Towse: views from the hill

July 9, 2009

When United Declines Your Claim

Filed under: music,travel,video,web2.0 — Towse @ 11:20 pm

… there’s still something you can do. …

Dave Carroll [Sons of Maxwell] – United Breaks Guitars

Update: Update

June 8, 2009

When the Thrill of Blogging Is Gone …

Filed under: blog,news,web2.0 — Towse @ 9:49 pm

When the Thrill of Blogging Is Gone … – by Douglas Quenqua

Interesting article. You must register w/ to read.


Like Mrs. Nichols, many people start blogs with lofty aspirations — to build an audience and leave their day job, to land a book deal, or simply to share their genius with the world. Getting started is easy, since all it takes to maintain a blog is a little time and inspiration. So why do blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants?

According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.

Judging from conversations with retired bloggers, many of the orphans were cast aside by people who had assumed that once they started blogging, the world would beat a path to their digital door.

May 15, 2009

An explanation as I see it of the Twitter @reply problem

Filed under: web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 6:01 am

For those who don’t know (and if you aren’t Twitter users, why should you? And if you are Twitter users but don’t care, why should you?), Twitter changed their way of handling @ replies a day or so ago and all Hell broke loose in the Twitterverse.

[What follows may seem gibberish to those who don’t use Twitter]

RT @parislemon Twitter: The Dog Ate Our Homework [Biz explains @ replies change]

Someone who reads my Twitterfeed read the post above and wrote
I still don’t get it. …

My reply:

Imagine you can turn on/off whether you’ll see the @replies of someone you =do= follow to someone whose Twitterfeed you =don’t= follow.

If your switch is OFF and I @reply to my brother, you’d never know. However, some people (3% of the Twitterverse we’re told) like to see @replies even if they don’t know the person the @reply is directed to because … well, because they get curious and go check that person’s Twitterfeed and find new interesting people. (Sometimes….)

Twitter designed their software so that each time someone made an @reply, Twitter was spinning through their followers list to see which followers wanted to see @replies for people they didn’t already follow, so they could show them the @reply.

That’s fine for thee and me, but imagine what happened when Ashton Kutcher made an @reply. Twitter was spinning through each of his million + followers to see who wanted to see the @reply.

Ooopsie! Fail whale!…

Bad design. Badbadbadbad.

so, is it fixed?

Not fixed. Will never be fixed. Can’t be fixed, actually, because the underlying design is flawed.

If their design is such that they have to loop through a linked list of all the folks who follow TwittererA to decide who does and who doesn’t get notified of an @reply, they have something that just can’t be scaled to an Ashton Kutcher level.

Right now it sounds like Twitter is trying to come up with something else that will give some of the functionality the upset cohort is upset about losing.

They’ve already implemented a simple partial fix. If a person is posting an @reply but not using the [reply] button to do so (i.e. they’re typing @username rather than clicking the [reply] button) the @post will go to all the Twitterer’s followers. Maybe that will be serendipitous enough.

Maybe not.

Sounds like whoever designed the @reply part of the code never imagined there’d be multiple users with over a million followers. “In your dreams, guys.” Well, some times dreams come true.

March 2, 2009

Other classic, and annoying, Facebook types

Filed under: life,news,San Francisco,web2.0 — Towse @ 5:16 am

As a follow-on to Peter Harlaub’s

The 9 types of Facebook friends

which the Chron ran last Sunday, today they ran

Other classic, and annoying, Facebook types

Probably the two most annoying types of FB friends I’d add to the list: “The Infected” – seems to exist on Facebook to propagate memes (make lists and tag others) and share their quiz results. “The Activist” – almost every day they invite you to join a new cause, sign a petition, or send you a “lil green patch” request. They occasionally inspire the urge to explain why you don’t believe in a cause or how you feel their demands are a bit unrealistic, which you refrain from indulging.

- Sarah Lockhar, Oakland


January 28, 2009

Plinky | Your web enabler since 2009.

Filed under: web2.0 — Towse @ 10:51 pm

Plinky | Your web enabler since 2009.

I don’t get it.

Here is a list of their prompts so far.

Good luck to them.

January 26, 2009

Paul Bradshaw – How Do You ‘Follow’ 2,500 People on Twitter?

Filed under: lifehacks,web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 8:20 pm

“Many Twitter users adopt a “quality not quantity” strategy by only following a certain number of Twitterers. But, by using certain tools and adopting a certain mindset, I think you can achieve both quality and quantity.

“Here’s how I follow 2,500 people on Twitter:

“It’s a stream, not a publication.”


“The more people you follow (your Twitter “friends”), the more chance you have of stumbling across something interesting. The more diverse your Twitter friends are, the more likely you’ll stumble across something useful from outside your immediate circles. For me, those are the most interesting Twitter experiences.

“So stop worrying about what you’re missing. Focus on what you do see.”


Paul Bradshaw – How Do You ‘Follow’ 2,500 People on Twitter?

[via a Poynter tweet]

January 24, 2009

Daily Dish’s twitterfeed

Filed under: web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 9:26 pm

I find Daily Dish interesting and all. Decided I’d follow Sullivan’s tweets.

But after returning to my new DailyDish-enabled twitterstream, I realized Sullivan tweets for each and every post he makes on Daily Dish and was swamping all the other content I keep an eye on.

Fifteen seconds after adding a “follow,” I removed it.

Perhaps some sort of protocol for apps like tweets? Don’t post so much that the other folks you’re sharing virtual space with are overwhelmed? Not too many, not too few, just right?

Or am I just a fud and a dud and not a with-it happenin’ person?

Could be.

January 15, 2009

eightmaps — oh, my Prop 8

Filed under: election2008,mashup,web2.0 — Towse @ 7:00 am


A mashup of pro-Prop8 donations and Google maps.

Want to know if your neighbors donated to the Yes-On-Prop8 campaign? Here’s your click.

(None of my neighbors donated according to this site, but then I live in a very not-Republican sector of town …)

(Oh. Here’s a student who donated $500 to the yes-on-8 campaign. Gosh. I wish I’d had that kind of money when I was a student.)

December 30, 2008


Filed under: blog,life,URL,web2.0 — Towse @ 8:30 pm

Spinning, a blog.

The thing ^H^H^H One of the things I find fascinating about the Web is all the things I find fascinating and stash away in a links folder or delicious or a Web page or a post and then forget all about and never return to.

Too many fascinating things.

With delicious, though, if I click to save a link to a page I’ve found interesting and I’ve already saved a link to that page, delicious lets me know.

I came across Susan Marie Rose Maciog Gibb’s blog from somewhere else earlier today and found the first post or two interesting enough that I clicked on her “about” page. I found her self-description and the items that were used to categorize her self and her life interesting. So I saved a link in delicious.

I then went back to the blog and read back a ways and said, that’s interesting. I’ll keep a link.

When I clicked to save a link in delicious, delicious told me I’d already saved a link: 05-Jun-2007.

I must’ve liked it then.

I’ve never been back since. (That I remember.)

How did I find it eighteen months ago?

Ah, the Web.

December 29, 2008

dm fail! on Twitter

Filed under: app,web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 10:48 pm

dm fail! Messages from folks who accidentally post a tweet when they meant to DM.

e.g. Dude, you left your hemorrhoid cream and herpes medications over at my place again!

Real or faked? Does it matter?

Update:Twitter is tweaking their code so that people who are DMing can use either D or DM as the abbreviation for direct messaging.

No more dm fail. Alas.

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