Category Archives: Media

There should be a word for this (Blog/Twitter edition) part 2

Back in October (see “there should be a word for this” part 1) I listed a few concepts (related to twitter and/or blogging) for which new words were needed. Since it’s such a rich field, I barely scratched the surface. Here is the second installment.

#9 The temptation to repeat a brilliant tweet of yours that went unnoticed when you expected a RT storm in response (maybe it was a bad time of the day when everyone was offline? maybe it fell in a twitter mini-outage?)

#10 The new pair of eyes you get the second after you post a tweet.

#11 The act of sharing (e.g. via delicious…) or RTing a URL to an article you haven’t actually read (but you think it makes you look smart). For example, I’d love to give a test to everyone who RTed this entry.

#12 The shock of seeing a delivery error when DMing someone you were positive was following you (this is related to definition #1 from part 1, so Shlomo’s followimp could apply).

#13 The minimum number of people to follow on twitter, of blog feeds to subscribe to and of Facebook friends to have such that you can cycles through all three continuous and never run out of new content. In the TV world, the equivalent would be the minimum number of cable channels needed to cycle through them and never feel like you’ve established that there is nothing worth watching.

#14 The awful feeling when the twitter/blog/facebook cycle from #13 breaks on a Friday night because others have a life.

#15 When a twitter conversation has reached a dead-end because of the short form. When the response you get makes you wonder what the other person understood from your last tweet. But forcing a clarification would take a half-dozen tweets at least and risk turning you into a twoll (another coinage for the twitter era, by Andi Mann).

#16 The compression rate of a sentence: how hard it is to further compress it (e.g. in order to squeeze in an RT comment), whether all the easy shortcuts have been taken already.

Please submit your candidate terms for these definitions.

[UPDATED 2010/8/12: there is now a part 3.]

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There should be a word for this (Blog/Twitter edition)

I enjoyed finishing reading The Atlantic with Barbara Wallraff’s “Word Fugitives” column every month. Until earlier this year, when it was replaced¬† with Jeffrey Goldberg’s attempts at humor. For old time sake, I am borrowing the “Word Fugitive” format and applying it to the world of blogs and tweets. Here is a list of blog/twitter situations for which “there should be a word”.

#1 The ego-crushing realization, in the course of a face to face conversation covering topics you’ve written about, that the other person has not read your blog/tweets on this. Even though the first thing they told you when you met 10 minutes earlier is that they love your blog.

Candidate: followimp (from Shlomo).

#2 Conversely when someone brings up in the conversation something you wrote and had forgotten you did (maybe we need two words here, one if you are happy to be reminded of this and one if you’d rather not have been).

Candidates: twegreat and twegrets, respectively (from Shlomo).

#3 Seeing the corner of the blogo-twitto-sphere where you hang out light up in response to someone’s post even though you wrote up the same thing two years ago. At least you were trying to explain the same thing, but your brilliance went unnoticed.

Candidate: deja-lu.

#4 The frustrating (for system modelers at least) intermixing of data (your text) and metadata (e.g. the identification of the tweet you are responding to) in Tweeter conversations.

Candidate: metamess.

#5 (This one comes from @Beaker) The art of carving up tweets from others to be able to retweet them in 140 characters.

Hoff has a suggestion: Twexter (Twitter + Dexter).

#6 The art of guessing early the Twitter #hashtag that will emerge as a winner for a given topic.

Candidate: foretweetude.

#7 The frustration of having too many blog drafts and no time to write them up.

Candidate: blocrastination. And Neil WD offered logjam in the comments.

#8 (added on 2009/10/22 after seeing this) The feeling of nakedness one has while his/her blog is offline.

Candidate: e-vanescence.

[UPDATED 2010/3/8: See part 2 for more.]

[UPDATED 2010/8/12: And part 3.]

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On Twitter

I created the @vambenepe Twitter account a while ago to reserve the username. Yesterday I posted three tweets, so I guess I am now “on Twitter”, in case anybody cares. We’ll see where this goes. @jamesurquhart gave me a kind (but intimidating) welcome and @Beaker hasn’t called me a “jackass” yet, so things are looking good. BTW, is it just me or has Cisco assembled a top-notch good cop / bad cop team? I hope I manage my blog-to-twitter expansion as well as they did.

The Cloud stuff is where the fun is, but if this Twitter thing is going to be of any use for real work I need to find who to follow in the IT management, application management and systems modeling areas. Any suggestion beyond @cote, @MouthOfOpenNMS, @dmcclure, @puppetmasterd and @theitskeptic (I feel like I am just Twitterifying my blogroll)?

And even then, finding people to follow seems to be the easy part. It took me about 20 minutes last night to realize that I am not going to read all the tweets (and I currently only follow 18 people). Worst case I’ll just track the direct mentions of my handle and some occasional hastags during interesting announcements. And scan the rest once a week. I assume that’s what the Twitter natives like @cote do as well (I seeded my list by picking names I recognized from his 1,130-long follow list). Advice?

The other issue is the 140 characters limit of course, but this should be easier to get used to. In the Apple/Palm tweet last night (about how this might show us what enforcement options standard bodies have) I wanted to invoke Stalin’s dismissive “The Pope! How many divisions has he got?” quote by replacing the pope with the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). But no room left unless I sacrificed the image of a working group chair breaking the knee cap of an offending implementer (which, as an ex-WG chair myself, I see some upside to).

Is it bad form to post multi-part tweets? How about, say, 50 parts? I need a protocol to guarantee delivery and order on top of the Twitter API. Maybe REST-* can help me… ;-)

I also wanted to ping Andy Updegrove with the hope that he’d comment on the USB-IF letter (he has looked at the iPhone before, but not this specific issue) for an authoritative opinion. But he doesn’t seem to be on Twitter. The nerve!

And then there is the “follower” thing, which I guess I am now supposed to start obsessing about (folks, if I don’t have a hundred followers by week end the kitten gets it).

In the real world, there are a few people who return my emails and occasionally agree to have lunch with me, but that’s a far cry from calling them “followers”. Even my wife would spit her coffee if I referred to her as my “follower”. But on Twitter, I just posted three tweets yesterday and I already feel like a religious guru with my 24 “followers”.

Jokes aside (on the cult-leader overtones of the word “follower”), the fact that these people are identified is a nice improvement over blog subscribers (who, to me, are just an occasional number within the user-agent field in my Apache httpd logs), at least until they comment/email. Nice to “see” you.

One more step in the slippery slope towards total egomania. Blog > Twitter > Live webcam of the inside of my stomach.

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