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Entries tagged twitter

A (Ridiculous?) Acquisition Idea for Twitter

Posted July 29, 2013

Before I explain why, I’m going to say the company: Shazam.

Now, take a moment to think about why this is a good or crazy idea. Sweet, now I’ll tell you what I think.

Like millions of others, I watch television shows with Twitter open, tweeting about what’s hilarious or ridiculous. This is particularly fun when I’m watching a show as it is broadcast live; it truly (and literally, I suppose) brings a new dimension to television. Unfortunately, I only watch about 5% of my television live. In fact, Netflix is producing new and exciting programs that are never broadcast “live”, which presents a problem, nay, opportunity!

I would like to experience my non-live programs like I experience my live ones. Give me an app that shows me tweets about the program I’m watching from any of my friends AND have them appear in my timeline at the same relative time they were tweeted. In other words, if my friend Karen watched the first episode of Orange is the New Black last week and tweeted about an early scene 6 minutes into the episode, I should see this tweet come up when I am watching the same episode and am 6 minutes in.

And now, the reason Twitter would acquire Shazam. If you don’t know, Shazam can listen to an audio sample and determine the song. Lately, they’ve been using the same technology to help advertisers and television networks show you supplemental material on your phone.

Imagine if the Twitter app listened to the noise around you while you tweeted and determined what, if any, program you were watching (something Shazam can do) and recorded the relative timestamp. Then, if a friend watched the same program hours or months later, they’d be able to enjoy the experience as if it was live. It would just mean opening up the Twitter app and letting it determine what show you’re watching. Then tweets could stream in, seemingly real-time. Pretty awesome, no?

Obviously, there are a host of reasons this would fail. Here are two:

  1. Bootstrapping: It’s going to take a long time for enough of your friends to watch that obscure BBC show you love. Of course, this could be solved by only allowing tags for popular shows or augmenting your friends tweets with popular ones. You could also try and filter these time-shifted tweets into your regular stream.

  2. Technology: You’d need the user to be tweeting from an app and not the web to capture the audio. This would mean more fragmentation, but maybe it’d be another way for Twitter to push users toward their app.

Again, this idea is a little ridiculous and I realize that. Still, I want it to exist very badly. If it got good enough, watching awards shows or sports would be just as exciting on a time-shift as it would be live. It could be truly awesome.


This reminds me of the alarm clock that shreds a $100 bill if you try and snooze.

  1. Pledge to pay £1 per motherloving swear, and connect your Twitter account

  2. SwearJar monitors your swearing, and tweets you a link to pay up after a week

  3. You swear like a shucking trooper, use the hashtag #fuckfamine, and raise lots of money for the UNICEF famine appeal

[via @brilliantcrank]

Today's Top Tweet

Posted October 1, 2010

First the tweet and then some context.

First my cereal has the wrong number now someone stole my pregnant pigeon and her cage, who the fuck steals pigeons they are everywhere FUCKless than a minute ago via twidroid

  1. You may be wondering who the heck OchoCinco is. Fair enough. I blogged about his tweets late last year and that should suffice.

  2. That cereal box thing is probably confusing too. Well, it turns out OchoCinco has a cereal named after him. It’s called OchoCinco’s (obviously) and it’s available in the Cincinnati area. The good news is that it benefits a charity called “Feed the Children”. The bad news is that they misprinted the phone number and it now points to a sex line. I genuinely feel bad for the dude about that.


  4. Mr. Ochocinco is obviously torn up, but wow, this may be the most ridiculous 140 characters I have ever seen strung together.

The Million Follower Falacy

Following up on Anil’s post, Life on the List comes HARD DATA showing that having a lot of followers doesn’t tell us much about influence. From the abstract:

We make several interesting observations. First, popular users who have high indegree are not necessarily influential in terms of spawning retweets or mentions. Second, most influential users can hold significant influence over a variety of topics. Third, influence is not gained spontaneously or accidentally, but through concerted effort such as limiting tweets to a single topic.

[via @anildash]

I’m with Team Outside

Posted December 3, 2009

There was a raging debate on Twitter yesterday about punctuation and quotations. Most people came down on the side of putting punctuation inside the closing quotation mark and that's how American English does it. Quoth Wikipedia:

American English places commas and periods inside the quotation almost all of the time, making exceptions only for parenthetical citation and cases in which the addition of a period or comma would create confusion, such as when quoting a keyboard entry or a web address.

I get that, but I respectfully disagree. I prefer the British style:

The British style places them inside or outside the quotation marks according to whether or not the punctuation is part of the quoted material.

Maybe it's from reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves or maybe it's from my life as a programmer, but I think only the quoted material should be inside the marks.

We could debate this at length (and I'm happy to hear your thoughts in the comments), but I think if we just choose a style and stick to it, that should do the trick. Of course, if I got a gig writing for a publication, I'd happily comply with whatever style guide they prefer.

OchoCinco is a Smart, Entertaining Man

Posted November 16, 2009

For the last couple months, I've been following Chad Ochocinco's tweets (he's a wide receiver on the Cincinnati Bengals). Chad is known as a bit of a clown* but is a really hard worker and an excellent receiver. He's known for his inventive touchdown celebrations and desire to be loved by everybody. He's definitely succeeded in converting me as a fan.

Unlike Terrell Owens, a fellow clown who is a phenomenal talent but toxic in the locker room, Chad is liked by his team and loved by fans. Since joining Twitter several months ago, he's started to give back to his fans. For each of the home games, he flies one of his Twitter followers out to watch from the stands. Originally the idea was that they would tweet in his stead, but that didn't seem to happen.

He's also not afraid to announce his location (especially when he's at a mall, which is often). In fact, he'll often ask fans to give him a lift or meet him for dinner when he's out of town. When he's at home, he often offers to bring 100 fans to a movie (and they show up!).

You could argue (accurately) that's excellent at marketing himself, but after following along for a bit, I just think he's a good guy. He seems to hang with fans and work hard on he enjoys it. To me, it's a typical case of a perosn putting in hard work at something they love and having the success follow.

* See: his last name, which used to be Johnson, but is now officially his nickname, a poor Spanish translation of 85

Reimagining the Default Twitter Avatar as Famous Characters

I especially love the dug one.


Posted June 12, 2009

Today, this may seem like gibberish, but our children will consider this the moment in which language changed course and a new breed of linguists was born.

If others can smell you, u gotta be able to smell yourself
I farted
Can u smell dat

THE_REAL_SHAQ, 12 minutes ago from TwitterBerry

Mauren Dowd Interviews Alexander Graham Bell

A fantastic parody of Dowd's interview of Twitter's founders. Also of note: In Defense of Twitter by a Mr. J. Kottke.

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