Tag Archives: research

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

Twitter Detective MasterHack: How To Retrospectively Find A User ID Number

I wrote in my Old Usernames article about the importance of Twitter’s User ID in keeping tabs on slippery people’s behaviour. The User ID is a unique account identifier which remains the same however many times the user changes his or her @username. If you know the User ID, you will always be able to find a given Twitter profile (or at least find what’s happened to it) via its numerical URL.

But what happens if you discover that, say, a group of account @usernames have been switched, and you need to actually prove that the switch has taken place? This can happen with account networks when they try to cloak their origins. And it became important recently when the lead profile in a network of raving political activist accounts rebranded as the main promo feed for an alternative social media platform claiming to be politically impartial. I know, you couldn’t make it up, could you?

Well, there is fiendishly clever way to find out who’s been switching usernames, and PROVE it. Anyone can do it, and you can read the full tutorial in: How To Retrospectively Find a Twitter ID Number.

Shadowban City: Why EVERY Twitter User Should Switch OFF Their Quality Filter

Twitter Quality Filter

The Twitter Quality Filter is an innocuous-looking selection in the Notifications tab of the site’s Settings suite. “Improves the quality of Tweets you’ll see”, it says. But that’s not all the Quality Filter does. What it actually does, is it shadowbans accounts that Twitter considers to be of low quality, within your personal space. That means when a “low quality” account follows you, you won’t see it in your followers list, and that could end up causing you problems.

Let’s say you’re followed by an account with views you find offensive. You want to block that account, right? Well, if you’ve left your Quality Filter in its default “on” state, and the offensive account does not meet Twitter’s quality threshold, you can’t block it, because you can’t see it in your Followers list. Continue reading Shadowban City: Why EVERY Twitter User Should Switch OFF Their Quality Filter

Retrospective: How Google Monopolised The Search Market

Google November 1998
The main Google homepage as it appeared in 1998. Note the Yahoo!-style exclamation mark (which was dropped at the end of the site’s beta phase) and the Stanford Uni copyright attribution.

How strange it is to zip back through the years and revisit old articles from the 1990s – their writers referring to Google as the “The new search engine, Google.com”, and scratching their heads as to how the company was ever going to make any money. The scene, when Google first arrived, was awash with search brands such as AltaVista, Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, WebCrawler, Hotbot, Dogpile, a host of others, and significantly as regards the future of Google, a new player by the name of GoTo. Continue reading Retrospective: How Google Monopolised The Search Market

How To Find EVERYTHING on the Internet

How To Find Everything On The Internet

Google is so simple… IF you want what everyone else wants. The world’s favourite search engine has made its fortune second-guessing every phrase you type into it. No matter what you actually want, Google will use its giant, virtual brain to make a judgement on what most people would want, and then give you that content. By default, Google doesn’t simply search for what you type. It searches for what it thinks you mean.

This is actually a huge problem, because whilst for very typical searches, most of the time Google will be right; for more unusual searches, it’s likely to be wrong a high proportion of the time. And not just wrong – very wrong. Continue reading How To Find EVERYTHING on the Internet

Twelve Tips For Lasting Success With Tumblr

JPEGJuice Tumblr

You know your blog is happening when businesses start contacting you with observations that you’re outranking them in search, and with offers of work. But even an optimist like me didn’t envisage such success using Tumblr. When I signed up to Tumblr in 2011 I experimented for a very short time, scratched my head, thought to myself: “Nah, this is rubbish”, and immediately went back to WordPress and Blogger. Continue reading Twelve Tips For Lasting Success With Tumblr

How To Find Out How Many Of Your WordPress Followers Click Through From Email

WordPress Follower Email

It’s an important piece of information, which potentially helps you establish whether the time you spend gaining WordPress.com followers is a productive venture. But if you’ve ever looked in your WordPress stats for evidence of users reading via email, chances are you’ve found a void. Inherently, WordPress doesn’t tell you when visitors to your posts have clicked through from email. You’ll see the page visits registered, but no indication of where they came from. Continue reading How To Find Out How Many Of Your WordPress Followers Click Through From Email