My guess is that everybody blocks other users on Twitter, for one reason or the other, most likely spammers. It would be great to check who you’ve blocked in the past. Maybe the accounts do not exist anymore, maybe you had a fight and made up. Anyway, there’s a tool called TwitBlock and it works great. You can view a list of people you’ve blocked and see if other users blocked them too. I happend to block 171 users in the past two years. I just unblocked some of them, there’s no need to block them anymore. Now it would be interesting to see who blocked me, suggestions anyone?
Posts Tagged ‘following’
To get to the next level in my thesis I need to use this blog to ask myself more (detailed) questions, about what experiences of me and other users mean, what could be said about connectivity between users and what are the changes in their communication? What dilemmas are there in following and what does this mean? Why do some users refuse to follow other users and what happens to their connection in real life?
An example of problems with privacy is a user who says on one medium that he or she is busy or has made arrangements with someone, while on another medium (like Twitter) the same user says something different. It is difficult to know who reads a certain tweet and how this will be interpreted. It means that users have to be careful about what they write online and should take other media in consideration. It also means that privacy matters. Some users have a private account and deliberately deny access to certain users, although the users who are being denied access could consider this as an offence because both users have friends in common. The use of Twitter looks so easy as an account is made within a minute but once a user realizes he or she has to be careful what to say. The main question of Twitter ‘what are you doing?’ gets another meaning this way and is not about a certain activity forces the user to think, what can they do online and what should they not do? Friendships can be made on Twitter but also be destroyed because of mis-interpreted words. This is one of the Twitter implications when a user thinks somebody else implies something.
Just to be clear, the stories above are not my own experiences but bits and pieces of stories of people I follow and hear about. Even though an account is set to private, @replies to a private user can still be read through the use of Twitter search or Google. Stories can be verified this way and could add to the image of that private user. Although twitter accounts can be set to private, Twitter is still not a Walled Garden, in the sense that outsiders can still read @replies from other users. Social network sites which are a Walled Garden are more difficult to read without being logged in than Twitter. [...]
Last weekend it was raining and I though it was a great day to put together some Ikea boxes and wondered if any other Twitter user came up with the same idea at exact the same moment. When I looked for only the word ‘Ikea’ I only got tweets from the last minutes, so Ikea surely was a hot topic that sunday! When I look for ‘dozen’ (Dutch for boxes) I get tweets with the English word dozen so I had to look for ‘boxes’ and found someone who wrote about Ikea boxes too;
Then I asked if he was cynical about this and he replied he could not wait for the smell to be out of his apartment. Not much later he replied a friend and him were writing a twesis too so we should stay in touch. This information was not on Twitter and I only found him because of Ikea boxes, funny how things go on Twitter.
One of the trending topics on Twitter is #followfriday and if you do not know what it is it is not easy to find out. The same goes for more than just this hashtag. The idea behind #followfriday is to promote users you follow and like so your followers can check them out and follow them too. Today I was suggested twice, just like last week;
Not too long after that I got a new follower, although I do not know if my latest follower follows me because of #followfriday I can ask him. I could however consider #followfriday as spam if many users I follow just post lists of usernames, some are really enthousiastic about it. On the other hand, users atart to unfollow people on monday, using #unfollow monday as an excuse.
In this blog entry I will try to combine some of my major subjects in my thesis, because it reflects what I experience on Twitter, it is about to follow or being followed and it is about what can be written on Twitter and what cannot be written, so language is important too. And I need to mention some applications that play a role in this context too. I do have some experience with following people and at the moment I follow more than a hundred users, but most of them do not tweet that much. I am being followed by more than 170 users but this number changes every day, some users join me and others stop following me. There is not much growth in this number of followers. Read the rest of this entry ?
While I was thinking about the discussion about Google and the environment I wonder how bad it is to use Twitter. Every time a user looks something up on Google it takes a lot of servers to transfer the question and the answer. Take hundreds of thousands of search queries together and a lot of electricity is being used. Mark Ontkush suggested to turn Google black so a query would take less power. But what about a single tweet? If I tweet from my phone this device gets involved, the servers of my phone company, then some British phone company and all the computer servers that transfer my tweet to Twitter and from there to all the phones and computers of my followers. And that is just one single tweet! Take into account hundreds of thousands tweets all users tweet every day and there is a lot of electricity and resources involved. I have no exact data about how many tweets are being produced a day so I cannot calculatre the waste of energy.
Mark Ontkush argues that “a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor uses about 74 watts to display an all white web page, but only uses 59 watts to display an all black page”. This means that with a black background Twitter would be better for the environment and thus save our earth. Another solution would to use an energy efficient color palette.
This color palette should use only about 3 or 4 watts more than a completely black screen. None of these colors are present in this blog though, but I do not have that many visitors every day. I did however changes the color of the text of this post to #3d414c (cobalt).
In order to change my ranking on the Dutch Twittergids I changed the bio of @twesis and @artgrrl back in February and got great rankings, althoug they are not up to date anymore. In my bio of @artgrrl I wrote that I did not have any tweets since April 3rd, but this month I started tweeting again and by now I am back at full speed. Today I got some inspiration through a new follower who wrote in his bio he is single, why would a user write this in his or her bio? Does it say something about the user or are they looking for a partner on Twitter? As I am single too and I like Twitter experiments I changed my bio of @artgrrl to;
artist, blogger, 1974, coffee addict, single, doing a masters in new media, writing my thesis on Twitter Implications (twesis)
Also this morning I found another site that lists tweeple and is called Tweepguide, this site also has pages full of ranking but as this is an international site I don’t nearly have enough followers to get on any list. Tomorrow I should check the Twittergids Single Top 100 to see what my ranking is (based on my present followers @twesis should get the 3rd place and @artgrrl 13th). But what is the experiment? Over the next few days I should watch if other single people start following me or if I get any messages, or ask people about their bio.
At the meeting with my thesis supervisor two days ago we decided to try another classification for the four main chapters. I found too little on spam to write a whole chapter of a few thousands words on that and basically all spam issues I found were related to following anyway. Therefore spam will be just a subchapter of the larger chapter on following, just like privacy, surveillance and networking. The new chapter will be all about my personal experiences with Twitter and about the people I’ve met through Twitter. So the new classification (but probably not in this specific order) is;
- introduction (general information, remediation and claim)
- applications (one way, two way, multi functional)
- following (privacy, surveillance, netiquette, networking)
- experience (meeting people, addiction and quiting)
- language (140 characters, neologisms, linguistics)
- conclusion (getting back to positions)
And although I no longer tweet I still have interactions with Twitter users, because they are my friends or because I meet them around town, like yesterday I met @ikbendaf again who writes a book about Twitter. She tried to get me back on Twitter but I am still clean but a bit more enthusiastic about my research and thesis. For now I have to write four introductions and should probably start on experience as I am still cold turkey after quiting Twitter after months of intensively tweeting. In the mean time I should think of positions I have to take about the subjects in my main chapters.
Recently I don’t hang around on Twitter anymore, due to personal reasons and I have to focus on other parts of my research now. After March 25 I only posted two tweets (actually three but I deleted one) but they are not showing up on my page, anyway, I post them here then;
http://twitpic.com/2lm3x – proefmodel voor nieuwe schoenen (veterlaarsjes), uit één stuk leer
@vreer oh! we got to talk about The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence tomorrow (now look what you did, you made me tweet ‘n sweat)
Sometimes I feel the more I read about Twitter (the company or the service/website), the less I know about them. Most articles I read are about the four main topics of my research though, applications, following, language and spam. Next to Twitter there are similar systems that are less closed than Twitter and interchangeable, meaning that one message transfers to another service, something like retweeting yourself somewhere else on the web. Although this could be seen as spam, when users only use Twitter or any other microblog as a mirror. Two examples of Twitter clones are The Twit Army and smallpicture.com. David Sarno argues that;
[t]he software they’re using was developed by Evan Prodromou, a developer in Montreal. Prodromou is the force behind Laconica — an open-source, Twitter-like system that anyone can install; hundreds of administrators already have, creating a dispersed, decentralized network of Twitter clones that can all talk to one another.
Prodromou compares the state of micro-messaging to the early days of consumer e-mail. In the early 1990s, the e-mail world was dominated by proprietary dial-up entities like CompuServe, MCI and Prodigy. But because those systems were competitive, they didn’t connect to one another, and you could send messages only to people inside your own service.
“I couldn’t send you e-mail and you couldn’t send me e-mail,” Prodromou explained. “We were on these separate islands. Making the change to an open standard for Internet e-mail has meant e-mail has become ubiquitous. I think that’s where we’re at now with microblogging”.
Basically users want to be able to communicate from one system to another without the limits of one system that has a monopoly. Here lies the power of web 2.0, where a lot of social network sites are linked together. Besides a connection between users, web 2.0 applications like Twitter and its clones they are external aids to enhance our cognitive abilities. On the other hand I could extend the notion of Socrates, who argued two thousand years ago that books would destroy thought. What would he think of messages that flow around in cyberspace between users, or blogs. Socrates was against books as they were static, there’s no one to interrupt or ask questions, the author of the book isn’t there. On Twitter however the written words are there, just like the author, who can respond when replied to.
 Sarno, David. “Twitter has followers who want to lead.” LA Times. Posted on March 24th, read on March 27th.
 Norman, Donald A. Things That Make Us Smart. Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine. Boston, Addison-Wesley: 1993: 44.