This is pretty clever. I need to experiment with storytelling like this.
So, Twitter just announced that TweetDeck is soon to be effectively crippled. They’re turning off and removing their mobile versions of the app and discontinuing integration with Facebook, which was one of the major selling points of the service for me. From reading the announcement, basically what I get from it is that not enough people are using TweetDeck anymore so they’re just going to take their ball and go home. I guess this was to be expected when Twitter bought TweetDeck and they immediately stripped out a lot of what made TweetDeck great, but it still bites to have my favorite social media client put on mothballs.
So, I’m in the market for a new one, and I’m open to suggestions. Ideally, I’d like to have something as similar to TweetDeck as possible — multiple Twitter columns so I can monitor simultaneous streams, a mobile version for iPhone, and Facebook integration. Also, preferably something that’s free or at least extremely low cost.
Spammers have infiltrated Twitter. This has been going on for a little while, but now they’re starting to irritate me just a bit. Basically what happens is that you have these Twitter accounts created, usually with just one tweet – a link to some sham website that will invariably try to take you for a ride. Like most spam messages, they promise fame, fortune, and too-good-to-be-true deals. Check out the profiles of these Twitter spammers and you’ll see that they are following thousands of _legitimate_ Twitter users.
Fine. This is all well and good. I always check everyone who follows me. I usually don’t return the follows unless I find that individual interesting. So when I discover that I’ve been followed by a Twitter spammer, I just ignore them so as not to subject myself to further Twitter spam from that account.
What I find somewhat surprising (but only a little) is how many followers some of these Twitter spammers have in return. Now, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that some of these followers are other Twitter spammers, but the vast majority are legitimate Twitter users who, presumably, just reflexively follow anyone who follows them. There seems to be an unspoken rule out there on Twitter that if someone follows you, you’re obligated to return the favor. This is a rule that makes little sense to me because ultimately it leaves you receiving thousands of tweets a day. I’m currently following almost 100 other Twitter users, and as it is I receive a couple of thousand tweets a day, most of which never get read simply because I haven’t the time. I can’t imagine what it’d be like if I were following every single one of the 60 people who are following me. It’d just be that many more tweets I don’t have time in a day to read or follow-up on.
I just can’t quite get into Twitter. I’ve got Twitterfox installed on my Firefox browser, but I don’t really use it all that much. I don’t really have the time (or window space) to keep a constant monitor on what’s being talked about. It’s much more efficient and effective for me to communicate via chat or email than it is by Twitter. It probably doesn’t help much, either, that very few of my friends use Twitter. Most of my Twitterpeeps are folks I’ve ‘met’ via the Web, and while I find some of the Tweets interesting, very few spark enough interest for me to hop into the discussion and add my two cents.
I think the idea behind Twitter has a lot of potential. The could, ideally, make it really easy for a bunch of people to engage in an ongoing discussion simply by tweeting each other back and forth. Trouble is getting enough like-minded people together to actually do so.
Still, Twitterfox is unobtrusive, so I’ll keep it right it’s at. Interesting notes and links do pop up from time to time, so that’s good, too. But it’s more of a peripheral service for me at this point. Maybe someone will add an account option to Pidgin for Twitter that will let me keep a running dialogue of tweets from folks I follow going at all times that will make it really easy to go back and see what’s been said recently.
I’ve been using Twitter for a couple of months now, but I admit that I hadn’t really gotten into much until a friend of mine (thanks, Dweezle) pointed me at a nice little Firefox addon called TwitterFox. It basically lets you read and write twitters right from your Firefox statusbar. It makes it extremely convenient and fun to use. I still don’t use it as aggressively as some of the folks I’m subscribed to but I definitely use it a lot more now.
I’m curious – does anyone else use Twitter? If so, what are your usernames? Feel free to add me to your own list; my username is stitzelj.
I’m getting my inner geek on – again. I spent the majority of my day today trying to figure out how to crosspost from WordPress to MySpace. I’d found a “hack that looked like it had potential”:http://noumenon.roderickrussell.com/wordpress-to-myspace-auto-crossposting that I messed with for quite a while, but so far I’ve had no success in getting it to run, despite having following the directions to the letter and checked everything over fifthlicate (and then some). I’m still waiting for a reply back on my comment to see if the hack’s author has any idea what’s blocking my attempts.
Ultimately, I gave up on that and started trying to find a way to put a light-weight Twitter badge on to my MySpace profile. I don’t like any of the badges that Twitter produces, so I looked around for other options. But of course, MySpace being the notoriously unfriendly environment that it is, there are no good solutions that are both functional and attractive on the page. So, I’ve given up on that option for the time being, as well.
In the meantime, I plan to learn a little more about the ins-and-outs of PHP coding tomorrow. I’ve got the MyDashboard plugin installed on this blog, but it doesn’t display quite as much information in the dashboard from some of my other behind-the-scenes plugins as I’m used to. So, my intent is to learn out to create a few gadgets that will tap into these plugins and put this information closer to my fingertips. If all goes well, I may even plan to create gadgets for a few other things that I’ve always wanted on the dashboard and never been able to find plugins for.
On that note, I’ve got a few of the plugin pages from the WordPress codex up in my browser. I really would like to get more involved with the development end of WordPress, but it is my sketchy knowledge of PHP that limits how much I can do. Since I have at least a two or three more weeks of down-time while I heal up from surgery, I hope to make some use of that time to learn a little more about how to write plugins for WordPress. I’ve come up with ideas in the past for things I’d love my WordPress installation to be able to do, things that, thus far, no one else has created plugins for. So, I hope to learn and add a few things to the WordPress community myself.
I’ve got other things to work on, as well. I still have plans to create a customized WordPress theme. I’d started work on a minimal theme last week, but that’s been on hiatus due to surgery last week. But now that I’m beginning to feel better and gain some more mobility again, I hope to get back to this project, as well, and try to finish it up. The skeleton I’d managed to build last week will probably undergo an overhaul, though, as I’ve changed my mind about some things in my mind about where I want to go with it. Heck, if I get _really_ ambitious, I might even tailor a new bbPress theme to go with it.