RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

  1. #BEDM14: Facebook or Twitter?

    May 3, 2014 by superlative

    As much as I love Facebook for the way it lets you share photos, send group messages and set up events, I’m going to have to pick Twitter.

    Twitter is the more geeky response in some ways, and it can seem less accessible and even quite hard work to someone who is only used to Facebook. But it terms of hours of amusement and keeping me company, I think I get far better value out of Twitter. It’s a much more immediate platform – you either see something when it’s posted or you miss it – and of course that can be a disadvantage sometimes too, but I find it gives it more of an energy than I get from Facebook.

    Twitter has made me die laughing many more times than Facebook, and it’s great when there’s something happening on television and Twitter comes alive as everyone watches it together. People have surprised me with just how funny they can be. I’ve also made many more new friends through Twitter than Facebook, just because its very nature encourages you to interact with people you don’t know, as opposed to Facebook where you reach for the pepper spray if a stranger adds you. During the darkest and most boring days of my previous job, I honestly don’t know how I would have managed without Twitter always giving me someone to talk to.

    I also have Twitter to thank for connecting me to my best ever online-met friend, Matt Smith. He always has time for me, even though I can be tremendously boring, and the two of us have made a concerted effort to break the Twitter platform through the sheer number of DMs we send back and forth during each day. Most of those times you’ve seen the Fail Whale in the past were probably down to us.

    Finally, Twitter gives me a medium to share my sparkling wit with the world in a way I just can’t do on Facebook. I don’t post as much as I used to any more, it’s true, but I’ve had some great times on there.

    So, Twitter, I choose you.


  2. Social media marketing course #3

    July 23, 2010 by superlative

    The third session of my social media marketing course was a bit more useful to me than last week, as it was all about marketing your social media presence in order to grow your audience and achieve whatever your marketing goals are. Essentially this meant how you can build up your followers on Twitter, although we did look briefly at Facebook Pages too and how you set up adverts on Facebook to drive people to you.

    Lots of the general Twitter stuff I was already familiar with, as obviously I use it all the time. So things like building relationships, responding to people and following back were all quite natural to me. We looked at a couple of good listings websites though, such as http://tweepml.org which holds lists of people grouped by category (i.e. their interests or fields of expertise). That might be quite useful, and I’ve already found a few people that I want to follow myself after using it. I’m a bit hesitant about it as a tool though, as often the lists are more than 100 people long, and you can bulk follow them via the TweepML website. On a new Twitter account, that quickly gives you a suspicious ratio of 400+ following to practically zero followers. Whenever I get followed by an account that looks like that, particularly one that has only tweeted a dozen times, I normally just block it as a matter of course. So I think you need to be a bit careful not to over-use list websites like these.

    Other than that, the only stuff that was useful to me in the session was the 10 minutes we spent looking at LinkedIn. I’ve never really used it before, although I registered on it ages ago, and from what our tutor said that’s pretty typical of many of the accounts on there: people register then never go back to it.

    I’ve had a more thorough look at it now, and it certainly does seem to have some potential for professional networking and certainly for job hunting. It is much, much more of a professional environment though, so I certainly won’t be linking my Twitter or this blog to it. I’m not sure either would make me look particularly good to prospective employers, and from what I’ve seen many employers are now looking up job applicants and even head-hunting people via LinkedIn.

    It seems to be more well-used within the private sector than the public sector, and at the moment I’ve found hardly any people I can ‘connect’ with on there, but I have at least filled out my profile properly now. One website I looked at also suggested using LinkedIn when job hunting in the reverse way to what you’d normally expect: yes an employer might look you up on there, but equally you can look up the profile of the manager for a post you’re applying for on there too, find out more about them, and you might even find you’ve got common interests that you can casually exploit at interview.

    This week’s session was partly spoilt for me by a boy I’ll call Yappy Talkerson. As I mentioned after the first session, the group is composed of people who know nothing about social media or computers, and then a couple of people who won’t shut the hell up trying to show off what they do know. It’s probably fairly obvious which group Yappy Talkerson belongs to.

    “Can you filter out individual people on Twitter so you don’t see their tweets in your timeline?” asks Yappy Talkerson.

    “No,” says tutor, “you can’t do that, but you can set up lists of your followers and limit what you see that way if you want to.”

    “Or you could use a tool like TweetDeck,” replies Yappy smugly.

    So, if he’s familiar enough with Twitter to know about TweetDeck and to know how TweetDeck works, then of course he knows that you can’t filter people on the basic Twitter site. So why the FUCK ask the question? Just to hear the sound of his own voice and show off what he knows about TweetDeck, presumably. Cockhead.

    In the other camp of people who don’t know anything about Twitter or computers or the world in general, I was amused to watch a sweet lady type “Twitter log in” into her address bar, squint at the Bing search results which appeared on the screen for a few moments, then carefully click on ‘Log in’ at the top of page and try to enter her Twitter username and password into the Bing log in screen. Bless.

    So that was my third session. Last one next week, and I’m actually quite pleased as the train journeys to Hastings are really rather long and boring. Will I be applying my new social media marketing knowledge to my work after that? In all likelihood, no. But it’s been interesting nonetheless.


  3. Social media marketing course #2

    July 16, 2010 by superlative

    Yesterday was the second session of my social media marketing course over in Hastings. Once again it was quite good, but I probably found this week a bit less interesting than last.

    In this session we had a look at the practicalities of creating your presence on social media, focusing in particular on setting up a Facebook Page. While it was good to be shown that, I only really needed about five minutes of instruction for it, and could probably have worked even that out for myself. It was relevant for quite a few of the other people though, as they really aren’t very techy and managed to fail abysmally at the task of ‘Find the “Create a Page for your business” link and click on it’. They seemed to need intensive personal coaching for that bit.

    Some of them also had considerable difficulty understanding the distinction between a Profile and a Page, and the fact that yes your profile technically is a webpage but that doesn’t make it a Page with a P. We did get there in the end. Eventually.

    Anyway, one of the more useful parts of the session was looking through some good (and bad) examples of Pages on Facebook, and some of the innovative ideas companies have come up with. One of the ones I like particularly is the Coca Cola Page, and the clever thing they’ve done with their image:

    By matching the background of the image to the page background, the bottle appears to sit seamlessly on the page. It is somewhat disappointing that the alignment is out by about 3 pixels no matter what browser I use, which negates a large part of the effect, but the idea is a good one and I might steal it for my own use in the future.

    Looking at some examples and then creating our own Facebook Pages was pretty much all we did in two hours, so I did feel like I hadn’t learnt a lot, but that’s OK. Next week we’ll focus more on how you start marketing your social media presence once you’ve set it up, so I think that will be more useful.


  4. Social media marketing course #1

    July 9, 2010 by superlative

    I went on the first part of a social media marketing course yesterday, and it was actually quite good. When I asked my boss if I could go on it I wasn’t quite sure how useful it would be, as I feel like I know a fair amount about Facebook and Twitter already. However, I don’t know all that much about marketing, and the course seems to take a very good, practical approach to what social media can do for your organisation. I only really asked to go on it so I could get some time out of the office, as I’ve basically got no work at all to do at the moment, but actually I think it’ll be very useful knowledge for me to have (and you never know, it might even help me to get a better job than this stupid potato-patch one*).

    In the first session we had a short discussion about all the millions of different social media tools there are out there and what they are used for, before returning to the fact that most companies are basically only going to be interested in Facebook and Twitter (and possibly YouTube).

    We then had a look at some case studies on companies that use social media well (e.g. Dell, who give away coupons via Twitter and claim to have generated $3m of sales through it), and those that have had fairly spectacular disasters with it (does anyone remember Habitat hijacking Twitter hashtags about the Iran elections to promote their goods? Very naughty indeed).

    The group of people on the course seem alright, but fall into two broad categories:

    • people who know nothing about social media and who go a bit glassy-eyed when you mention things like hashtags or more niche services like Gowalla
    • people who know a bit about marketing and/or computers and who won’t shut the hell up showing off their knowledge regardless of whether it’s relevant.

    There’s one guy, in the first category, who is into veganism and animal rights campaigning and who I think would be possibly the worst dinner party guest ever. I quite like animals, but they really are very tasty and I don’t want to hear someone banging on about why we shouldn’t chop them up and put them into delicious burgers.

    Another guy made the fairly sweeping statement of “No one with any morals would buy anything made by Nestlé anyway.” I might have to keep an eye on that one, and push my Kitkats down to the bottom of my bag.

    Of course there was no one fit there, despite my hopes that there would be. Why is there never any boy candy at any of the work things I go to? There must be some somewhere, surely? But apparently not.

    There are three more sessions to go on the course, one each Thursday morning. I hope it will be useful. I know of course that I’ll never get to use any of it in this job, because when I suggested we have a Twitter account here I was told in an aghast tone “but we already have a website!” No amount of explaining would convince them they aren’t the same thing, or reassure them that Twitter doesn’t cost any money, so in the end I thought fuck ’em. If they don’t want to be on the ball with new communications media we can just go back to fucking morse code.

    * I refer to it as such because it is rapidly turning me into a vegetable.


  5. Twitter news. Twews?

    February 25, 2009 by superlative

    I’ve been getting more into Twitter lately. I’ve started to follow more people and have picked up a few more followers of my own, and once you do that the whole thing starts to make more sense. I’ve also experienced twice in just the last couple of days something which I’d heard people talking about: being on the edge of the information curve thanks to Twitter, and finding things out well before they appear on any news website.

    The first was yesterday and was fairly banal. I heard that Gmail was down, it stayed down for a couple of hours, and then I knew within minutes of it being back up again, without needing to try to log in once.

    The second, today, was a bit more consequential. A ‘breaking news’ line came up on the BBC News website saying a plane had crashed in Amsterdam. Their breaking news thing can be quite annoying because it’s just a single line, and it’ll sometimes take them ages to replace the ‘more soon’ with an actual article. Twitter, on the other hand, was immediately awash with information. Someone was tweeting right from the scene (thanks @nipp), and I was able to read his eye witness reports of what had happened, and even see photos of the site. The news corporations got wise to this pretty soon, and I gather he was overwhelmed with agencies like CNN and the BBC calling him for information they could report, while their own correspondents were stuck on trains trying to get there. He was also incidentally a bit disturbed at how easily they got hold of his phone number.

    I’d say I knew what was happening there at least half an hour before the BBC were able to put any proper details on their website. Some of the information like confirmed casualty numbers took longer to come through, but that was because no-one knew those things until the rescue services had done most of their work.

    It was really fascinating, and made me wonder what else I might hear about first on Twitter. In some ways it’s more interesting than Facebook; you find out things you didn’t already know, rather than hearing what your friends have been up to that day. I like them both, but they’re really different. And Twitter only starts functioning properly after you’ve been using it a while.

    (Days healthy – 6)


  6. Christmas, hair, and internet telepathy

    November 26, 2008 by superlative

    I’m starting really to look forward to Christmas this year now, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Christmas would appear to be in full swing already in all the shops and on the TV, so I feel like I may as well start to get into it. I flicked onto 4Music the other day and they were already playing Christmas hits on loop, and it’s not even the end of November! I think I’m going to get quite tired of hearing Mistletoe and Wine and that stupid Slade song they play ad infinitum every year by the time we actually get to Christmas.

    My second reason is that I’ll be doing something a bit different this year, and spending Christmas day with Chris for the first time. For the last few years I’ve stayed over at his Mum’s house on Christmas Eve, had presents with him and his family first thing in the morning, and then gone back to my own parents’ for the rest of the day. That was fine, I quite like it because I’ve always spent Christmas day with them, but Mum doesn’t really like Christmas that much and gets very worn out with it quite quickly. Last year we ended up sitting with the lights off (because of her eyes) and no music on (because of the noise), and I felt like sticking a fork in my neck just to make sure I hadn’t suffered brain death without noticing.

    This year Mum has already announced she doesn’t want to do Christmas, or at least she wants to do a very reduced version. There will be no decorations, no tree, we will not be having a roast turkey dinner, and we will be getting one present each only up to the value of £20. She’s hoping this will mean she’ll still be feeling well enough by Boxing Day to do lunch with my horrible grandad, as she missed it last year and doesn’t want to miss another. I’m always very supportive, and said yes of course that’s fine with me.

    Then Chris and I discussed what we want to do over Christmas, particularly as this is our first year as a married couple, and decided maybe it would be nice to spend it together at his Mum’s house. I was a bit unsure how Mum would react to that, so had to gear myself up to asking if that would be OK with her. Chris did his usual thing of placing me firmly between the two of them, by saying “don’t ask her if it’s OK, tell her it’s what you want to do”, so once again I had to do my balancing act of trying to keep both of them happy. In the end though, it went surprisingly smoothly, as when I spoke to Mum about it she said “oh well I was going to ask you if you wanted to do that anyway, I know you must get bored here, and as we’re not doing Christmas properly anyway…”. So I was really surprised! But pleased, and now Chris and I can have a nice day together and I’ll see Mum and Dad on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day instead. Hooray!

    This post is quite long already, so I won’t dwell too much on the other (hopefully intriguing) parts of the subject line. The first is the fact that I have new hair. I’m still not quite sure about it, I’ve had quite a few nice comments, but sometimes I think it looks a bit odd. Chris cut it for me (he did very well actually), based on a picture I found on the internet and some ‘how to cut hair’ videos I watched on Expert Village. This is what I was going for:


    And this is what it now looks like:


    My eyes are doing that weird thing where one is bigger than the other in the picture, don’t look at that bit. I think it looks a bit better in real life than it does in the picture too. It’s not too far off, I think considering it was cut at home it’s come out quite well. And it means I get to have spikey hair while still disguising my huge forehead a bit. It’s a shame my hair isn’t really long enough in some places yet. God I do have the most humongous forehead actually, it’s about three times the size of his. I should install solar panels on it.

    Anyway, also I have become rather addicted to Twittervision UK. It’s a combination of Twitter and Google Maps, and it lets you watch what people are twittering all over the UK. I find it really compulsive to watch, it’s just little snatches of conversations and people’s idle musings, and it feels a bit like you’re reading their thoughts. It’s quite voyeuristic. There’s a worldwide version too, but I found that less interesting because it kept jumping to tweets in Japanese and Portuguese that I couldn’t read. So anyway, between Facebook, writing this post, and Twittervision, I have to say my productivity really has taken a tumble this morning. I suppose I better take a look at my emails…


  7. This is getting silly now

    November 9, 2008 by superlative

    OK, I don’t want it to seem like all I write about on here is X Factor, but once again I find myself going WHAT???? after the most recent episode. It’s just SO ridiculous! Even Simon Cowell knew it was just getting stupid this week, as for some bizarre reason they had Laura and Ruth in the bottom two. OK so Laura’s wasn’t her best, which I blame on her choosing to play the piano as well as sing. Why over-complicate it for yourself? Her singing clearly got better once she got up from the piano and could focus on it. But anyway, that’s not the point, the point is we still have Eoghuoounn there, based solely on the fact that he’s a stupid child, and we still have Daniel, based solely on the fact that his wife died and he then devoured her corpse and turned into a massive Jabba The Hutt in a suit. I can’t believe it! Laura was a really good singer, and neither of those two chumps can actually sing! And still they don’t even end up in the bottom two!

    I did like very much though the way she and Ruth just ignored Dermot’s attempts to host when he announced who was going, and carried on hugging and consoling each other despite his calls for Ruth to bugger off so he could examine Laura’s best bits.

    So anyway, the whole programme has just turned into a farce. Amusingly, loads of people had immediate Facebook statuses expressing their disgust, and when I searched TweetScan for ‘x factor’ lots of people had written various angry comments on Twitter, mostly calling for Fat Daniel to be executed as soon as possible. I just don’t get it, I really don’t. You may as well roll a die and get rid of one of them that way, and save us all three hours – it’s that random.