jimray on Twitter #music

The #NowPlaying pane gets to the heart of what’s really wrong with the app and, may I suggest, Twitter circa 2013. In order for this 25% of the app to be useful, the people I trust and follow must also auto-tweet what they’re listening to, complete with hashtag detritus (or trolls). Perhaps I’m just too far past what Twitter considers cool, but a stream littered with #NowPlaying refuse (or Vines or Foursqure check-ins, for that matter) is a sign that I need to spend some quality time with the unfollow button. Twitter has built an app that requires users to abuse their timelines and followers with machine tags without any meaningful way of tuning out that noise.

Can’t argue with that. The people I follow on Twitter are not the same people I want music recommendations from. I had high hopes for #music, but I don’t want that stuff in my feed.


Twitter’s music app is launching today.

I hope that Twitter and #music are separate ecosystems. Just because I like someone’s musical tastes doesn’t mean I’ll like what they tweet. And just because I like someone’s tweets doesn’t mean I’ll like their musical tastes. On the other hand, nearly every social music service uses Twitter as a way to find other people to follow.

Also Twitter is working with iTunes, Rdio, and Spotify. Compare with This Is My Jam, which uses Hype Machine, Grooveshark, and Youtube.

Thanks, Twitter

This Android Twitter client is dead in the water from reaching its token limits.

If Twitter’s intention was to dry up third-party contributions to their ecosystem and make everyone just use their horrible, official apps…well, job well done, I guess.

“Tweets of rage: does free speech on the internet actually exist?”

Twaters gonna twate. (say it like ‘hate’).

The First Amendment is one of our country’s most cherished institutions — and one of its most profoundly misunderstood. The confusion comes from those first five words: “Congress shall make no law.” Congress isn’t allowed to abridge your freedom of speech. That means the First Amendment only applies to the government, not private parties — as every kid eventually learns, your parents certainly don’t have to respect your right to free speech. “Most first-year law students don’t understand this point,” says Geoffrey Stone, a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School. “They think their employer can’t fire them because they criticized the president, and they’re wrong.”

What’s on your mind?

There are a few “Facebook vs. Twitter” links being passed around. I’ll link them here and wait while you read them.

Yesterday I went to a library with my sister and, as I do, took some pictures I thought might be funny, tagged the location, checked in to the library on Facebook, and updated my profile.

Then we went to Wendy’s. (We were hungry and it was on the same side of the street.)

“I’m going to check us into Wendy’s on Facebook.” I told her.

“Don’t do that!” she replied.

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t want people knowing that we went to Wendy’s.”

“…I feel like we aren’t being honest if we check-in at the library and NOT at Wendy’s.”

Nobody is their real-self on Facebook. We only represent the Ideal Self, which is defined by who’s watching us and who we want them to think we are.

I didn’t check-in. I ate a square hamburger.

Every few months I go through a “why am I on Facebook” phase. My latest position is that Facebook is here to stay, you may as well get used to it. I know that’s not a good enough argument.

The “real names vs. user names” stance exposes the underlying “old web vs. new web” point in this. You, me, and everyone who remembers the days of old web—IRC, newsgroups, BBS—gets the idea of online handles and other old-web-world nomenclature. To me it seems the “real names vs. user names” stance hints at “the web was more fun before people from Real Life™ were on it.” Before non-nerds.

But I have mixed feelings. We should welcome the non-nerds and Facebook is the closest we’ve gotten to doing that. I think that Facebook has done something that nobody else in tech has done. As Garrett Murray has pointed out, look beyond the attention-seeking, fishing-for-compliments statuses (you know…ones like “OH, how am I EVER going to find the time to do X?!” followed by “Can’t wait for tonight’s Walking Dead!) and the LIKE button that discourages critical-thinking, and you begin to see that Facebook is RSS for non-nerds. You and me may use Google Reader to keep track of our favorite websites and writers through really simple syndication, but in practice it’s MUCH simpler to hit a subscribe button on a Facebook page and have it show up in your News Feed.

I suppose the reason I haven’t cut Facebook is because I have a love/hate relationship with it. At its best, Facebook re-unites me with people from my past that I’ve lost touch with. Facebook enables me to retain ties with people I’ve just met in Real Life™. Facebook aids me in creating new friendships.

But it also makes it harder to shed them. It’s harder to change who you are with all your past baggage in tow.

At its worse, Facebook destroys the desire to learn more about someone beyond status updates and spend time with them. It teaches us that people aren’t complex, that they’re simple and boring, at least when constantly asked “What’s on your mind?”

Most of the time we don’t have mind-blowing thoughts and if we do we keep them to ourselves. What a horrible thing it would be…having a difference of opinion among friends.

At its worse it’s a contest, because it’s so easy to forget about “what are you thinking?” and instead think “what are THEY thinking…about me?” — a game in which you’re constantly on the lookout for acceptance through how many blue thumbs you’ve been awarded.

You can begin to feel like you’re not just playing the game. You ARE the game and you’re being played.

The Twitter Dimension

Dan Frommer writing about Twitter on election night:

…look over at Twitter, where the room is bursting with fresh news, links, photos from everywhere, alerts that Karl Rove is melting down or that Diane Sawyer seems wasted, jokes coming so fast that you can barely keep up. (Many of them even funny.) You control the content, the sources, the volume, the pace, and your drink. Sometimes, it’s wrong, but it’s quickly corrected, and you should be more skeptical anyway. And if you want, you can participate. You’re not just watching.

This is also how I spent debate time: with Twitterrific open on my phone, looking back and forth between the TV and my phone. Because, frankly, my Twitter feed felt like I was sitting with friends making fun of the debates, like during the first debate when Romney tried to dismiss some study that conflicted with his stance on something, and then this came across my feed seconds afterwards:

And I LOL’d.

This Twitter dimension started becoming more prevalent to me when tv shows started adopting hashtags. Each news channel wanted you to use their tag, even the regional stations. It’s like Twitter has this invisible dimension where you can talk about the election, episodes of The Walking Dead, or farts.

What gives me pause is that having a twitter client open during historic events like a debate takes me OUT of the event. It can feel like it’s taking me out of the moment. It’s also so easy to set it up so that all you see are tweets that reinforce your own worldview, that never challenge your viewpoint, that never make you think about why you believe what you believe.

But then I think it’s just a debate, so loosen up.


Thoughts on Twitter Stuff

I’m not so sure the API changes are a such big deal. I mean, let’s see where they go with this stuff, but I’m not so surprised that they want to take control of their platform and rein everything in.

What IS bad about that is it looks like they’re going to force the insertion of social media douchebaggery into everyone’s Twitter experience.

That’s what’s most likely to ruin Twitter. But how bad things must be if that’s what this has come to.

The API announcement makes me wonder two things: how much would I pay for Twitter and what do I use Twitter for.

I probably wouldn’t be using Twitter if it cost $50 a year. Or if it cost $10 a year.

Would you? Would anybody?

What’s Twitter’s purpose? For me.

I use it to make jokes and wisecracks and follow people I don’t know. Some of my friends use it, but we could get by without it. There’s email and IM1, not to mention Facebook.

The biggest reason I use Twitter is because I seek the approval of others through Favs. That’s my Twitter life.

To me, Twitter is fun, but it’s non-essential. If Twitter went away I think I’d be bummed about it for about a week and then be fine without it.

  1. Meanwhile, there is another client I keep open all day besides Twitterrific, and that’s Messages.app. IT’S LIKE MY OWN PRIVATE TWITTER! At least that’s what I was thinking yesterday sending messages back and forth with my sisters. Maybe we’re headed back to 10 years ago, where Twitter updates were just away messages.