Tag Archives: Twitter

I Picked a Fight with Guy Kawasaki

Last night I picked a fight with Guy Kawasaki on Twitter. For those who don’t know, Kawasaki is a marketing genius, former brand evangelist for Apple and current venture capitalist. He’s a big name. One of his current projects is Alltop, a cool little site that offers the best of the web for any particular subject (say, church?).

I called Kawasaki out over the Alltop Twitterfeed, where anyone can sign up and let Alltop post tweets to their Twitter account. It’s essentially handing over the keys to your platform and ceding your voice to a commercial. A handful of people I follow on Twitter signed up when Kawasaki offered a signed copy of his new book. I started to notice when I saw friends posting tweets about stuff they normally didn’t talk about:

Is it stork time?: http://pregnancy.alltop.com is for you.

Mostly for lawyers: Electronic Discovery news: http://ediscovery.alltop.com

If you love bags, you’ll love this site: http://bags.alltop.com

And then different friends tweeting the exact same thing. I smelled a skunk. And it was Kawasaki.

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War of the Worlds on Twitter

War of the WorldsYou may not have noticed yesterday, but aliens rose up and crushed mankind before succumbing to the common cold and dying off. One person described the mayhem like this:

“Smoking, smoldering hunks of buildings, cars, and people lay strewn about. The tripods have left the Warehouse District in ruins.”

If it sounds familiar, it should be. Some enterprising folks recreated the War of the Worlds radio drama on Twitter. Instead of fictional news accounts about aliens, people posted fictional Twitter updates about aliens. There were also fictional photos and even videos. Wired covered the story and perhaps as many as 10,000 happened upon the event.

And I’d wager many of them were confused.

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Is Blogging Dead?

Hard at WorkLast night I read a Wired magazine article about how Twitter, Facebook and Flickr have killed blogging. The article starts with this anti-blogging sentiment:

“Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.”

I’ve been blogging since 1998 (coming up on my 10-year anniversary!), so this is an interesting discussion for me. I definitely agree that Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and all the other content-publishing tools out there have changed the face of blogging. My own blogging has changed drastically since I began using Twitter.

But I don’t see the blog going away.

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Vice Presidential Frenzy

I’ve been getting kind of weary of the vice presidential speculation and frenzy. How many times can we talk about how Barack Obama is going to text message his choice and you can be the first to know? I heard three of four times that Obama could make his announcement as early as Wednesday morning. Everyone’s a buzz. It’s as if the political junkies have nothing else to talk about and refuse to move on until both candidates name a VP.

So yesterday I had enough and decided I’d pretend to be the first to know and start spreading fake vice president announcements on Twitter. I did Obama VP picks yesterday and McCain picks today. And let me tell you, I had way too much fun.

Fake Barack Obama VP Picks:

I know people say Obama needs to beef up his foreign experience & military credentials, but picking Cobra Commander as a VP?!

I can’t believe Obama picked Clinton—Bill Clinton—as VP! First black presidential candidate picks first black president as VP.

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I Want to Write a Fake Twitter Character

OK, we all know that I’m a geek. But the latest and greatest proof of that is that my favorite posts on Twitter come from fictional characters. Darth Vader, Cobra Commander, Fake John McCain, Fake Barack Obama. I don’t know what it is, but I’m a sucker for the fictional updates (as long as they’re good–G.I. Joe’s General Hawk kind of sucked).

There’s something about getting an update from Cobra Commander that makes me laugh. Maybe it’s the thought of an evil character doing something as mundane as text messaging. Or maybe it’s just the burst of something over-the-top funny and short. Sometimes life gets a little too serious and you need a little funny.

Anyway, I love the fake Twitter characters. And I want to write one. I’m into too many things that don’t pay the bills, so if I go this route it’ll have to pay. I haven’t figured out how to make Twitter pay (neither have they, so I’m not alone), so if anyone has ideas I’m game. Or if anyone would like to hire me to create their fake Twitter character, I’m so there.

Twitter, Plurk, Bless You

I’ve been using the mini-blog/messaging app Twitter a lot lately. You could say I’m addicted. I’ve also noticed that while Twitter has had problems in the past few weeks, lots of folks are checking out competitors like Plurk. I’m not a super-techie so maybe I’m missing this, but I want to know when someone is going to come up with a non-exclusive standard for the thing we do that I call Twittering.

Meaning, a bunch of years ago Blogger.com was one of the main blogging tools in town, but they weren’t the only one in town. You could still blog without them and read blogs without them. The medium triumphed, not necessarily the Blogger brand (and I imagine a lot of the usability of the blog brand has to do with RSS, yet another standard).

I want to see the same thing happen with Twitter. I want the medium to triumph, not just Twitter or Plurk or whoever. I don’t have time to reinvest in a new platform every so many months and it seems stupid to spread users of this medium across multiple platforms. I should be able to get messages from all my friends regardless of their system (hmm, kind of like cell phones). I’m not sure when, if or how that’s going to happen, but I hope it does.