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My new favorite study

December 12, 2010

The good news: a new study from the Pew Research Center shows that over a third of Twitter users read other users' tweets at least once a day. The bad news: nearly 50% of Twitter users do not look at other users' content more than once a week. In fact, 20% only browse other people's […]

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Twitter's firehose problem

June 22, 2010

Esquire confirms what we already knew: Twitter is a waste of time. The information "firehose" has more in common with the Deepwater site, spewing redundant and useless information at a constant pace. In that regard, truth be told, it's not much different from any other communications service - except that alternatives have either explicit or implicit filtering […]

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37Signals is worth $100 billion

September 29, 2009

Closely following the Twitter valuation news comes this brilliant satire from 37signals: 37signals is now a $100 billion dollar company, according to a group of investors who have agreed to purchase 0.000000001% of the company in exchange for $1... In order to increase the value of the company, 37signals has decided to stop generating revenues. […]

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Twitter's broken data model becomes slightly less broken

September 19, 2009

I don't usually have anything nice to say about Twitter (though I still ignore my mother's advice and say it anyway), but the company is finally taking steps to improve one of the most glaring faults with their service: retweets. Previously, retweets were simply new tweets that happened to contain old information. This created clutter […]

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Bubble 2.0 datapoint of the day: "the Twitter age?"

September 14, 2009

The beginning of this Mashable post made me pause: How much buzz is one inappropriate publicity stunt during the VMA’s worth in the Twitter age? In the case of Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, almost 300,000 tweets in one hour. What does it even mean for something to have "worth in the Twitter age?" […]

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Twitterverse demographics

August 28, 2009

I spoke too soon - another post from ReadWriteWeb manages to frustrate yet again. In an article claiming that teenage use of Twitter is on the rise, they present this chart: Let's do what RWW did not and actually think about what this graph is showing. For each age group, their use of Twitter is […]

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What passes for news

August 28, 2009

ReadWriteWeb takes 600 words to conclude: What this means for Twitter is that the online chatter taking place on the popular microblogging site, while still an important vector for studying sentiment, is not powerful enough on its own to truly impact the overall success or failure of a movie. Really?! Does this mean there are […]

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The 100 users of Twitter

July 31, 2009

An interesting visualization of Twitter as 100 people is a good take on a popular infographic meme, but reveals a few inconvenient truths about these sorts of images. Firstly, although I am (not so) secretly pleased to see this illustration of Twitter's non-inclusive communicative nature let's not forget that Twitter, like so many other social […]

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"A revolution in the American fantasy"

July 13, 2009

The RWW article I just discussed included a link at the end to an excellent discussion of American egoism and hypocrisy as epitomized by the glorification of the Twitter's recent role in Iran, decrying it as "a revolution in the American fantasy." While I found it a to lean a bit on the conspiracy side, and […]

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No, Twitter does not deserve a Nobel Peace Prize!

July 13, 2009

Bubble 2.0 datapoint of the day: ReadWriteWeb is running an article with the title "Does Twitter deserve a Nobel Peace Prize? Maybe not yet, but it could someday." Fortunately, they acknowledge the idea is ridiculous for the moment and are really just responding to this outlandish post by Bush's Deputy National Security Advisor. Nonetheless, besides […]

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Twitter, exposed

July 2, 2009

Twitter's data model is, interestingly enough, entirely user generated. Hashtags of every variety, retweets, and other methods of ascribing meta-information to tweets have developed outside any formal structural model or standard. The lone first-party implementation is that a "@" prefix links directly to a person, and even that isn't fully functional. All of my problems […]

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Kottke on Twitter

June 25, 2009

No less an authority than Jason Kottke is taking up the "Twitter's data model sucks" mantle, instantly doubling the size of my little crusade. Actually, Kottke doesn't even attack Twitter, but rather sites that claim to provide Twitter-organization services, but it's close enough because it implicitly recognizes that Twitter doesn't have even a shard of […]

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Trading Twitter

June 24, 2009

Bubble 2.0 datapoint of the day: StreamBase has announced that their CEP (complex event processing) software for algorithmic trading now supports Twitter. One CIO admits in an otherwise Hallelujah-esque article that "traders he has spoken to haven't yet jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon." But here's the clincher (emphasis mine): A key benefit of Twitter is […]

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I just don't get it

June 17, 2009

I may be tilting at windmills with my Twitter rants, but I find it so hard to believe that this is really the future. It may constitute an incremental step towards some form of communications bliss, but I'd be shocked if it doesn't get pushed aside by the first service to get data organization right […]

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The flow of information

June 16, 2009

This NYT article on Twitter and Iran sums it all up (emphasis mine): “We’ve been struck by the amount of video and eyewitness testimony,” said Jon Williams, the BBC world news editor. “The days when regimes can control the flow of information are over.” It's an amazing and deserved accolade for the young service. But. […]

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Twitter will/will not change your life

June 5, 2009

Time magazine has Twitter on the cover and can't gush enough about how the service will change your life. Remember when they had you on the cover? This is totally different. This is you distilled into 140 characters, which, naturally, is better. Obviously, I see the benefit of allowing people to upload their thoughts in […]

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Security, more or less

May 30, 2009

58 minutes and 30 seconds into the Google IO demo of Google Wave (youtube link), does Stephanie Hannon actually type out the Wave password by mistake? Is it really "wavewave"? I hope that was just the password for the demo Twitter account and not for anything more sensitive. As Stephanie said, better get that tab […]

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Google Wave

May 29, 2009

If Google Wave is successful, will anyone care about Twitter anymore? To me the most exciting thing about Google Wave isn't that it's real time; nor that it's live; nor that it combines email, IM, and social networking; nor that it lets people send photos quickly; nor that it is the first "web application" that […]

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Tweeting Libor

May 21, 2009

I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen: The British Bankers’ Association announced today it is now publishing its key benchmark figure (three-month sterling LIBOR) on Twitter every afternoon, shortly after it is announced to the financial markets. Words fail. Libor, a […]

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Real time and the data society

May 16, 2009

The Times has gone all Twitterish - a new feature called Times Wire displays stories as they are published. It is the latest effort to cash in on the growing phenomenon of "real time search." The new Times page implies very simply that recency = importance, which just isn't the case, but somehow our need for […]

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April 27, 2009

I have been doing some research on text analysis, in particular on extracting sentiment in the absence of context (a la Twitter).  Among all the theory, I came across the following joke which I think really captures the complexity of any natural language processing (not that it prevents us from trying): A linguistics professor was […]

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Superbowl Tweeting

March 27, 2009

I know I'm really late on this one, but the NYTimes put together an excellent timelapse visualization of Twitter comments across the US during the Superbowl.  It's especially cool to see player names jump out as plays take place, or ad campaigns taking hold as commercials air.  Check it out here.

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