Not Using Tweetscan to Manage Your Brand? You're Not Doing Your Job OMG! You're doing it wrong! It is really amazing to see how much the hype about twitter echoes the blog hype of 2002. Back then this headline would have read, "Not Using Technorati to Manage Your Brand? You're Not Doing Your Job." Like blogs we're seeing exponential rates of growth in Twitter use. And even if the numbers aren't huge yet, they're going to be. And even if they aren't going to be, Twitter users are the kind of people (like bloggers in 2002) that you'd be well advised to listen to. Twitter is the must-have for marketers, the must-have for anyone with friends, the must-have for customer service, the must-have for journalists...
And of course, where the people go, so goes the spam and now we're seeing strategies for dealing with Twitter spam. The idea behind the spam TwerpScan is meant to fight is that when someone follows you (subscribes to be notified of your Tweets) you get a note informing you of that fact. If you don't know the person, you'll likely click through to their profile to see who it is. In that way they trap you into viewing their ad or whatever. (This definitely happens on Flickr where I've had people with streams full of nakedness add me as a contact and later remove me (but not before I'd clicked through to their porn spam profile.) Plus, they are listed as a follower on your account, which gives them a tiny bit of real estate on your profile. And of course, if you make the mistake of following them back, you've opened yourself up to direct spam messages.
So TwerpScan looks at your followers and makes a ratio of the number of people they're following and the number of people following them. If they're following many more people than are following them, the possible implication is that they're playing games and you might want to block them.
Also rooted in this kind of following/follower Twitter math to root out spammers is The Twitter Blacklist. According to the explainer, this one can also figure out when a spammer is trying to balance out the ratio by using fake profiles as pretend friends.
And then there are people who aren't spammers but for whatever reason you just don't want to hear from them for a while. TwitterSnooze lets you turn off a friend for a number of days and then automatically turn them back on. This past weekend I was reading Twitter a lot for the conference and I was thinking that temporary following would be a handy tool. This is more like temporary un-follow but still I can see where it would be useful.
Staying with Twitter but leaving behind the utility, Twistori scrapes Twitter for a few phrases and scrolls them up your screen for not much purpose other than to be kind of interesting.
"Inexhaustible energy: The red squares show the necessary surface at mirror power stations on, in order to supply the world (left), Europe (center) and/or Germany (right) completely with river." -- Somewhat imperfect but you get the idea translation from Babel Fish. (And I don't meant get too literal about a simple diagram, but how 'bout if we put the world's source of energy in a nice stable country this time?)
The Uno motorcycle has two front wheels and... that's it. I've seen prototypes of Segway-like one-wheeled motorcycles but this is pretty crazy. I keep looking for the April 1 dateline but I don't see one.
"In the late '90s, pop-culture historian Bill Geerhart had a little too much time on his hands and a surfeit of stamps. So, for his own entertainment, the then-unemployed thirtysomething launched a letter-writing campaign to some of the most powerful and infamous figures in the country, posing as a curious 10-year-old named Billy."
The 100 top Web apps for 2008 - Categorized nicely. A good way to see alternatives to the apps you use regularly.
Here's a cool Google trick I didn't know. When you add a bit of code to the end of the URL of a search result it gives you a time range pulldown menu to narrow your results. The one option I'd want to add is the ability to eliminate short term results.
Worldometers - World statistics updated in real time.
There's no avoiding all the GTA IV hype today so I won't pile on, but I did click this demo of the animation technology the game uses and it's pretty amazing how well it understands human physics.
MySpace Karaoke - That's all I have to say about that.
I'm having trouble getting through to the actual NeoCube site but the video looks pretty cool. How soon before someone has a hard time explaining it to airport security?
Simple brain exercise can boost IQ - This would be a great idea as a video podcast. All you need is video, audio, and a button. Perfect for the train.
Commuter Click: Gin, Television, and Social Surplus - I think he's talking about how new technology enables (or requires) you to reshape your life.
I'm looking forward to The Smoking Gun getting hold of the mug shot of suspect number 3 because I'm having a hard time fathoming his condition.
Y'know what bugs me about this Miley Cyrus story? Not that we see the bare shoulder blade of a 15-year-old girl, but that I saw it online first. I recently ordered a subscription to the magazine exactly because of stories like this. It seemed like the magazine kept making news or having some of its articles grow some good legs online. So I subscribed, thinking I'd get a jump on some of these stories. Instead I see all the interesting content online for free and when the dead tree arrives I reminisce with a flip-through and off it goes to the recycle bin. Obviously I won't be renewing my subscription. We hear so much hype about the Web killing the magazine industry but there's a case to be made that the magazine industry is killing itself with the Web.
Also of Batman, someone did some creative editing to put scenes from the first Batman movie with scenes from the coming movie. There's no real conclusion to draw that I can see, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Speaking of games, here's one with some social relevance. I had a little trouble getting it to load (eventually it worked in IE) but when it does, it shows a series of photos of scenes with people and you have to decide very quickly whether a person has a gun or not and whether to shoot or holster your weapon. The game is more about the decision than the shooting which makes it an interesting tangent to the Sean Bell shooting verdict. (Yes, that case is not really about whether or not a gun was seen, but it did involve making the quick decision to shoot.)
And on games, here's a new Ralph's Recommendations:
Here's a fun (but gory) new game you can link to.
13 Days in Hell: Ghoul Shooting Gallery
Hell's not a fun place for the living. Lots of lost souls trying to flay your skin off. Fortunately, there's a handy gun shop where you can buy the tools to protect yourself.
As with most games like this, accuracy is more important than overall brute force. On the other hand, sometimes it's fun to pull out the machine gun and start mowing down the monsters. Just be sure to keep an eye on your ammo levels.
Hope you enjoy it!
Will adds: Stone simple controls, point 'n click.