Tragic Incidents and Social Media

There was a 23 year old beaten and murdered outside of a California club. The news has been passing through my Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds all day. I’ve been meaning to Tweet or Facebook or something about the incident, but think it deserves more than a Facebook post or a 140 character tweet.

This is a tragic incident and my heart is absolutely broken at the notion of such a young girl meeting her death from such an every day activity as going out. This could’ve happened to anyone and it does. Just Google “beaten to death outside of club” if you’re into that sort of thing.

What’s really disappointing, is how people took the time to take photos and video to upload onto Instagram, Twitter and Facebook while this young girl was getting the living daylights beaten out of her. And then she ended up dying.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s up to the spectators to be superheros but I wonder what it was like before all this social media stuff.

I mean, if people have the time to take photos and video, shouldn’t they… well, call for help? There are club bouncers for a reason. Or at least call 9-1-1 before taking the photo and choosing a filter.

Think back to when we had our Nokia phones, BlackBerries and even Sidekicks and we saw someone getting beat up. Did we still stand around and watch? Did we pretend not to notice? When did we start thinking collectively as a society, that it’s ok to share with our networks vs. helping?

Or is our sharing, just a way to help us humans process such shocking events?

Either which way, something to think about as functioning humans in civilized societies. And especially, for our next generations.

Coverage on the incident are here and here.

Twitter and Facebook

I don’t know what happened but since I moved to Tokyo, I’m bored of Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, I still keep up with everyone’s lives but reacting with a comment, at reply, LIKE or favorite is no longer fun for me.

I only use Twitter now to get information (ex: latest news, find funny things, see what’s going on in the world outside of Japan / APAC, etc.) when before I used to give information as well. And Facebook? There are times I don’t log-on for days, when before I used to be glued to my newsfeed.

Perhaps I’m simply over social networks, especially since I started blogging on my own domains. (if you’re interested, I have a blog about my life in Tokyo here). I’m also blogging a lot more here, which I guess is a good thing?

Maybe I’m just weird — someone even told me on Facebook that I’m “backwards”, when I announced I started a Tokyo blog haha

Oh. Now I Get It. #netneutrality

I kinda got I should care about net neutrality because I love -well live- on the Internet. So I should be ashamed to admit I had no idea what net neutrality was and why I should care.

But I’m not.

I mean look. It’s not my fault most net neutrality articles read like research papers. The worst pieces are the ones that sound like LSAT sample questions. FCC this. Regulations that. Proposals. Rules. House. Senate. Law. Hmmm what?

In one ear, out the other.

Well.Thanks to Fred Wilson’s post here and USV’s post here, I finally comprehend what net neutrality is, why I should care and why you, fellow Internet user, should care too. So click on those links. Stat.

Still here?

Ok fine. How about this. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have Google (Gmail included), Facebook and/or Twitter always open in your browser?
  • Do you go on YouTube, Vimeo or any other video site?
  • Do you stream video on Netflix, Hulu or any other site?
  • Do you download music or movies? (it’s ok to say yes btw, I won’t tell.)
  • Are you an entrepreneur?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, net neutrality applies to you too.

Pretty serious, right?

No?

Ok then how about this: picture the Internet ending up like cable TV or worse, the radio, where the things we (the public) see or hear is controlled by $$$.

Do I have your attention now? Read this

Ugh. The notion of money hungry a-holes trying to destroy the Internet makes me ill. I mean it’s one of the last places where everyone has a voice, no matter who you know, where you come from or what you look like.

So gross.

ps: don’t forget to read this

The BBB’s Creepy PR Video #unnecessary

I came across disturbing news about The Better Business Bureau, and how they were accepting bribes for grading businesses.

It’s a bummer, since the BBB is quite useful for online shopping when I need to check if a merchant is legit. Now that I think about it, the main alternative to the BBB is Yelp…another offender of selling out the public but at least Yelp posts reviews from real people.

Anyway, the BBB addressed the public by responding on Twitter and linked us to their public apology. The press release with all that PR bullshit was expected but they included a video message from the President/CEO. While I highly commend them for attempting to connect with the public, that post and video creeped me the fuck out. The President/CEO guy’s body language, mannerisms and intonation reminded me of the guy from America’s Most Wanted. Note: I couldn’t embed the BBB video here but you can watch it by clicking this. YouTube clip of America’s Most Wanted is here.

Sorry (well not really) but once an organization catering to the public breaks my trust, it takes a lot to regain it…and that lame video didn’t do anything for me. Actually, the correlation between the CEO guy and America’s Most Wanted makes me distrust the BBB even more.

That’s me though. Will you still trust the Better Business Bureau?

Harvard Library Tweets Books Checked Out but One Problem


Harvard University put up a beautifully executed site where the books checked out from their five respective libraries are aggregated, Tweeted and integrated with their proprietary catalog database (Hollis)


Fascinating and educational, as I am always looking for new ways to learn. Times like these I fall in love with the Internet allllll over again.

However. Where do past Tweets go? How do I pull up archives?? Am I the only one who wants more than real-time data???

There are ways to look up and archive my data (Tweettake, BackUp-ify, even FriendFeed) but there are so many neat Twitter API based services. Such a bummer there is no efficient search or archive.

Anyone have suggestions or methods they want to share?

Proof Number of Followers Don’t Matter on Twitter

It’s frustrating to see so much weight placed on follower count, but articles like these give me a glimmer of hope. From AdAge:

“[…]But his first round of magazine-cover appearances suggest that the conversion rate between dollars and tweets is still pretty unclear. And not everyone, it seems, can cash in yet.

[…]
The issue sold just more than 1 million copies at newsstand, about 20% below the newsstand average for early issues this year and 20% below its newsstand average in April 2009.

People’s later cover with Sandra Bullock, who doesn’t appear to have a Twitter account but does have an Oscar, sold more than twice as many newsstand copies.”


Separately, there was an article in HBR today dissecting Twitter followers and how it correlates to influence.

Totally gonna toot my own horn, but I’ve been saying since lord knows when: Grow out of the Tila Tequila mentality. Follower count does not equate to influence. If 3 million people are following, but no one is listening, are you popular and not an influencer? Why didn’t Beiber’s People issue sell more than Sandra Bullock’s issue? Does popularity equate to conversion? Or even reach?

Only time will tell, but me? I’d rather have a fraction of followers who actually engage. I think it’s time we re-think the terms: influencer and popular. #fridayfoodforthought

3 Reasons I Hate Tweetups

Oh yes I AM blogging ’bout this.
After several Tweetups, I’ve noticed the same things happening over and over and I am no longer keeping my piehole shut. So to all who go to Tweetups, PLEASE FLIPPIN’  READ.

1. Organizers: please, I beg you, pick a place where the music is not super duper loud – especially during conferences.

Am I the only one who repeatedly have these conversations?
Person: “Hi I’m adlskjfd.”
Me: “What?”
Person: “I AM ALKSJLSDF”
Me: “WHAT??”
Person: “MY NAME IS A:LSKDJSAL, WHAT’S YOURS?”
Me: “I AM SORRY, CAN’T HEAR. TWEET ME!!!!”
<Person: “WHAT???”
Me: (gestures to phone and shows Tweetie, as if to Tweet me)
Person: “OK!”
Me: “SO SORRY. BYE!”
Not sure about you, but the reason I go to swanky bars and pay for overpriced drinks at conferences is to meet and connect with those I’ve been interacting with online in, you know, person. I am tired of losing my voice just to learn someone’s name. Especially after a conference where the yelling happens three or four days in a row.
Continue reading

How My iPhone and Twitter Apps 1UPd My Twidiction

Twitter

Damn you iPhone.
Damn you Tweetie2.
Damn you SimplyTweet.
And most of all, DAMN YOU TWITTER.

…ok fine. So my Twitter addiction is not because of the above, but hey, I need something to blame, and I am sticking to the above as excuses.

When I first started Twitter, I had close to zero friends and didn’t really…well…get it. And by “getting it”, I mean Twitter. Most of the interesting people only interacted with each other and completely ignored me.

What. The. F**K.

It was sucky to be disregarded and I felt really lame…well…more like I was talking to a wall. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. *crickets*…ok, so I’d say more interesting things than HI or @Oprah I JUST ATE A GRILLED CHEESE FOR LUNCH TALK TO ME. But I digress. Where was I? Oh, ya. Twitter addiction.

Continue reading

Three iPhone Push Apps Every iPhone Addict Must Own

Don’t know about you, but the iPhone app store is about 80% useless redundant. There are so many frickin’ apps, I don’t know what’s good, what’s bad, which apps have push notifications that actually…well…work…?

However (!!!!)

I may have found the triad of apps with push notifications. Since I’m feeling generous today, I will share with y’all.

1. For the email junkies: PushGmail
Now before you barrage the “TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW“s; wait. And read. For people who have:

  • multiple Gmail accounts
  • one Exchange email already set-up on phone

PushGmail is the perfect solution. Still don’t follow? Ok, so I have my work Exchange email set-up, but I also Gmail all day errrrday. With PushGmail, my work emails get pushed onto my phone, and now my Gmail gets pushed too -read: best of both worlds. Have my cake and eat it too. I love this app more than fat kid love cake. At any which way, PushGmail RULES and is only 99cents. WELL worth the dollar (and some change)

2. For the sports addicts: Sportacular
In complete agreement with Kevin (jkontherun) who said: “Sports junkies that have an iPhone or iPod Touch owe it to themselves to take a look at Sportacular.” Holy smokes, this app is amazing. Scores are pushed (multi level settings, create alerts for only games and or teams you keep with) and it’s not just scores. Articles, breaking news, standings, etc., are available too but the best part? It’s free. Free. Screw ESPN. Sportacular is notch.

3. For the breaking news types: Twitter

Ok fine. So this one isn’t an app. But I’ve tried the AP and CNN apps but frankly, for instant breaking news, Twitter’s mobile alerting beats all. First, enable mobile alerts from Twitter to phone. Find your favorite news source and click the lil cell phone logo right by the “Follow” button and breaking news will be texted to you.  Like this (points below)

So these are my three must have apps for push – what’re yours?

Tweetie 2 isn’t free – so what. Quit whining.

Seriously, you guys? So WHAT if Tweetie isn’t free.

Hold on, hold on, let me back up. Earlier, Patrick (whom I ADORE) over on Just Another iPhone Blog snagged an interview with the Tweetie creator to address the pricing issue. Apparently, there are people who are unhappy Tweetie is going to be a paid upgrade. (Patrick’s interview was awesome btw – even goes into upgrade, what an upgrade means to developers, etc., etc.)

Now I am definitely a cheap Asian when it comes to certain things. One of the most popular posts over on PixelBits (my geek blog) is the “How I Got Two iPhone Apps Refunded” post –and I was happy to share the information.

BUT

I am a firm believer of getting value out of my hard earned money – if the ratio is imbalanced, I am not afraid to ask for money back. In this case, Tweetie is one of the best Twitter iPhone apps and it’s really annoying how people are complaining about shelling out 3bucks.

Three. EFin. Dollars.

That’s like…two bags of gummi bears. A pint of beer. Three bags of 99cent chips. A cup of stinkin’ coffee. What the hell, people. Can we have some perspective, please? Do y’all realize how much time and effort goes into developing an app?

I’m sorry (well not really) but all you whiners please: SHUT YOUR TWITTERHOLES.
Thank you and have a great day.

Statute of Limitations, Macaroni, Twitter, and My Disclaimer

A fellow blogger J. Phil, sent this PennyArcade comic during a discussion about Facebook. I like PennyArcade, but due to my severe A.D.D. (self diagnosed), there is way too much small text to read, hence I don’t really follow PennyArcade, and doubt I appreciate it as much as I should. Sorry to all the hard core Penny Arcade fans out there. It’s me. Really.

My point is not PennyArcade or J.Phil, but everytime FUNNY + FACEBOOK are spoken in the same sentence, I think of  Twitter (the new way to blog for over caffeinated people like me) and this:

twitter-_-joshua-green-allen_-i-never-should_ve-mentione
Every. single. time. I see that up there, I laugh out loud. Facebook is expanding, and the more people from my past that add me, the more that Tweet (Tweet is what all the cool kids are calling single Twitter blurbs) is relevant.

NOT that I’ve gotten anyone pregnant. Or been impregnated by someone from my high school. Or planning to invoice someone for an abortion I’ve never had… Shit, I am digging a hole that was never there, so let me STFU – that’s an acronym for Shut. The. Fuck. Up., (just in case).

ANYway, the man makes me laugh. If that Tweet up there isn’t enough to convince you to follow him on Twitter, check this one out:

twitter-_-joshua-green-allen_-this-macaroni-necklace-myAnd if that Montessori Tweet appalled or disgusted you, you might as well disown me now before I say or do something tactless and un-PC that will appall and or disgust you. Because that up there? Is my sense of humor.

Yes, this is TOTALLY my past and future disclaimer. If I ever do or say anything offensive, you better believe I’ll redirect you to this post.

And if all else fails, I’ll just hypnotize you into believing I’m a good person. I can easily get a hypnosis kit on ebay. -just saying. ;)

Social Media Sudoku

The past few days, I’ve attempted life as a ‘normal person‘. Going out with friends, dates, bars, and today, I even had an ‘average Sunday’ — Sunday brunch, Sunday errands, lazy Sunday in a park, then Sunday coffee with my friends, complete with the Sunday paper.

As I was playing Sudoku, my mind started wandering, and the numbers morphed into icons of various Social Media networking sites I participate in. Then I realized, I may have a problem. I am addicted to the Internet, especially Social Networking Sites. (image via: troller.com, a site randomly found Googling for a visual to add to this post.)

I am signed up for over 20 different services, and the list of new accounts keep growing. Since I’m signed up for an abundance of services, it may seem as though ‘clone’ sites are spawning, but I disagree. It’s quite exciting to see how these ‘clone’ sites integrates and appropriates various features and functions of their predecessors to fit their own formulas. Just like how cars, gadgets, and electronics keep getting ‘better’, I firmly believe Social Networking sites do, as well.

To omit redundancy, I separate everything via purpose of the respective services so I’m not overloaded, overwhelmed, or bored by all these sites. I’ve learned to quickly distinguish which sites I will participate in, or not. Continue reading

Tweetake Error: When Can I Back-up My Twitter?


For those getting errors from Tweetake, is the above the same one?
I ran Tweetake – three times last night, two times this morning – and keep getting that error too =( Which is strange, since I successfully backed everything up on my first attempt.

So I sent the developer an email.


Let’s see if I hear back… And if you’re getting a different error, please let me know :)

Back Up Your Twitter in Excel with tweetake, People!

From their site:

Tweetake is here to allow you to back-up your followers, people you are following and Tweets with just one click.

Why bother to do this? Many reasons:

* Twitter may lose followers again like it did in June / July
* You may change your Twitter name and want to re-follow the people you were following, and contact the people who were following you
* You may want to refer to a Tweet that you sent more than 90 days ago (the longest twitter keeps Tweets for)
* You may just like backing things up, ‘just in case’, like us :)

We’re not affiliated with Twitter in any way, we just thought this would be good for our own personal use, and decided to make it available for the world at large too. via: tweetake.com

:)