In which I have become a tween–no, not like that. Pay attention.

So the last time I was doing any kind of active blogging, Twitter was breaking things. At least, breaking things when it came to clients that were seldom updated and easily breakable. That prompted me to experiment with the Tween app for Twitter. It initially threw me, but I’ve started to give it a second look. Here’s the thing about it. It’s simplistic, it’s clean, it’s *just* a Twitter app–sans the 80 million other thinggies that make certain other apps more like accidents than, well, apps you’d actually want to use. Oh, and it has home timeline streaming–without 8 metric tons of lag. The tabs for your various feeds (really, who the hell came up with calling ’em buffers, anyway?) are laid out like you’d expect–they get the hell out of your way until and unless you want them. And if you’d rather not be distracted by Twitter–yeah, I know, yeah right–it’ll sit in your system tray and you can forget it exists (I’ve actually done that). Since killing the client I was using and running this, this machine’s been complaining a bit less. Translation: it runs on the laptop just as soon as i’m sitting in front of it. Basicly, if you’re not using Tween for twitter, please start using Tween for twitter. No, seriously. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see if I can find the top of my stack of twitter.

The basics of what Twitter ate, and how to work around it.

I still live on Twitter, even if they occasionally go and break their API without warning. Which is kind of what happened yesterday. Users of a few different clients ran into an issue where they could receive tweets, mentions and DM’s all the day long. Posting? Different story. Twitter threw back a 411 error–which, just for the record, does not mean what Twitter would like to think it means. I’ll let you know what that is when Twitter lets me know. No one has any idea just yet how to fix it. But like that’s stopped me. So late-ish last night, I put together a vaguely quick attempt at fixing the issue. It involves an entirely different–and yes, supremely simple to use–program and, for those who need it, support files for the screenreader I use. You can download the zip archive of both the program and the scripts for JAWS for Windows from over here. Instructions on how to use the program from the perspective of a visually impaired person are right this way. If there’s a question that isn’t answered here, feel free to come find me, and I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, happy breaky day!

In which Twitter gets just a little tiny bit too helpful.

Twitter has its uses. Obviously, since I use it–right side of the screen, near the bottom. Yeah, that thing. It has its irritating little qwerks as well. and it just recently added a new one. The service now sends you a weekly email of people it thinks you might know, based on for example how many of your friends follow them. Facebook has done the same thing for a while–a thinggy I find more than a little irritating even though I don’t actually *use* facebook unless I have to. But I’m almost always on Twitter. Which means chances are pretty good that I’ll have already seen someone pop up that I might know from elsewhere. with or without that email. All Twitter’s doing with this is, well, not entirely all that much. Just adding another layer to the info that can already be accessed in about 5 seconds, if you really want to see it. Hey, Twitter? It’s not broke. Please stop trying to fix it. Oh, yeah–and if you suggest that I may know and want to follow my ex, I may just have to fire you off a cliff. Just putting that out there.

Twitter, get out of my inbox. Please?

As anyone who knows me knows, I go through phases where I’m quite attached to my account over on Twitter–after all, it’s slapped right there on the right hand side of the site, if you’re curious. Some of my most entertained moments in recent months happened on Twitter. Some of this blog’s content came from twitter. Some very bad ideas have come from the developers of twitter. In a recent spert of what the buh, they’re floating another one at us–weekly digests of twitter happenings in your email.

Starting today, you can discover the best of Twitter in a weekly email digest delivered to your inbox. This summary features the most relevant Tweets and stories shared by the people you’re connected to on Twitter.

Stories feature a design similar to the recently updated Discover tab, emphasizing who shared each story beneath summaries to help you decide which ones matter most to you. Click any headline to finish reading the story, add your take by tweeting directly from the email, and see related Tweets from the people you follow.

Twitter, I love ya to death. Really. There’s days where it’s completely unhealthy. But, and here’s where you went just a little tiny bit off the beaten path here. I already see the most relevant tweets, at least as far as I’m concerned, on a daily basis. They get snarked at, replied to, retweeted, and occasionally mocked on this blog. They don’t need to be in my inbox–I’ve already read them. Thanks, though. The thought was nice. Just work on the execution and we’ll talk.

#TCNo

As anyone who’s anyone on Twitter knows, just about any and every link you throw on the site now, including links to posts on this site, gets automatically wrapped in their t.co shortener–yes, even if the link’s already been shortened. They announced the rollout in June, and as of yesterday or the day before, have made it pretty much automatic and global. While some clients have developed workarounds, most of them get to put up with automatic URL shortening. Which, yes, is wonderful and great and convenient in theory. Except for one very minor little catch. Links, particularly links posted from this site and others like it, are already shortened through Bitly–we used TinyURL before that. In 99.999% of cases, they’re already small enough to fit inside their 140-character limit. Shortening them again just seems kind of like a waste of resources, really. And yet, there’s no real way to turn off the service on your account–meaning, unless you’re using a client or service who’s already coded a way around t.co, which most apparently haven’t yet, your shortened link is shortened yet again–often to no real benefit (19 character URLs versus 20? Really?). T.co is awesome, in theory. In practice? T.CNo. Just sayin’.

Once again. Twitter, please don’t sell out!

For not the first time, that website which I use for random passing thoughts that don’t warrant their own blog posts is being talked up as a potential purchase by Google. Or this time, also by Facebook. For a very impressive $10000000000. They talked about selling out to Google in early to mid 2009, after rejecting a previous offer from Facebook to buy them out–that prompted this entry.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my google, and I’m just now starting to love my twitter. But I don’t think I could get to love the idea of twitter.google.com or something. I’m all about supporting the newcomer to the field. You turned down being bought out by facebook, and I cheered (even though I didn’t post about it here). I can only hope the talks you’re entertaining now are solely to form some sort of partnership… google does not need any more services under its umbrella. I’m halfway inclined to think they’ve already spread themselves a little bit too thin in some areas.

Once again, Twitter, for the love of cheese don’t sell out. At least not to Google–or, for cryin’ out loud, Facebook. I like you just the way you are. Plus, Google’s still already everywhere else. Keep it outa my timeline.

Twitter’s almost as everywhere as Google. Now they’re both on your TV.

You may or may not be aware Google’s coming up with its own TV platform. As is Apple, but that’s not been surprising since they pretty much came out with their own version of nearly everything else. What you may not know, though, is on your TV is precisely where Twitter would like to be. And, thanks to Google’s new and yet to actually be released platform, it will be. Welcome to the future, folks. You can sit on the coutch, munch on a bag of chips, suck on a beer and flip between the first game of the NHL regular season and the world series, and tweet that you’re sitting on your coutch, munching on a bag of chips, sucking on a beer and flipping between the first game of the NHL regular season and the world series–from the very same remote control. Now if that’s not convenience I don’t know what is. Note to self: move the computer out of the living room–it’s just been replaced by the TV.

Twitter, you need this feature.

Or, if you’d rather, you need to fix this bug. As most readers know, I’ve been a fan of the whole Twitter scene for a while–hint: if you’re reading this on the website, right sidebar, bottom. I like a lot of what they’ve done with the service over the last couple years, including the ability to not see every random reply people send to folks you’re not following. But here’s where I think improvements might very well be needed.

You’re following A, C and D. If A sends a reply to B and C in that order, you won’t see it even though you’re following C. Which means you can’t contribute to the conversation going on very well–which is Twitter’s entire point, I thought. However, if A sends his reply to C and B, you’ll see it. But anyone who’s just following A and B won’t. Confused yet? It gets more so. A replies to C and D, you see it. Because, surprise, you’re following all three.

Since Twitter’s started calling replies mentions, and encouraging folks to stick them anywhere in the tweet other than just the beginning, it’s going to make integrating people into a conversation very much easier–if Twitter decides to support it. How they could support it is like this.

  • Four people have a following arangement like this. A is following B, C and D. B is only following A and C. D is only following A. And C is only following A and D.
  • A and D get into a conversation re: local politics. The only person who can see it under the current situation is C.
  • C joins the conversation, prompting a mention from A that gets sent to both C and D.
  • Under the current system, if D is first on the replying to list, B won’t see it. Contrarily, if C is first on the replying to list, everyone in the current group will see it.
  • If B sees the conversation, he has the opportunity to contribute something to it–thus, possibly, finding one more person to follow and doing what Twitter’s intended to do–spread the conversation. Hey, I know it’s cheesy. I didn’t come up with that.

That eliminates the problem I see frequently in which you only see a small part of the conversation in question, if any at all, in spite of the fact you may have a few people you follow involved. But, because of the relative handful of people you don’t follow and how the reply system is currently set up, you won’t see replies that get sent to them from people you’re following, even if one or more people you follow are mentioned. Since in most cases, you would only follow people you come across in a conversation for the duration of that conversation, most noteably if you don’t find anything else about them particularly interesting–I can talk politics with the best of them, but I have no interest in, for example, reading about the latest weekly music obsession taken hold of by that same person–it wouldn’t make much sense to follow, have a 15-minute exchange with everyone in the conversation, unfollow. The current system doesn’t allow for avoiding that, though. If the proposed idea was actually implemented, you would only be aware of exchanges with that person as they apply to conversations being had with multiple people you’re following. Thus, giving you the opportunity to decide on a case by case basis which conversations to join, and eliminating the need for temporarily following.

The problem is partially solved by the idea of retweet functionality, but not completely. Now, you’re relying on people involved in the conversation to take an active role in circulating the tweets of others to people who may only be following the one doing the circulating. The exchange is probably less relevant to most of those as it would be to individuals following at least two participants in a conversation. The system I propose above keeps it confined largely to that group where possible.

It’s awesome to see Twitter easily supporting mentioning multiple users, thus drawing those specific users into a potential conversation. But, it excludes a lot of folks who may only be seeing a part of the exchange, and that only based on current order of replies between people being followed. I can see reasons for doing that, but I can see plenty more where improvements like what I’ve outlined above could come in really quite handy. If the whole point of Twitter is social interaction, I’d like to think something like this would be common sense. I’m not sure how it would be implemented code-wise, but that’s why they don’t have me on the dev team. If they did do this, though, I could probably find several dozen more uses for Twitter than what I currently have. Not to mention it’d just be several kinds of nifty.

That public rant you went on about your x-boyfriend? Archived. Thanks, library of congress.

Apparently, the library of congress doesn’t have enough archived material. So, it’s going to start archiving tweets that show up in the public timeline. That means, that whole soapbox you got on about why it is your sister shouldn’t be allowed to own a car–you know, the one that took half a dozen tweets just to establish the background–now escentially belongs to the LOC. The archives will start pretty well back at Twitter’s beginning, in 2006, and there’s a rumour tweets won’t actually get archived for about 6 months. So, you still have time to delete that ranting essay before someone you don’t want seeing it, well, sees it.

Random curiosity’s sake: apparently, this is the first recorded public tweet that’s likely to end up archived. Yep, we’ve all just made history. Go us.

On my fascination with lists.

I have no idea why, but sometimes, just for random amusement or because I’m way too lazy to do much of anything else, the best way I find to get my point(s) across on here is in list format. I actually started it while I was still using LJ–and, in fact, probably picked it up from Michelle–as a way of writing things down that I either don’t want to, or don’t plan to right now, go into further detail on. Probably also explains why I’m starting to get back into Twitter at about the same time I considered getting back into blogging. I’m probably just as likely to release a brief blurb about something as I am to go into elaborate detail about it, so they kind of fit rather well together, I think. What I’m likely to go into list format about–in list format:

  • Random, possibly unrelated points with little to no explanation behind them
  • Thoughts of the day, as they happen and as I remember to write them
  • To do lists–I occasionally make those
  • Recaps of possibly related posts, where appropriate
  • Ideas for a project that I haven’t fully fleshed out yet
  • Entries not unlike this one

Of course, there’s just a lot of things that make it to Twitter that don’t really need any further explanation–or, for that matter, belong on a blog. Or if they do, they belong there after events have happened that actually give them context. That’s also why my Twitter feed’s in the sidebar, and why you can follow it here. I may also make 2 or 3 obscure mentions of something, either on Twitter or on the blog, that don’t get expanded upon for a couple days. That’s generally what happens when I get particularly lazy. And, possibly, it may be a semi-good reason to not be so quick to switch to bullet points/list format/whatever you want to call it. But, it’s worked for me. If it ever stops working for me, then I’ll think about changing my ways. If it doesn’t take too much effort–see the lazyness claim above.

Forget workopolis. You might find your next job on Twitter.

That’s at least according to this article, which goes into some detail as to how a man who ended up getting laid off from his previous job found himself moving to Texas to take up a publishing job with a different company. As long-time readers of this piece of randomness know, I’m a tweeter. But I, er, rather, never thought for a second about using it as a means of winding up gainfully employed. Perhaps I aught to start?

No, Twitter, don’t sell out!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my google, and I’m just now starting to love my twitter. But I don’t think I could get to love the idea of twitter.google.com or something. I’m all about supporting the newcomer to the field. You turned down being bought out by facebook, and I cheered (even though I didn’t post about it here). I can only hope the talks you’re entertaining now are solely to form some sort of partnership… google does not need any more services under its umbrella. I’m halfway inclined to think they’ve already spread themselves a little bit too thin in some areas.

Twitterings of the me.

  • 16:52 A twitter post. Because I’m bored, and all I can think to say is dear lord. Which, without context is sort of… irrelevant/random. Oh well. #
  • 17:12 Apparently we’re going for barbecue at aunt Holly’s. Joy of joys. Because I like getting around cats to eat my supper. #

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Twitterings of the me.

  • 08:12 Methinks I neglect this here twitter too much. #
  • 08:25 Low maintenance dogs are awesome. Throw a ball for ’em once or twice and they spend the next 10 minutes tripping over each other for it. #
  • 08:47 Hey, HRDC? Help desk does not equal admin assistant, kay? Kay. #
  • 12:18 Managing an untrained dust mop, a disobedient mut, and a telephone at the same time. And nothing got killed. I rule. #
  • 12:18 PS: Person calling from the bank? I already told you mom wasn’t home. Stop calling. No love, me. #

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Twitterings of the me.

  • 09:14 Awake. No idea how, but I am. And we have snow… WTF? #
  • 11:41 God help me, my father’s remodeling the hallway floor. This… could be fun. #
  • 20:02 An hour and a half looking for a goddamn Christmass tree at wall mart? Someone wanna tell me why I *had* to be there? And it was for Kevin,. #
  • 20:10 @samari76 I’m not even going to be home for Christmass. Lol #
  • 20:17 @samari76 Been there, done that. #
  • 20:27 Back to mom’s now. She’s still pushing for a departure time from Trish. Sadly I lack telepathy skill. #
  • 20:40 Well. That was an adventure. I like the holidays just fine, but shopping this year will be made of fail. #
  • 21:37 Trish and co are apparently enroute. Go time-ish. #
  • 22:19 Heading back up the highway. #

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Twitterings of the me.

  • 11:18 Awake. Dressed. Dad is apparently buying breakfast. Sometimes, I love my famhly. #
  • 11:22 Okay, I’m apparently also going to the grandparents’ place. #
  • 13:32 Gonna swing by the grocery store, then back to the parentals’. #
  • 13:52 Or maybe it’s home via somewhere else. Zuh? #
  • 15:15 Officially at the parents’ place. That only took forever. #
  • 16:01 Me, to dad at the computer: “You playing poker?” Dad: “Nope, just a card game. Not poker, though.” way to be specific. #

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Twitterings of the me.

  • 14:49 Wo, an actual update? … I’m not sick, I promise. #
  • 15:34 Hey, greyhound? DIAF, kay? #
  • 17:26 At trish’s now. Heading for Pembroke in a few minutes. #
  • 18:40 And now, takeoff. #
  • 20:59 We is here. And thar be 3 bloody insane dogs. #
  • 21:00 Uh. Make that 4. #
  • 21:09 Trish and co have left. So *now* thar be 3 of the insane things. #
  • 01:49 And now the unemployed sod goes to bed, for to dream of becoming employed. Or something. #

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Twitterings of the me.

  • 11:43 @seekatrun You download the install file somehow. Or you just kiss it goodbye. #
  • 11:45 Awake, showered, and contemplating food. Go time in about an hour. #
  • 12:23 No trip to ottawa is complete without a stop at Tim Hortons. #
  • 22:37 Interview went well. The spontanious casino trip that came after? Not so much. #
  • 01:54 Back in Pembroke. Blew $80. I may kick myself for that tomorrow. #

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Twitterings of the me.

  • 12:15 Vacation was awesome in the extreme. It’s sadly go time now, so am on a Canada bound bus. #
  • 14:31 And Canada agrees, I are not a terrorist. I sleep untill Toronto. #
  • 17:29 In Toronto, looks like an hour wait for the next one. #
  • 18:27 Go time. On the Ottawa bus now. #
  • 20:25 Well, it was fun by myself while it lasted. #
  • 21:09 Last leg of the trip. The next time people get off the bus, I’ll be going with them. #
  • 23:37 In Ottawa, looking for a cab. Got it. #
  • 00:00 Home! Fucking exhausted, in spite of having slept on the way. Requisit phone calls coming in a minute. #

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Twitterings of the me.

  • 09:42 Pretty well packed. It’s almost quarter to 10. Not bad… now to actually get dressed. #
  • 10:17 Uh. Why is it every time I pack to leave somewhere, it decides to pick then to piss down rain? #
  • 11:21 Mom’s early. Lunch time, then bus. #
  • 12:50 Heading for the station now. #
  • 14:05 Have my ticket. They gave me the trainee ticket guy. Much fun. #
  • 14:10 And now on the bus. In 20 mins, it’s go time. #
  • 14:33 And we’re away. #
  • 15:22 Um, why in the name of creation did buddy next to me just put his head on my shoulder? #
  • 16:01 Just like travelling with the family. Drive out of rain in Ottawa, drive into it on the way to wherever. #
  • 16:59 We’re supposed to hit Toronto at 7:25. We’re just leaving our rest stop now. We might be a tiny bit late. #
  • 17:40 @samari76 You should be sleeping already. :p #
  • 19:07 Stop number 1. And not where I need to be at. Next? #
  • 19:43 In toronto. Missed the 7:30, going to catch the 8:00. #
  • 20:00 On the border bound leg of the trip. Let’s see if someone thinks I’m a terrorist. #
  • 20:55 Apparently the bus goes right into Rochester from buffalow. Easy fix to a small problem. #
  • 21:42 Sitting at the border now. #
  • 22:30 I are not a terrorist! #
  • 23:02 Vhey made me change buses after all. Go figure. #
  • 23:20 On the road again. Next stop, home of the awesome girlfriend. Well, after finding her at the bus stop. #
  • 23:44 I forgot how much more fun these trips are when you don’t have some random dood bumping elbows with you. #
  • 00:33 And I do believe we have arival at Rochester. Aha. That’s because we do. #
  • 00:48 And now we have a Jessica, and a cab. Life is good. #

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