Saturday, May 26, 2012

Searching for tweets? Try Google

It is hard to believe, but:

1. searching tweets through twitter's search engines will only give you the last 6 days of tweets

2. tweets are now searchable on

3. the tweets on 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:!/RayBeckerman/status/31437203997466624

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: I.e., if you wanted to do a search for references to the #philochs hashtag on Twitter, your search might be: #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, 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).

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Twitter lesson I learned from Denise (@dhowell): the awesomeness of retweets

I first learned about the value of a "retweet"* from something that wasn't technically a retweet at all.

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 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.
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.
So I thought about it for awhile, and visited her Twitter profile page, and there it hit me what Denise had been doing.

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 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"

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

My advice to new Empire Avenue players

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 You can review and work with your portfolio online, or you can download your portfolio and play with it as an excel worksheet.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Secret negotiations to regulate the internet ~ @EFF

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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.