Is Automattic Going To Save Tumblr’s Life?

Earlier this year, when it was announced that WordPress creator Automattic was to buy Tumblr, some optimism returned to the realm of creative blogging. Despite there being more free options for bloggers than ever before, most of them are woeful, and at the top of the tree, the spirit of blogging has been dying a painful death.

WordPress.com has shifted its commercial focus towards business websites, populating the platform with disengaged husks and decimating what was once a passionate writers’ community. Tumblr has suffered all kinds of problems in the hands of Verizon, and seen a catastrophic drop in usage as a result. Medium.com, proclaimed by some as the new king of serious blogging platforms, has been blighted with an elitist mentality, where a heavy curation bias sees ‘preferred authors’, with ‘preferred styles’, seizing the bulk of the visibility. And Blogger (.blogspot) has no real native community features at all. If you can code HTML and CSS, and you have a separate social media presence that can drive traffic, Blogger is unbeatable. But most people can’t, and don’t. Continue reading Is Automattic Going To Save Tumblr’s Life?

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The Truth About How To Become a Twitter Influencer

Be an expert!”, say the advice blogs and Q&A sites… “Share your great knowledge! That’s how you become an influencer”. But if this were true, lone dudes who spend their lives solving difficult problems on help forums would all be influencers. And they’re not. They have no influence at all. Being an influencer has nothing to do with subject knowledge or expertise.

A lot of the people who write articles on how to become an influencer are trying to become influencers themselves. They don’t want you competing with them, so they’re not going to tell you the true secrets. They’re going to give you a little giftwrapped blob of bull, then sit back while you waste your time trying to compete with them, using a system they know doesn’t work.

In this post I’m going to document what really lies behind a Twitter influencer’s success. Continue reading The Truth About How To Become a Twitter Influencer

What Are Social Media Algorithms and Are They Really So Bad?

Social media algorithms. The concept of them is so unpopular that some alternative social platforms actually trade on the fact that they (supposedly) don’t have them. But in this post I just might change the detractors’ minds. I’ll explore the reality of algorithms, explode some of the myths that surround them, and find out whether they really do us a favour or a disservice.

WHAT IS AN ALGORITHM OR ALGO?

In the context of social media, an algorithm – algo for short – is simply a sorting mechanism. A system of priority for the display of content or profiles.

The most basic social media algorithm is a reverse chronological display. That’s newest posts always at the top of the timeline, with no filtering – i.e. nothing removed. Despite the order being very simple and basic, this is still an algorithm. And by default, any social app you can find on an app store will filter out some sensitive matter. They won’t be accepted by the app stores if they don’t. So essentially, all social networks with timelines use some type of algorithm – even those who claim not to.

Most social platforms, however, additionally manipulate their basic, reverse chronological timeline. They’ll filter out more than they’re required to filter out by the app stores – most often to avoid endless repetition and valueless spam. Then they’ll start to interfere with the chronological order, so that popular or more personally-relevant posts are placed at the top of the timeline, even when they’re not the most recent. Continue reading What Are Social Media Algorithms and Are They Really So Bad?

“Trust Me, I’m a Male Feminist!”: Twitter Feminism For Men

What’s the difference between a male feminist and a female feminist? It’s not a gag – there’s a simple and thought-provoking answer. The difference is that the male is in a position to actively address some of the issues he’s fanfaring about. For example, if he believes there’s an unfair gender pay gap of 22%, he can send 11% of his salary to women’s groups. If he believes men should not be invading female spaces, he can take his unsolicited commentary out of women’s Twitter mentions. Is he doing those things? If not, why not?… Continue reading “Trust Me, I’m a Male Feminist!”: Twitter Feminism For Men

If You’ve Had This Experience, You May Be Remembering A Time Near Your Birth

If you’ve ever heard anyone say they remember being born, the subsequent tale was probably a pretty conclusive demonstration that they definitely don’t. Any stories that conform to an adult understanding of the environment are inevitably going to be false.

But far-fetched internet threads that begin with “I think I remember being born”, then rapidly reach “…And there were two nurses talking to a doctor”, and end with “…And then the Lord Jesus Christ said…”, don’t mean the retention of exceptionally early memories is impossible.

I’m hard to convince when it comes to scientifically unproven concepts. I’m not religious, I don’t believe in life after death, and I reject astrology. But I do believe that long-term memory begins much earlier than most research will acknowledge, and as you’ve probably already guessed, that’s down to personal experience. Continue reading If You’ve Had This Experience, You May Be Remembering A Time Near Your Birth

‘New’ Twitter for Desktop: Pros, Cons, Solutions & Why Twitter Is Forcing It Upon Us

Twitter original desktop Dark Mode
Above: Wave a tearful goodbye to the old, server-based Twitter desktop site.

It’s been available on desktop for many moons in the form of Twitter Lite, but now, the so-called ‘new’ Twitter interface is rapidly being forced upon desktop users as the only fully-featured environment. It’s not just a visual redesign. It’s a completely different way of delivering content. And whether you like the ‘new’ Twitter or not, the chances of the old desktop site surviving in any form whatsoever are basically nil.

Why? Well, it wasn’t really that Twitter wanted a new desktop site. It was that they wanted rid of the old one… Continue reading ‘New’ Twitter for Desktop: Pros, Cons, Solutions & Why Twitter Is Forcing It Upon Us

How To View The Quote Reactions (RT With Comment) To a Given Tweet Or Twitter User

Twitter’s threading of the @replies to a tweet, means we can read all of the reaction in a handy infinite-scroll, right? Unfortunately not. As we saw in the Quote Tweet post, a large proportion of Twitter users have now substituted the Retweet With Comment function for the Reply function, and that means their reaction won’t be included in the thread. So unless we already follow them, we won’t see what they had to say.

Worse still, the kind of people who use RT With Comment vice the Reply function often provide some of the sharpest and most incisive reactions. We could be missing the best stuff. So how do we find all those quote reactions – the reactions that won’t appear in the thread? Continue reading How To View The Quote Reactions (RT With Comment) To a Given Tweet Or Twitter User