network was around 3000 people.
She was doing me a favor. She wasn't just greeting me, she was introducing me to her friends, making me available to her entire, wonderful network. Once I'd put 2 and 2 together (I'm a bit slow), I realized what a nice thing she was doing : Denise had introduced me and my blog to all of her friends on Twitter, and at the same time had let them know that I was.... an okay guy in her book.
That was the day I understood the awesome significance of the retweet. It is saying to someone, "I value you and what you have said, and want to share it with all of my Twitter friends".
(Of course it took me another month to figure out how to DO a retweet, but that's a story for another day).
So thank you, Denise (@dhowell), for making me realize the magic of the retweet.
Or should I say:
Thank you, Denise Howell (@dhowell), host of This Week in Law http://twit.tv/twil for teaching me importance of RT's #TWiL
*4/14/10.6:06 PM EST. When I say "retweet" I'm referring to the traditional retweet, not the pseudo-retweet button created by Twitter to enhance advertising & commercial exploitation. To understand the distinction see my post "Twitter tip: don't use Twitter's pseudo "retweet" button"
(Short URL for this article: http://is.gd/4PFbJ)
Thursday, May 17, 2012
1. Upload an avatar, preferably a photo, and connect your blogs and social media accounts, such as twitter, facebook, youtube, flicker, fousquare, facebook page, linkedin, etc.
2. In the beginning you will have very few eaves, so invest them carefully. Buy back from people who've bought your shares, and sell shares of anybody who hasn't bought your shares, or who's sold your shares.
3. If you value interactivity, don't buy shares in people who've had no "Empire Avenue actions this week".
4. If you care about your E. A. "earnings" and how much you generate in "dividends", be interactive both on E. A. and on your connected social media accounts.
5. Empire Avenue is the worst possible thing for an internet addict because it punishes you for doing the healthy thing -- unplugging. Your price and dividends will take big hits whenever you go on vacation, take off for a weekend, take off for a few days because you're busy at work, etc.
6. The best way I've found to view, and to keep track of, your EA portfolio is the website http://empireave.net. You can review and work with your portfolio online, or you can download your portfolio and play with it as an excel worksheet.
(Short URL for this post: http://is.gd/1GVdWT)
Friday, May 11, 2012
This week in Dallas, trade representatives are secretly negotiating new regulations for the Internet – including intellectual property provisions that could choke off online speech. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement may be even worse than ACTA; it could tie the hands of democratically-elected legislators and create new, international standards for intellectual property enforcement. Worst of all, Internet users and free expression advocates like EFF aren’t allowed in the room and are forbidden from seeing the negotiated text. Click here to join EFF in demanding a Congressional hearing so lawmakers can learn what’s in the TPP and hear from all affected stakeholders, not just deep-pocketed industry representatives. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk claims they have made “extraordinary efforts” to include public stakeholders in negotiations, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Like ACTA, negotiations have actively excluded civil society and the public, while welcoming private industry representatives with open arms. EFF’s International IP Director Gwen Hinze traveled to Dallas to demand transparency, but she wasn’t allowed to see the draft text or be present for the negotiations. Here's how Gwen described the tactics the USTR is using to shut Internet users out from the negotiations: Unlike previous negotiation rounds, there will be no official forum for stakeholders to present their views to the assembled TPP country negotiators. Instead, stakeholders are being asked to register their interest in sponsoring a table to provide negotiators who might so happen to stroll past with information on particular topics. The public should be front and center in these negotiations, not relegated to a table outside. Join EFF in calling on Congress for more transparency in TPP. Negotiators can't just shut out the public and their elected representatives. Act now Defending your digital rights,
Maira Sutton International Team Electronic Frontier Foundation Please donate to EFF to support our work.
Friday, March 23, 2012
1. If the very first character in your tweet is a @, then the tweet can only be seen by (a) the recipient and (b) any of your followers who are also following the recipient.
2. If the first @ is preceded by anything, even a single character, then the tweet can be seen by all your followers.
This distinction has no real logic to it, since the following forms of a reply are synonymous and of equal validity:
[a] Dear @RayBeckerman I enjoyed "Up Above My Head" sung by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
[b] I really enjoyed "Up Above My Head" sung by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, @RayBeckerman
[c] @RayBeckerman I really enjoyed "Up Above My Head" sung by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
[d] I'll tell you, @RayBeckerman I really enjoyed "Up Above My Head" sung by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
But they are treated differently. (c) will be visible only to those of your followers who also follow @RayBeckerman (So if you have a follower who loves you, loves Rosetta Tharpe, and can't stand or never heard of @RayBeckerman, that person will miss out on seeing your tweet.)
(a), (b), and (d) will be visible to all of your followers.
This distinction comes about only because of an historical anomaly.
Once upon a time Twitter offered an option in "settings" on how to treat replies and mentions [in those days they were all called replies, even if they weren't replying to anything]. You could elect to see all replies and mentions, or only those which were addressed to people you were following.
One day, in an effort to save bandwidth, Twitter -- without telling us -- removed that option, and prevented us from seeing any replies or mentions unless the person to whom they were addressed was also being followed by us.
When people became aware that many, sometimes most, of the tweets they'd been reading were now unavailable to them, and that they were unable to see conversations, there was a great uproar... for a lot of reasons. [E.g., (1) you were missing a lot, maybe even most, tweets of people you were following (2) it's much more meaningful to hear both sides of a conversation than just one side (3) for many of us, these conversations were a primary means of expanding our social circle in Twitter, since they offered a way of meeting people known to our friends, but not yet known to us; i.e. they served as 'social' introductions (See examples below).]
In order to satisfy our complaints, Twitter narrowed its definition of "replies" to tweets that begin with a @. We continued to be unable to see those unless we were following the recipient as well as the sender.
But if the @ appeared anywhere other than as the first character, we could see it, since it was no longer classified as a "reply".
So while the viewer or follower can no longer elect to see all of the sender's replies and mentions, the sender has it within his or her power to control which of his or her replies and mentions will be visible to all of his or her followers.
If you've ever wondered why some people will start a tweet with a "." or a ">", now you know why.
(By the way, this blog post is not about whether something is invisible to you if you were to visit the twitter.com profile page of the person tweeting; it's just about whether the tweet turns up in your own "tweets" feed on your homepage)
* [example 1: A, whom I follow, and I, are both interested in healthcare reform. One day I see A engaged in a conversation with B about healthcare reform. I might start following B at that point, knowing that (a) B is someone who is also interested in healthcare reform, and (b) B is someone who is valued and respected by my friend A. But if I never saw the tweet, I would never even know B] [example 2: A, whom I follow, has tweeted about an exhibition of an artist whose work I like. I then see A thanking someone named B for retweeting about that art exhibition. I know that B is someone who (a) probably shares my admiration for that particular artist, and (b) is someone who values and respects my friend A. But if I'd never seen the tweet, I would never know of B's existence] [example 3: I love giving my friend A a hard time. One day I see A engaged in a conversation with his friend B, who is also giving him a hard time. I might follow B, so we can both give A a hard time together :)].
(Short URL for this post: http://goo.gl/sqEf6R)
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Now twitter is blocking my tweets as 'duplicates' even though I never tweeted them before in this account
I use SocialOomph.com to increase my efficiency on Twitter in several ways. One thing I use it for is to review the material in my feed reader accounts.
I have 2 twitter accounts (@raysfh & @raystlh) which I've been using as feed readers, to help me monitor the hundreds of feeds I review . I look through those posts, and pick a relatively small number of them -- maybe 10% or so -- to tweet in my real twitter account, @raybeckerman
Now twitter is blocking all of my @raybeckerman tweets as duplicates which I obtained from my feeds.
Which means I'm going to have to spend many hours reconfiguring each of approximately 300 feeds.
I really don't know whether I can afford to spend that kind of time.
Every day Twitter comes up with a new way to destroy everything I'm trying to do.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
1. I will buy, and hold, at least as many shares of yours, as you have of mine.
2. If you don't buy any of mine, I will sell all of yours.
3. If you sell mine, I will sell yours.
Exception: I may also sell all of your shares if you (a) become totally inactive or (b) hold less than 6 of my shares (If I sell your shares for inactivity, but you later get back in the game, give me a shout so I'll know to buy your shares back).
The number of shares I initially buy (above the amount you buy in me) depends on various factors, especially (a) your stock price compared to mine, and (b) how many eaves I have on hand.
The number of shares I continue to hold (above the amount you hold in me) depends on various factors, especially whether you keep on buying my shares; I will never knowingly sell any shares of someone who's made recent purchases of my shares.
My "watch list" is a temporary list of "recent arrivals" who I think really "get" the Empire Avenue game, and whose shares I will probably want to buy more of, once the "recent arrival' 200-share limit is lifted.
My "recommended buys list" is a short, rotating list of some of the people I know who (1) are enthusiastic reciprocal buyers (2) have decent dividends (3) are considerate, pleasant Empire Avenue citizens AND (4) have a reasonably promising chart pattern at the moment. I keep the list short, and rotate it constantly, to keep it fresh.
(Unfortunately, when Empire Avenue changed its interface a few months ago, it destroyed our ability to view these "public" lists, and stopped showing our recommendations on the splash screen which popped up after purchases; but I am continuing to maintain the lists in the hope that EA will make them relevant again :)
(Short URL for this post: http://is.gd/mDpO85)
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Since Twitter leaves us in the lurch with these unwieldy lists, there should be internet applications and/or desktop applications which give us the ability to:
1. view each list in its entirety on a single page, including member's account name and avatar;
2. sort and/or filter by different variables, including (a) date of last tweet, (b) name, (c) date listed, (d) whether following you, and (e) whether followed by you; and
3. go down the list, select members by check boxes, and then (a) remove selected members and (b) move and copy selected members to another list.
I'm aware of no tools that do the above, and would appreciate your telling me, through the comment section, of any which may exist. I will update this post as new information, on software which appears workable, comes to my attention.
[My advice to the twitter API developers out there would be to concentrate, if feasible, on desktop applications which can save and store data on the user's hard drive, so that "API" calls would not have to be drawn upon except to upload the updates.]
These are the only list management tools I know of:
Refollow This follower management tool has added some list management functionality. You can pick out one of your twitter lists, load the entire list, review the list members seeing their icon, last tweet, and certain other information, remove list members in bulk, and add designated list members in bulk to another list or a new list. Indirectly it gives you the ability to move list members from one list to another, since you can add them to another list and then remove them from the list you're working with. What is more, you can filter the list members by certain variables -- e.g. find all members of a list who haven't tweeted at all in 90 days, all who have no icon, who you're not following, who's not following you, etc.
http://TweetBe.at. Internet application. Has sortable lists and 'select' buttons for bulk operations on a list. These guys really "get" it, about what's needed to manage lists. h/t Liss (@lissnup)
Tweetfind's Twitter Lists Tool. This tool lets you view the membership of a list, in a serviceable manner, and provides checkboxes. So it's a start. However the only thing you can do with the checkboxes is to add the people to a list, which is the least useful function, since (a) they're already on a list, and (b) adding people to lists is the one thing twitter does enable us to do without too much trouble. And the view populates somewhat slowly, and does not show all the list members on a single page. The developers at Tweetfind seem to be pretty cool and responsive. It will be interesting to see if they can (a) improve the view (b) add functions to be invoked by the checkboxes such as remove, copy, transfer and (c) provide sorting and/or filtering. They're adding a "remove from this list" button, which is helpful, and you can tell -- from the presence of a "follow" or "unfollow" box -- whether each list member is or is not being followed by you, which is also quite helpful.
Tweetdeck. Multipurpose desktop twitter portal application. Enables you to "edit" a list, removing list members one by one, or to add non members one by one. It doesn't sort the lists, but does sort the non-list members alphabetically.
Listomatic. An internet application, its "manage" function assembles lists, collects members to be viewed from 20 to 100 at a time, allows easy removal from a list by double clicking the icon, on hover signals the following status of each list member. Does not have sorting. Slow to load. [a word of warning: if while using this you want to look at someone's profile on twitter.com, when you come back you may have to wait for screen to repopulate to 100 members; best workaround --> try to open "in a new tab"] h/t Liss (@lissnup on Twitter)
Listorious. Internet application which does one thing brilliantly, and does nothing else: it provides a great view of the list on a single page, sorted by the number of followers each has. It shows the icon + the bio of each peep. It provides no ability to sort by any other variable, or to perform any operation at all. Caveat: it seems that Listorious updates the lists very very slowly, if at all. So if you make changes in your twitter list, I don't know how long it will take to get updated at Listorious. [update, Listorious seems to be going out of business; there seems to be little going on there]
lists.doesfollow.com. Website which enables you to check, on a one-by-one basis, whether a particular person is on a particular list.
mixero. A desktop application which provides some list management ability, such as the ability to remove people from lists. You need to go to the field for 'adding contacts' in order to delete contacts. It automatically sorts the list members alphabetically, so that's a plus.
formulists. Web site which falsely bills itself as being for "list management", but is really just for creating new lists. It doesn't help you manage your existing lists. I don't need a tool to help me create new lists.
(Here's a short URL for this post: http://bit.ly/djc7hL )