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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Be careful what you tweet

This morning I had my first Twitter FAIL. You should always make sure that what you tweet now can’t be linked in anyway to what you’ve tweeted previously. For example:

NOT what you think

NOT what you think

Hat Tip: Matthew Dekenah

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twitter_logoIt’s tricky to start an article on Twitter. Not a lot of people (read: not enough) know what it’s about, but almost everyone has heard of it. Even my parents have heard of it. So I’m now going to try and explain this Internet phenomenon.

Twitter is a social-networking service, which lumps it into the same catagory as facebook, MySpace, last.fm and sites like del.i.cious. Whereas facebook and MySpace are bloated with all sorts of cool things like applications that make sure you’re awesome, and MySpace is a great tool for musicians to get exposure, Twitter has taken all of that and stripped it down into byte-sized chunks (called ‘tweets’) of no more than 140 characters.

I’m going to attempt to explain the functionality and use of Twitter by comparing it to facebook. Imagine that you strip facebook down so that you can do nothing more than update your status. Essentially, in it’s very simplest form, this is what Twitter is all about. “But I already have facebook!” I hear you shout, “why would I want to update my status twice?” Well Twitter has a hell of lot more features than that:

The Twitter Home Page

The Twitter Home Page

Now with a bit of imagination, the visual similarity with facebook can be seen. However, Twitter has taken a different view to facebook with regards to ‘friends’ (I use this term loosely with sites like facebook). Instead of the usual facebook and MySpace approach of requiring a two-way ‘friendship’ (You know, send a friend request, person confirms, they can see your status updates, and you can see theirs), Twitter has has split this concept in two.

Instead of becoming someone’s friend, you choose to follow them. What this means is that their updates will now show up on your Twitter feed (the white area with all the updates above). Following someone is instant. No waiting for a confirmation, nothing. The person you choose to follow is sent an email to let them know that you’re following them, and whether or not theychoose to follow you back is completely up to them. This is one of the beauties of Twitter, as it means you can follow celebrities, companies, coffee shops, etc. Also, if someone starts following you, you have no duty to follow them in return. In the screenshot, above right, you can see that I follow 52 people, and 80 people follow me.

The idea behind Twitter is that you use it on the go, posting little updates on what you are doing as you go through the day. Twitter was made for mobility. Because the tweets (the updates) are limited to only 140 characters, they are smaller than an sms, and so very cellphone friendly in terms of bandwidth. I did a little experiment to prove this. I’ve been using Twitter on my cellphone for about 5 days, without accessing any other websites off my phone. I’ve only used 4MB in that period. This makes twitter much cheaper than facebook. I tweet (send updates) all through the day, and even use it as an alternative to sms with the friends like MusicLady, who is as hot for Twitter as I am.

Directing a tweet at someone is also easy, by just adding a ‘@’ in front of their username.

Lastly is the powerful search funtion that twitter has:

The Twitter Search Engine - http://search.twitter.com

The Twitter Search Engine - http://search.twitter.com

By tagging your tweets with a ‘hash tag,’ like for example #stelexams in the screenshot above, you can search ALL tweets on the whole of Twitter with this specific tag. I started #stelexams to keep track of what’s happening with people that are tweeting about the Stellenbosch exams. The power of this function was shown on 22 April, election day, by those tagging their tweets with #saelections. This provided a real-time view of what queues were like, where stations were running into problems and so on. This ‘news from the front line’ is faster than any form of media, and is in my opinion, Twitter’s strongest feature.

There are some great people that you can follow on Twitter. Cafe Bello has a twitter account, as does Vida e Caffe, not to mention celebs such as Stephen Fry. Another account worth following is Stellenbosch Student Life, which in a similar vein to the CapeTown account, exists to inform people in Stellenbosch of what’s happening in town via Twitter.

I hope you have found this helpful. Twitter is the future, just no one seems to realise it. The best way to get to grips with Twitter is just to register and use it. It’s fun. It really is.

To follow me on Twitter, click here.

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The benifits of looking after your parents house whilst they are in Germany are many. There’s the fact that you can turn the heater on without feeling too guilty. The fact that the lounge isn’t tiled. The swimming pool in summer. The DSTV. And that I can watch America’s Next Top Model in glorious 32″ LCD flatscreen glory. Beautiful.

Last week the redheaded stepchild was sent home. I liked her, in the way that she had balls. Unfortunately I also strongly suspect that she was a lesbian, and she may have been sent home after peeking at the other girls in the shower. I’m only saying it because no-one else is. But that was last week.

This week’s ‘skill’ the girls had to learn was the art of multi-tasking. ‘Task’ might be a bit of a strong word though. What they had to do, was walk down a catwalk (already a challenge for some), and take off a jacket. At the same time. The poor girls made it seem like a very difficult task indeed. So, to see just how difficult it was, I walked to the kitchen and took off my nightgown (at the same time! And yes, I wear a nightgown. Do you know how cold it is?). No problem. I then made myself a coffee, put on the robe and then, whilst walking back to lounge, had not one, but several sips of coffee. I am totally America’s Next Top Model.

Multi-Tasking. Even this guy can do it. AND he took the picture.

Multi-Tasking. Even this guy can do it. AND he took the picture.

Earlier on in the evening I bumped into MusicLady on Twitter, and we had a great Twitter dissing session whilst the show was happening (I know. I need a life). Her contribution to the girl’s general lack of basic motor control: “they are retards. youre taking off a jacket, not assembling a rocket ship! tools!” What amused me even more than the girls not being able to walk, was the extend to which the tranny runway coach was either hungover or coming down from whatever drugs. It was beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the flamboyant, homosexual, bald, pencil-moustached, overweight twins which followed.

This led to the mini challenge, which was essentially, once again, a wonderful exercise in stereotyping. The challenge took place in a church, and the girls were outfitted in clothing best described as NunSlut. Right from the over-zealous black minister to the hand fans held by the audience, I had swallow the little bit of puke that made it up the back of my throat.

Meanwhile, back at the palace of all things Tyra, Nnenna was once again on the phone to her boyfriend. For hours. This obviously pissed Brooke off, leading to her spewing the hatred of: “What makes her special, she’s from Africa. Well go back to Africa then!” Oh bitchy bitchy Brooke. You just can’t say things like that. Especially if you come from Texas. People will make assumptions.

This is the best picture based joke of Texas I could find. Sorry.

This is the best picture based joke of Texas I could find. Sorry.

But now for the scariest part. The final photo shoot.

For this shoot the girls had to model a pair of shoes (all of which were fugly as shit). Cool, no problem. We can do shoes. The girls were then told that for this shoot they would have to dance. Cool, no problem here either. The style of dancing would be something known as crumping, a form of hip-hop dancing featuring clowns. Wait, what? Did I just use hip-hop and clown in the same sentence? I think I did.

Now imagine this, dancing to hip-hop.

Now imagine this, dancing to hip-hop.

I struggled to find a good definition for crumping. You know, one that will tell me the influences of the dance, certain moves, etc. I couldn’t find any. Urbandictionary did however provide me with an excellent alternative definition:

Crumping The act of dressing up as a crumpet. Covering yourself with butter and jam and then through a series of dance like shaking movements attempting to remove them before your competitors.
Man that was the worst crumping I have ever seen, you were as fresh as just out of the packet.
So besides hardcore clown dancing, the ladies managed to get some nice shots of the ugly shoes. When it came to elimination time and Tyra put on her serious voice, Jade’s ego got inflated just a little bit more, and Leslie got sent home.

Which one was Leslie?
Oh yeah, that one. See what I meant with the clowns?

Oh yeah, that one. See what I meant with the clowns?

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