Tag Archives: twitter

Content is king, and everyone wants the crown

on a week of dealing with blog piracy

Blog pirates are on the move

Content piracy: not just for MSM any more! (foto via GayGamer)

One of the most common slights against the blogosphere (that word itself now somewhat of a slight as it segregates blogs into a shady lawless bubble separate from polite media society) is that bloggers are a parasitic bunch who take the output of hardworking journalists and adorn it with their own commentary, snark, derision, insights or, occasionally, supplemental information. This happens, as the trope goes, while bloggers concurrently deride the value of traditional media such as the Times and CNN, throwing hand grenades of viral discontent at the very hands that feed them (for no charge too).

This is no doubt true in many cases. The vampiric media syndrome is the bane of journalists who watch people tear their work to shreds on the internet, knowing full well that bloggers would have nothing to talk about if the New York Times, WSJ and so forth suddenly stopped publishing. Even on a large-scale, successful blog site, such as Gothamist, I’m not a fan. The Gothamist model essentially rounds up the interesting news items from the Times, Post, Daily News, NY1 and others and summarizes it for their audiences, adding a level of humor, snark or commentary (which is admittedly lacking from the big sources) and repackaging it in a more attractive way for the blog-savvy masses. Continue reading

On Twitter baiting

The entire premise of the Twitter system works on an economy of pestering and perturbing — by signing up to follow people, you’re willfully agreeing to let them distract and disturb you all day long with every projectile thought, ephemeral or substantive, that crosses their keyboard. You are signing into a digital community solely based based on the premises of self-promotion and self-congratulation. You are, in short, agreeing to have people throw their work, ideas, thoughts, whatever in your face in a constant barrage, in exchange for being able to throw the same back at them (lest you think I’m hypocritical, I don’t abdicate myself of any responsibility for acting the same way. Like I said, willful annoyances, and 300 some odd people have ostensibly agreed to tolerate these annoyances).

Twitter being an ego-based service that feeds self-worth by a series of retweets, lists, follow fridays, and so forth, one of the natural barometers of success is the size of your follow count, as in the number of people who follow you, more easily referred to as your Direct Audience. This then gives you a higher credibility ranking when people look to consider following you — par example: @villagevoice has 7,511 followers compared to the 721 it follows, meaning the Voice’s followers are seeking it out en masse; whereas @WatchRepairNY has only 124 followers yet follows 834 people, a sign that the self-described “in-house store that carries every type of watch related accessory that you could need for your valuable time piece” is seeking out followers in bulk by adding lots and lots of new people. The amount of retweets you generate or the strength of your direct audience affects your “influence” on sites like Topsy.

Twitter users know that a lot of new follows they get are purely business or ego fishing trips, hoping only that you will follow them back (I have little reason to believe @WatchRepairNY is interested in my thoughts on what Ted Dibiase is up to these days or the contents of my Saving Abel interview). I can abdicate myself of ever doing this protozoan-level scrounging task (though if @TheCharlieDay wanted to follow me back, I would not be offended).

And like any means of electronic communication, Twitter is rife with spam, spambots, porn bots, porn spam, junk mail-level advertisements and so forth. A lot of people use a service such as Twollo to generate automatic follows, so, say if I have a twote about The Pixies, the keywords will pop up in the search of a Pixies account and they will start automatically following me. Which is awesome, because I heart the Pixies. Follow. I twote something about Zicam once. They responded with a “thanks!” and sent me a coupon. RT RT RT.

It’s less awesome when you constantly get followed or @ replied by people who have not filtered out complete misfires in their auto searches.

Par example: Yesterday, I twote the phrase: “Just typed the words ‘dibs REO Speedwagon’ into an e-mail” (nevermind why)

immediately after, I got a new follower: @tampabayREOguy

There are several things wrong with your attempt to get me to follow you, guy, not the least of which is me very much not being in Tampa and you very much not understanding that Only the Strong Survive. Blocked.

But this led to an interesting idea for an experiment: can one inflate one’s Twitter statistics simply by baiting auto followers?

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He’s got radioactive tweets

Found this yesterday:


Peter Parker and Aunt May, from the Amazing Spider-Man #599 (Marvel Comics Sept. 2009)

1. Would it have been less painful, May? Would it? At least they didn’t say the word that rhymes with “leet”

2. Internet classes! LULZZ @OldPeople

There’s a very long blog post to be written about how comic book newspapers are somehow still surviving amid the industry’s decline, but that will have to come later. One simple theory: the way to keep your newspaper in the black is to unknowingly hire a superhero and promise readers non-stop exclusive coverage of their escapades. Except I guess Spider-Man is already scooping them.

And what about Clark Kent? That poor old fashioned country boy never stood a chance against the changing technology:

[Thanks, of course, to @Chozzles for keeping our apartment buried under an avalanche of comics at all times, ensuring that the only even semi-productive work I get done on a Tuesday is to blog about the comic book I just read.]

Rough mornings in post-newspaper America

turns out the black houses were just early internet adopters

One other consideration about the death of the newspaper industry that occurred to me last night (nevermind at what time): If print editions and deliveries go away, how will we know when it’s too late to be coming home from a night out?

This used to be the benchmark: if you could stop on your way home from the bar or a party and get that day’s newspaper or see people hawking the amNY by the subway, you know your night was indeed a long one. If you made it back home before that first whack of the paper hit a doorstep on your block, your march had just fallen short of qualifying for the Walk of Shame (or Stride of Pride*, depending on your perspective).

So what then are the new media model-era signposts of a night that has probably carried on far too long?

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This Week in Great Sentences

This week’s themes: New York, drinking and drinking in New York.

That has something to do with smart governance but more to do with the gritty culture of the city, its work ethic, its inspiring sense of its own grandeur, its shared knowledge of the personal struggle that goes into a day. A Fuld (Lehman Brothers former chief executive), who never took the subway, never sat in Bryant Park with a sandwich, knew nothing of what makes the city tick.

-Roger Cohen, “A Nation Hard to Short,” NYT 7/26


look at this fucking guy

look at this fucking guy

The hipsters that will be the “dead end of Western Civilization” are the ones who add nothing new or original and simply recycle and reduce old trends into a meaningless meme. It’s for that reason that when Williamsburg’s hipster playland is in crisis, there aren’t many who are concerned.

-Dan Fletcher, “A Brief History of Hipsters,” Time, which apparently is now in the business of publishing stories that sound like they were written in 1998. This story is dumb, inane, trite blog-bait. The sentence is only great in the sense of spectacular tragedy, much like flames that explode from a car wreck.


In their scope, both the Internet and New York are profoundly humbling: young people accustomed to feeling special about their gifts are inevitably jarred, upon arrival, to discover just how many others are trying to do precisely the same, with equal or greater success. (For a vivid demonstration of this online, try to invent a play on words, and then Google it. You’ll be convinced that there is, in fact, “nothing new in the cloud” — a joke that a British I.B.M. employee beat me to last November.)

-Bill Wasik, “Bright Lights, Big Internet,” NYT 7/29, about the parity between moving to New York and trying to make a name for yourself online


“OBAMA: I could pick up the phone right now, get the plane, we could go to Italy for pizza.”

-John Kenney, “Shouts and Murmurs: A Beer With Obama,” The New Yorker, 7/27


Fox Headline: U.S. Brewers Upset over White House Beer Selection. I guess there’s no end to the controversy over this brewhaha.

-Howie Kurtz, Twitter, 10 a.m. 7/30

When the blogosphere and the bangosphere collide

Do bad things happen when self-important bloggers and devastatingly destructive gunpowder engineers join forces?

From my roommate (who practically pleaded not to be mentioned by name here, a fear I totally understand as the growing number of possible secks offenders from Jakarta looking at a picture of Amy Adams on this site is becoming alarmingly large):

If I had a blog, these fireworks from this weekend would totes be up on it. Since I don’t, they’re yours if not too blurry or out of date. Taken at my uncle’s cabin in (not kidding) Spread Eagle, Wisconsin. Note: there is no internet connection, or even a computer, there. These fireworks, thus, were a dear consolation for me.

up north der hey 033

fireworks still in beta version

up north der hey 018

140 sparklers or less?

Guesses at what they do? Answers after the jump.

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