Tag Archives: people

Google’s Twitter Connectivity Snapshot

Google Twitter Snapshot

Have you ever found it a bit irksome trying to work out what the deal is with a newly discovered Twitter user? Okay, so you can see their bio, and their most recent tweets, but this may not tell you much about the actual people with whom they’re associated.

One of the most interesting Twitter tricks I’ve found in some time is what I’m calling the Google Twitter Connectivity Snapshot. The idea works courtesy of Google’s Advanced Search, and can provide a quick insight into a Twitter user’s sphere of activity. True, you can read the user’s bio and look at the tweets or retweets on their profile page, but that often gives quite a self-conscious sense of who the person is. Sometimes, it’s more revealing to see what kind of people connect with them, and take a peep at some of the connections. Continue reading Google’s Twitter Connectivity Snapshot

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The Cyber Witch Hunt

Cyber Witch Hunt 1

They’re now so common that most of us have witnessed at least one as a live event during our cyberspace travels. We look on in borderline disbelief as a mind-boggling array of angry souls pile in to essentially re-word the same acidic criticism, punctuated only by the odd tirade of abuse, and a passing troll chipping in with a timely popcorn-chomping GIF.

The target, meanwhile, stands alone, quite possibly driven offline. What we’re seeing, is the cyber witch hunt – an ugly manifestation of sustained online gang pursuit and attack. The core characteristic is a sense of gross imbalance, in which just one person – metaphorically “the witch” – is persistently targeted by a growing mob. Continue reading The Cyber Witch Hunt

Why You Can’t Anonymise Your Twitter Account

Yahoo Twitter 2008
The Internet never forgets. Yahoo’s Twitter page as it was in 2008, still live online today. Are your old, deleted pages preserved in the same place?

So your Twitter account has carried your name for a year, but now you want to be anonymous? No problem: all you do is change your screen name, and maybe also your username. Some of your followers will probably still know who you are, but no one else can find you, right? Continue reading Why You Can’t Anonymise Your Twitter Account

Five Ways in Which Social Media Worsens Our Behaviour

Social Media Meltdown

People are often quick to point a finger and sneer when a social media user lapses into a crazed meltdown. But have you ever considered why these cataclysms of raging temper and self-destruction always seem to play out on a site such as Twitter, and not on a site such as Flickr? What is it about classic social media that pushes us over the edge? Continue reading Five Ways in Which Social Media Worsens Our Behaviour

Did Jesus Christ Change His Identity?

Cofton Church Sunset 1986

One of the fundamental spokes in the argument that Jesus Christ did not exist, is the total lack of evidence from his documented lifetime, and perhaps even more importantly, the period immediately after it.

The earliest surviving references to Jesus are approximately dated a good couple of decades after his supposed death. And one has to admit, the notion of a twenty year delay between an event, and the start of the viral buzz pertaining to it, is extremely difficult to assimilate in our modern world of instant worldwide communication. Continue reading Did Jesus Christ Change His Identity?

Reliable Ways To Cut Out Link Spam in a Twitter Search

Link Spam and Unwanted Advertising

As social sites have increasingly deployed cute algorithms to feed us what they want us to see (as opposed to what we actually asked for), it’s become almost essential for the serious reader to adopt a more proactive approach than the simple policy of ‘follow and wait’.

The online advertiser’s Holy Grail is to make us think we’re reading what we personally selected, whilst actually feeding us a substantial mix of ‘recommendations’ and ads. Some companies are better at this than others. Google does it best, keeping the consumer feeling free and unmanipulated. Twitter definitely does not yet have the art that conceals the art. If you let Twitter into the driving seat, it’ll probably take you to Hell. But if you seize the controls, you can get just as insightful an experience from Twitter as you can from Google. Twitter’s real user controls lie in its search capability. Continue reading Reliable Ways To Cut Out Link Spam in a Twitter Search

Has Oath Killed Tumblr?

Tumblr

When I received news from Yahoo! that in continuing to use its services, I would in fact be dealing with an organisation called ‘Oath’, I immediately feared for Tumblr’s welfare. I mean, what sort of brainstorming session results in a company name like ‘Oath’? Then I discovered that the new collective business also involved AOL, and thought: “Yep, that’s probably that for Tumblr”.

Yesterday, my fears were realised, as a peep at my Tumblr blog stats, in Google Analytics, showed a catastrophic drop in visits from search engines. There was a rise in referrals from Tumblr (you’ll see why in a moment), but overall, the page visits were significantly down. Continue reading Has Oath Killed Tumblr?