Monthly Archives: February 2011

What Pre-Twitter News Could Have Crashed Twitter?

If Twitter had been around, what events in your lifetime (where no one was hurt) would probably have broken Twitter due to high traffic volume? (Meaning NO war, terrorism, violent crime, assassinations, natural disasters, etc.) Example: The OJ Car Chase (followed at the time by over 20 helicopters).

Leave a comment with your answer or tweet it with #2Much4Twitter and we’ll tweet the top choices. An example tweet would look like this:

The OJ Car Chase would have been #2Much4Twitter

(Tip o’ the hat to CNBC sports business reporter @darrenrovell who asked the other day what sporting moments would have broken Twitter due to high traffic volume. Two top choices were Miracle on Ice and “Heidi” & Buckner.)

How to use Google to search Twitter bios

Quick tip: For example, search for “attorney” on Twitter.

intitle:”attorney* on twitter” OR intext:”bio * attorney”

To do your own search, click the link above, and edit the search to replace the word attorney with the word you want to search for. Here is another example:

intitle:”web designer* on twitter” OR intext:”bio * web designer”

Also read this post for other cool ways to search Twitter.

The Top 100 Words on Twitter

As compiled by the lexicographers of Oxford University Press and reported in TIME magazine, based on a sampling of 1.5 million tweets, here are the top 100 words by frequency found in tweets:

If you’d like to copy the list for whatever reason, here it is in text format:

1. The
2. I
3. To
4. A
5. And
6. Is
7. In
8. It
9. You
10. Of
11. For
12. On
13. My
14. That
15. At
16. With
17. Me
18. Do
19. Have
20. Just
21. This
22. Be
23. So
24. Are
25. Not
26. Was
27. But
28. Out
29. Up
30. What
31. Now
32. New
33. From
34. Your
35. Like
36. Good
37. No
38. Get
39. All
40. About
41. We
42. If
43. Time
44. As
45. Day
46. Will
47. One
48. Twitter
49. How
50. Can
51. Some
52. An
53. Am
54. By
55. Going
56. They
57. Go
58. Or
59. Has
60. Rt
61. Know
62. Today
63. There
64. Love
65. More
66. Work
67. Too
68. Got
69. He
70. Back
71. Think
72. Did
73. Lol
74. When
75. See
76. Really
77. Had
78. Great
79. Off
80. Would
81. Need
82. Here
83. Thanks
84. Been
85. Blog
86. Still
87. People
88. Who
89. Night
90. Want
91. Why
92. Home
93. Should
94. Well
95. Oh
96. Much
97. Then
98. Right
99. Make
100. Last

Cool Tools For Your Event

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Today Twitter cut millions of mobile users off without warning

UPDATE: Late Sunday, over 48 hours after the apps were updated at Twitter’s request, Twitter finally allowed them to reconnect again. Why the ridiculously long delay? No word from Twitter on that yet.

Guess what? Twitter didn’t have to turn off the Twitter apps for millions of users by childishly pulling the plug on UberTwitter (now renamed UberSocial) and Twidroyd.

Did. Not. Have. To.

But they did. Am I surprised? Not in the least. And then Twitter followed up by delaying for many hours the reactivation of those apps for users. The minor issues with the apps that caused Twitter to turn them off—throwing users into a panic—were fixed quickly, as this tweet points out. Yet Twitter did not restore them, still has not restored them.

While these actions look like disdain for users, I know it’s just corporate immaturity on Twitter’s part. Twitter has a track record of acting first, thinking later—and breaking things. They had options besides disconnecting users without warning, of course. They could have tweeted a public warning, for example. (Heard of Tweets, Twitter? They’re these cool short messages that are good for keeping people in the loop on important news.)

Don’t hold users for ransom, Twitter!

My gosh, just as the headlines are all about how Twitter mobile users are facilitating revolutions, Twitter cuts millions of mobile users off from their connection to Twitter. (See, for example, from just a few hours before Twitter made its foolish move, “Twitter used to report Bahrain violence, injuries in real time.” Unless Twitter deletes your app, of course.)

Not only that, just before doing so, the @Twitter account tweeted about official mobile apps, and then just after cutting users off, the @Support account tweeted this ransom-note sounding tweet:

“Want to keep using Twitter on your phone? Download an official Twitter client here…”

It almost reads like “Want to keep using Twitter on your phone? Send 1 million dollars in unmarked bills to Twitter, Inc….” In fact, to users of those suspended apps, Twitter’s tweets looked very ominous. No I don’t think these two tweets, trying to get users off of non-Twitter-made apps was accidental. But I believe Twitter can and will do a lot better.

Twitter people care. Twitter, the company, does not

Plenty of wonderful people at Twitter care. And other wonderful people at Twitter have a vision of what Twitter can do for the world. But  Twitter overall is immature as a company, can’t control its own bureaucracy, and isn’t user-centric…yet. Love Twitter? Love its users? Lots of us do. But Twitter, as a company, does not yet.

But they will. I believe that the people that care will take the reins eventually, change the culture, fix the system, let employees help users. I love Twitter. I would love to be able to trust Twitter, the company with this wonderful service that I love.

The first thing to fix? Tech support

Of course, users shouldn’t take it personally! Twitter is equally indifferent and immature in dealing with their community of developers. In fact, by cutting off applications for which Twitter offers alternatives and then promoting those alternatives, Twitter is saying—yet again—that it doesn’t care about its community of developers either. That’s right—build something to help Twitter users and Twitter can remove it without warning. Which wouldn’t be so bad if Twitter actually supported their own interface well.

The first sign Twitter is growing up will be when their tech support people actually read the problems people submit. Even when I get multiple personal responses back for tickets I submit, I find none of the Twitter support personnel have actually read my request. They just scan for keywords that they can then link me to a hopefully relevant support article. And of course as many users report, getting any reply at all from Twitter support is often not in the cards.

When will Twitter start caring about its loyal users?

As venture capitalist Mark Suster said today, on his blog and earlier on Quora:

“Twitter, I’m a friend. I love you, man. Please try to play nicer. I writing as a friend. I come in peace. I use you every day. I use you more than email now. I hate email, by the way.
…as a user of a product Twitter chose to punish. It sure would have been nicer on your users if you issued a public warning and had given them 72 hours to respond. Who you fucked was me. Your loyal user.”

Latest news and updates

The list below updates every 20 seconds with the latest news from the app makers that Twitter cut off today:

The #FailWhale has a lot of explaining to do

As this tweet pointed out, this is what a lot of us would like to hear from Twitter after today:

What’s wrong with #FollowFriday?

#FollowFriday is great in theory, but often turns out badly in practice, so I have a hard time recommending it…although it works well for some people.

First, here’s what you should do instead: Ask for and give personal recommendations (Example 1 Example 2). Also see 10 seconds a week to find great Twitter users

What most people talk about is that it clutters up streams, making it hard to view tweets. Of course, there are tools and apps that you can use to filter most of them out, but it’s a hassle.

But what I find bad about #ff or #FollowFriday hashtags is that the recommendations are too often low quality. Why is that?

  1. Since they’re public, people can be afraid NOT to recommend some people for fear of repercussion, e.g “You recommended them but not me?! How could you do that?!”
  2. People also use them simply to trade promotional favors, as in “You recommend me and I’ll recommend you.”
  3. People try to insinuate themselves with influential users by recommending them. It’s fine if it’s a sincere recommendation, but often it’s just a way of trying to get the attention of a more powerful user.
  4. Since they’re public, it’s hard to draw the line over time. Do you recommend your top 10 favorites? Top 11? Top 12?
  5. They’re often not targeted, insufficient reason given for favoring. Who cares if someone like person A—what you want to know is what makes person A good for you to connect with.
  6. Many people use them primarily to promote people who are active and follow back. Just looking for users that follow back is a poor use of Twitter.

The Oatmeal sums up the #FF impressions of many people: