Actually the typical tweetstorm is probably still quite short. ↩︎
Post! This post, not this tweet. ↩︎
OK, they’re not actually masquerading, but last time I looked (a long time ago) there was a more-or-less dormant account called
devilgate, which wasn’t me. I mean, unless it was, and I had somehow set it up using an email address that I no longer have, or something. ↩︎
Copyright (c) Cliches-R-Us, 2011. ↩︎
I don’t mind people posting a tweetstorm, wherein they have a lot to say and do so via a series of linked tweets. I think there are better ways to do it; better places to host medium-length pieces of writing,1 but whatever works for you.
And of course I don’t mind other people tweeting a link to the top of the thread and urging others to read it.
But I really don’t care for the habit of doing so while saying nothing other than, “Thread.”
I mean, come on, people: if it’s worth linking to, it’s worth writing few words to tell us why you think we should read it.
This post could fit in five or six tweets. I suppose I should have posted it that way. Except #OwnYourContent.
Things go quicker than you think. This
tweet post1 was inspired by a tweet, and I thought it wasn’t too long ago. But in fact it was April last year.
My friend Yusuf’s tweet inspired me to finally write about the term “biftace” and why I chose it and what it means. Actually I thought I had written this before, but it seems not.
So a long time ago, when I was first thinking of a name for my blog — before it even existed, indeed — I thought about the way the press used to refer to teachers working “at the chalkface.” The analogy with miners at the coalface was probably originally meant to disparage the labour of teachers as being less than that of miners. I’m guessing here, but considering the term seems to have originated in tabloid journalism, and tabloids tend to be disparaging of anything intellectual — though to be fair, they haven’t exactly been friends to miners either, over the years.
Anyway, I quite liked the term, and wanted to come up with something similar to refer to my own industry, that of programming. I tried out one or two for size, at least in my head. “Byteface” felt more accurate (it’s rare for an application programmer to care to much about bit-level things, and I mainly write Java, which compiles to bytecode); but it didn’t feel right.”Codeface” would have been another, but again, didn’t feel right.
“Bitface” did feel right, and so an early version became “The Bitface Diaries.” I don’t think I ever made that live.
When I started my Livejournal (which nowadays is just one of my syndication targets) I went with “Tales from the Bitface,” which I still like. And then when I decided to set up my own site I went with “A Labourer at the Bitface,” which harked back to the original impetus for inventing the word, and also alluded to my support for the Labour Party.
Which means I’m considering a rename now, as I consider my future in said party. But that’s another blog entry.
The conversation with with Yusuf was about hardware, which is not what the term was about. But I never worked out what we should call working with hardware in similar terminology.
Manton Reece’s Kickstarter campaign for Micro.blog, which I wrote about before, was successful. In fact very successful. He made his stretch goal, which means he’ll be able to employ a part-time Community Manager for the service, which should help with the kind of abuse that we’ve seen on Twitter over the years.
So congratulations to him. And as a backer I look forward to getting the
devilgate username shortly.
Not that I’ll actually need a username on the site, I don’t think, as I expect to be using it to post short entries here, syndicated to Twitter. But it won’t hurt to have it. If only to stop someone else masquerading as me, like on Ebay.1
Twitter is great in many ways, but it’s far from problem-free. (Thought experiment: if Twitter hadn’t existed, would Trump have got elected?)
The abuse and lack of tools to combat it are of course the major ones. Lindy West’s Guardian article on leaving Twitter is only the latest such.
But another problem is the old one of owning your own words. Of controlling the platform on which you publish. I’ve posted briefly about this before (though that was Google, rather than Twitter). Sure, Twitter isn’t likely to go bust and delete everyone’s tweets without any warning. But you never know when they’re going to change a policy, or change ownership, or make some other change that — deliberately or not — shuts down your access, removes your entire history, or otherwise lessens or removes the experience.
There have been attempts to build open alternatives, such as Diaspora, but I confess that I’ve only ever come away from it confused.
It would be better if there were a simple way we could all publish to our own sites, but still get the benefit of Twitter’s network. Say hello to Micro.blog, a new approach from Manton Reece, blogger, podcaster and developer.
It should allow us to post Tweet-style short posts on our own sites, and also send them to Twitter. Which may give us the best of both worlds.
As well as developing the service and the app, he’s writing a book about the subject of indie microblogging, and has a Kickstarter going to help him out. It’s worth offering a few bucks if you’re at all interested in the matter.
I’ve not really had many dealings with the Huffington Post, but I thought I’d drop a comment on this piece about a cover versions album of Nirvana’s Nevermind. The writer, Michael Vazquez, describes himself as being ‘part of the generation that just-missed Punk’, and goes on to say he’s 45.
Thing is, I’m just a year older, and I didn’t miss it. I lived right through it. Not, it’s true, at its bleeding, safety-pin-punctured heart.1 But still, I was aware of it, was introduced to the music by friends, listened to Peelie. Formed bands, for god’s sake, which is what it was really all about.
I can only conclude that Vazquez was a late developer.
Anyway, my point wasn’t about that, it was about commenting at the Huffington Post. You have to be registered to comment; fair enough, that probably keeps the spam down a bit. There are a number of login options, as is common nowadays: Twitter, Facebook, a dropdown for others.
I tried the dropdown and chose to use my Google account. A popup pops up, saying, ‘This site wants to know your email address and your contacts.’ Email address, fair enough, that’s normal for registering at most places. But my Google contacts? I think not.
I cancelled, tried Twitter. ‘This site wants to see your contacts, add contacts, post tweets…’ Get, as we say in my part of the world, tae fuck!
Oddly, it asked less of Facebook; but I can’t be bothered going back to check exactly what.
In the end, not wanting to be thwarted, I registered with them by giving them a username and my email address, in the old-school way. Obviously I unchecked the ‘Please spam me’ box.
Is this normal behaviour nowadays? Certainly seems odd to me.
Thirteen years ago we had champagne ready for the overall majority (though we opened it when Portillo's seat went). This year might look more like what Warren Ellis says:
More sensibly, my friend Stuart says:
which is a good point. Britain’s not broken; it never was. Just its electoral system.
Here’s something I said about that a while ago:
Hey, the Tories: Society _isn't_ broken, and if it is, it's partly the fault of your witch-queen & her regime.
I’m having fun with this tweet-embedding thing.
But these days, if I try to write a post of more than 140 characters, I get a strange, compressed feeling. Things start to slow... down...
[Twitter](http://twitter.com/) seems to be down at the moment - or at least, it's not accepting tweets, and I can't log in at the website. But how do we know what's happening without Twitter to tell us?
Edit: back to normal now. I’m @devilgate, of course.