Sometime last week, @YukoFinnegan923 started following me on Twitter. A few days later, she stopped following me. Y U NO FOLLOW ME YUKO? I just now tried to find the account and it no longer exists. Fortunately, I took a screenshot of @YukoFinnegan923 from “Minneapolis, MN” while that cutie still existed. I already knew it was a spam account. That bit.ly URL still works and goes to mycheapjobs.com. The website offers an assortment of Internet tomfoolery, such as backlinks to gin up you search-engine optimization (SEO) results, sites with 1,000 Google +1’s built-in, Twitter accounts with 500 followers at the ready, etc. I’ve long been fascinated by the ways people are tricked by the Internet. Recently, Newt Gingrich’s hapless presidential campaign was accused of buying twitter followers. Gingrich’s campaign denied it. The former Speaker of the House got his 1.3 million followers legitimately, his campaign said. Some reporters and pundits also scoffed. But then a new a people-search site, PeekYou, claimed it had researched Gingrich’s Twitter account and found only 8 percent of his followers were human. Douglas Main at Popular Mechanics wrote an excellent piece about trying to figure out what number of followers anybody has are spam or phony. I decided to do a little investigating of my Twitter followers. More
The last time I used Photobucket a few years ago, it was basically an image-hosting site. You uploaded a photo, grabbed the HTML or IMG code, then posted your photo at some forum and forgot about the original file. On Wednesday, Twitter made public what had been rumored for a few days: It would offer its own photo and video sharing – “powered” by Photobucket. ZOMG. The last time Photobucket was a big deal, Tila Tequila was the Queen of MySpace. Or so I thought. In fact, Photobucket has remained a player, with 8 billion total uploads as of last December. That’s 3 billion more than Flickr. For a while it was owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Now it has hitched its wagon to Twitter. Photobucket recently launched a mobile app called Snapbucket, which has Instagram-type filters. I tried it out and the burger photo above is the result. Overall, Photobucket is a very functional image- and video-sharing service. As I described in my last post, I use an assortment of sharing services for Twitter. I like diversity and competition, so I don’t plan on giving them up. But if the simplest option for sharing pictures is inside Twitter itself, there will be a rough road ahead for outsiders.
Twitter finally got rid of the annoying QuickBar at the top of its iPhone app. The tweet above is in Greek except for two words: “dick bar.” The QuickBar was nicknamed the dick bar or “Dickbar” because, um, Twitter’s CEO is Dick Costolo. Actually, John Gruber of Daring Fireball came up with the term and said he meant that including the bar was a “dick move.” The most annoying thing about the bar was the way it floated on top of the app and made it hard to see tweets. There’s not much real estate available on a phone screen and this was ruining the app experience. Responding to the angry uproar about the bar, Twitter pinned it down to the top of the feed. After a while, I started to find it sort of useful. How else was I going to learn that Jackie Chan had died? No, really, I didn’t mind seeing what was trending without having to switch screens. But most other users still hated it. On Thursday, Twitter announced on its blog that the bar was gone. That was good news for all the people on Twitter who could go back to the traditional meanings of “dick” and “bar.” (Don’t look at the following screen cap if you are easily offended.) More
Image by Danilo Ramos, via Flickr
I’ve already written about Twitter’s fifth anniversary and what it means in the big picture scheme of things. Today I’ll share a few fun and interesting things about Twitter. Lady Gaga is the Queen of Twitter with nearly 9 million followers. President Obama is 4th on the list with 7 million followers. I follow neither. Probably the most popular person on Twitter that I follow is Roger Ebert, who recently shared at the TED conference how Twitter and the Internet helped him reinvent his voice after cancer surgeries took away his ability to talk. Oh, wait. I just remembered. I follow Charlie Sheen. He has more than 3 million followers. I find his antics fascinating. I don’t think he’s having a break down or is mentally ill. He’s just amoral, or immoral, and lovin’ it. Enough of famous people. Here are some important tweets from people who are not famous, but what they are doing on Twitter is vitally important: More
Sometime after 1 a.m. Friday, I happened to be checking Twitter when I saw flash reports about an earthquake in Japan, and then tweets about a tsunami warning, and then I saw this shocking image, which I retweeted. Twitter has changed the way I learn about what is happening in the world. More importantly, Twitter has changed the world. Tonight, many people are waiting for what may be the big Bank of America email leak, which is being announced via Twitter by @OperationLeakS. More history on the way? We shall know shortly. More