25 super engaged followers thanks to BestCoworking

This is a quick plug for the BestCoworking group on Facebook. I got 25 really super engaged and diverse followers in about 1 hour of engaged social media effort. I skipped lunch, and it was worth it!

I want to thank Stacey Soleil for putting this group together.

Social Media TechBiz

5 Ways to Reduce Twitter Spam

I’ve been working on reducing the amount of twitter spam.

To me Twitter Spam is any sort of @ reply or DM that links to a site that tries to hack you back, and it can do so more than you care for.

Here are 5 ways that work for reducing twitter spam:

  1. The silent cannot be spammed. If you stay quiet for a few days the amount of folks who will spam you goes down.
  2. Make your account private.
  3. Prune your account of the spam-like and spam vectors. For me this means removing folks that follow more than have followers or act like bots (because they probably are). This also means using Echofon on the iPhone. Echofon is helpful in that it shows the vector a spammer used to get to me. In this case I might get spammed an at reply every time a certain user “ats” me back. Echofon makes this very obvious.
  4. Actively block spammers and report them as spam.
  5. Avoid using terms that spammers like. You know the one’s I mean. I’d mention it here but it would ruin my blog’s ranking. 😀
Erlang Social Media software TechBiz WebApps

Twitter: Thoughts That Are Hard to Fit Into 140 Characters

What are the limits of expressing thoughts in Twitter?

Here’s a powerful but inefficient (when run) thought that can be expressed on Twitter, a quick sort in Erlang in 126 characters.

qsort([]) -> [];
qsort([Pivot|T]) ->
qsort([X || X <- T, X < Pivot]) ++ [Pivot] ++ qsort([X || X <- T, X >= Pivot]).

A lot of Perl one-liners can fit into a tweet – powerful and useful ones.

Haikus can be expressed in a tweet.

The answer to the question, “What form of body language do most FBI interrogators consider to be the most telling?” can be answered in a tweet.

A marriage proposal can be answered in a tweet.

You can propose the concept of a hash tag in a tweet:

hashtag proposal

However, there are many thoughts that seem to be difficult to fit into a tweet:

  • The Pythagorean Theorem and one of its many proofs
  • Anselm’s Ontological Proof for God’s Existence
  • Merge Sort in Ruby
  • Merge Sort in PHP
  • Why you should or shouldn’t outsource
  • What qualities make a great tech hire
  • Well-thought out political proofs
  • How to subtly tell someone something in an indirect way with the only others knowing being those in the know
  • A legally-binding, work contract – It would be amazing if you could!
  • The mechanism for how DNA works

Twitter encourages the laconic expression of thought which means plenty of affirmations, aphorisms, insults, congratulations, and reminders that can display any combination of sharp wit, pointed humor, and succinctness of expression. The mot juste becomes very important with the constraint of 140 characters.


Keeping It Real On Social Networking

I un-friended 50 people today and it feels good.

I applauded Twitter’s decision in July of 2007 to change “friend” to “follow”. It took one more falsehood out of the pile of lies that is the Internet.

I had to look at my Twitter followers and who I was following. I did the same with Facebook. I saw quite a few spammers, posers, users, and those who were a combination of all three.

A pic of how easy it is to fake friendship
figure 1. It’s easy to fake friends.

There was one person, who shall remain nameless, that really used me and hurt me. This person has managed to “friend” the top people in the Web 2.0 industry and has made it appear like s/he was the friend of all these top people thanks to carefully placed comments and strategic friending on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Upcoming.

Imagine my embarrassment when I showed up at a function with this person and my real friends revealed that they didn’t know this person at all.

Anyway, one of my goals is to keep my Twitter and Facebook connections real and I won’t hastily add “friends” anytime soon.

It’s a sad thing that nobody reads Book 8 of Aristotle’s Ethics anymore.

Here are two quotes that serve as a commentary of our age of easy friending:

“Those who quickly show the marks of friendship to each other wish to be friends, but are not friends unless they both are lovable and know the fact; for a wish for friendship may arise quickly, but friendship does not.”

“Those who are friends for the sake of utility part when the advantage is at an end; for they were lovers not of each other but of profit.”

And what am I going to do about it?

I’m planning on making a social network where it’s actually difficult to friend people. The idea is that you can’t be someone’s friend unless you complete a task that shows your friendship for someone and have that verified.





Let me know if you want to work on this project.

TechBiz WebApps

Strawpoll, Twitter as a Coral Reef, and Bruce Lee

Dave Winer called Twitter a coral reef last April. It’s the highest compliment he said that he could pay.

When I see something like StrawPoll, that brings together polling and twitter, I think we have to say that Twitter is more basic than a coral reef. Twitter is like water. Without it, you can’t really use the Internet anymore. Google’s search is water, too, and it wouldn’t make sense to have the Internet without it.

StrawPoll also has a beautifully designed front page that reminds me of CSS Zen Garden, a great site for getting inspired about web design.

If you’re making a web app you might want to follow the advice of this guy:

Your web app needs to be like water. Everybody needs water.


A Google Trends for Twitter: Twitterverse

If you’re wondering what the twitterverse is thinking about, look no further than twitterverse.

It’s like the Google Trends page, except it’s just for twitter and does only a one word view, or a two word view, and just goes back 10 hours max.