How Twitter works (and why you need to know about it)

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Following yesterday’s post, I had quite an interesting conversation with someone from the didn’t-retweet band. What transpired over the course of the discussion was that, by the band’s own admission, they didn’t really understand how Twitter worked. More to the point, I got the feeling that the label didn’t really understand the medium, either. Social media have come so far in eclipsing websites and emails that is very worrying if anyone along the chain isn’t engaging with it properly, so I’m listing my response here (redacting names) in the hope that it would be helpful to anyone else who doesn’t really “get”  how it works. Continue reading

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tl;dr – what you REALLY agreed to when you signed up

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Blah-blah-blah-blah I accept. I mean, who really reads those Terms of Service anyway? I know, I try to, but they’re so very long and if you decide they’re being unreasonable, what choice do you have? OK, so you can choose not to use the service, but that usually feels like shooting yourself in the foot when those disclaimers are rarely used for evil and usually just to indemnify themselves against frivolous lawsuits.

But it would be nice to know which particular demon we were offering up our firstborn children to, so Terms of Service; Didn’t Read has very helpfully put together a rough guide to all those nasty, unreasonable clauses we agree to every day without bothering to read properly.  Continue reading

5 things you might be doing wrong on social media

1. “Awareness-raising”

I think the worst example I’ve seen of this was the “tell us what colour bra you’re wearing” status update, which was basically a salacious attempt at internet flirting thinly disguised as some sort of breast cancer awareness campaign. How does that make us more aware of breast cancer? Who on this planet is not aware of breast cancer? Before passing on one of these bulls*** “awareness-raising” messages, ask yourself exactly what kind of awareness you’ll be raising. What, exactly, do we need to be thinking more about, and how is your update going to help us?

Doing it right: “Blood in your poo or looser poo? Just tell your doctor.” (NHS Bowel cancer campaign)  Continue reading

Dot War

Found via Rock, Paper, Shotgun (linked through by Kateri), Dot War is a simple flash game where you enter your Twitter username, plus your chosen opponent, and it automatically “does battle” between your avatars. Each pixel becomes a soldier, and the battle is based upon the distribution of colours in your avatar.

I tried fighting @SvennEthir, @kateri_t and @ratsofatsorat – and I’m delighted to say kicked every one of their asses. My avatar rocks!

Here’s a sample fight:

Play Dot War here.