December 6, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
This year, Twitter put together it first Fiction Festival. The celebration kicked off November 28th and ended this past Sunday, December 2nd. Those participating in the festivities seemed to have had a great time, but, in any event, the Fest was an excellent opportunity for Twitter to promote itself.
Like every other player in the content game, Twitter is trying to figure out how to ratchet up interest in the content its platform presents, so who better than established, and ascendant, literary personages to play with the Twitter content form? Over twenty authors were selected to tweet their “twitterature” before a nicely set stage — well, at least a designated “Showcase Page.”
Though said showcase page may not have been, exactly, the most bewitching of backdrops, there was some real excitement surrounding the Fest. Ryan Chapman, who was among eight publishers on the Fest’s selection panel, even mentioned to The Los Angeles Times a possible tweeting ur-text, Ernest Hemingway’s six-word story, which in its entirety reads: “For sale: baby shoes — never worn.”
Scott Hutchins, Alina Simone, Lucy Coats, Elliot Holt, and Andrew Schaffer were among the 20-plus authors Chapman and company selected to participate in the Fest. Though the festival is over, its rapid-fire output can still be read at the showcase page and at the respective authors’ Twitter pages.
December 6, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
The Pope is going to where the followers are: Twitter. If you’ve got some burning questions to ask the Bishop of Rome, Catholicism’s holiest of holiest, mark your calendar for December 12. That day, Pope Benedict will begin tweeting on his just-established personal Twitter account. He’ll be going by @pontifex, and a peek into the still-tweet-less page reveals a cheery canary yellow background and some symbols of the office he holds.
The eighty-five-year-old, who was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, will not exactly be tweeting himself, but the Church is assuring everyone that all future tweets will be the Pope’s actual words. Last year, the account @news_va_en was launched for papal news, but the tweets were not coming directly from the Pope himself either. The account @pontifex, which means both Pope and bridge builder, in nonetheless being touted as a more personal expression of Pope Benedict XVI’s message.
If you haven’t heard already, here it goes: Catholicism counts 1.2 billion “followers” around the world. As of this evening, the @pontifex has more than half a million followers — expect that number to rise very soon! To fête the Pope’s December 12 missives, the hashtag #askpontifex has started circulating. It appears the Pope will toggle between official accounts in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Arabic, Italian, and French.
November 7, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
President Barack Obama won his 2012 battle for re-election. To fête the historical victory, besides the big party in Chicago, a presidential tweet was sent out, naturally. That tweet, a snapshot of the President embracing First Lady Michelle Obama and three resounding words, “Four more years,” has now topped Mediabistro’s list of Most Retweeted Tweets of All Time. People have retweeted the message 759,881 times as of this evening.
What other tweeters made the list? The usual suspects are almost all there — Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift. Two people you wouldn’t expect to be on the list, but are? T.J. Lang, a Green Bay Packers football guard, and Floyd Mayweather, the champion American boxer. Lang’s tweet is a complaint about the football ref scandal of this summer, and Mayweather’s tweet is a fight challenge to the beloved Manny Pacquiao. Don’t expect the current retweet popularity list to remain the same for long, these tend to change like the wind!
In order of the most followers, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and President Barack Obama are the top five. Taylor Swift is number seven, Kim Kardashian number 10, and Selena Gomez number eighteen.
October 29, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Jack Dorsey is famous for founding Twitter and for being its current chairman, but the developer extraordinaire is also the founder of Square, of which he is CEO. Clearly, this is a man who’s committed to the tech scene. But judging by a recent conversation the techy chieftain had with the Los Angeles Times, he’s also committed to the urban revitalization of the city he’s chosen to live in as an adult, San Francisco.
Dorsey is not just earmarking corporate donations for pet revitalization projects around town — he’s contributing with all he’s got: his business. Square is moving from the San Francisco Chronicle building to the tower-ly structure found at 1455 Market St. — a less-than-snazzy sector of the beautiful city by the Bay. The new location affords the space needed to house the deluge of new recruits: a jobs boom has created anticipated positions for about six-hundred new workers. At the moment Square employees 400 people.
In Dorsey’s own words:
“I’ve always lived in the most troubled part of a city, and I believe confronting the issues of a community on a daily basis helps one to better understand how to fix them … Awareness is the first step toward improvement.”
Above, a shot of Square’s new building.
March 6, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Lady Gaga can’t be beat, not even by Justin Bieber. Gaga’s Twitter following has swelled beyond 20 million, a first for any Twitter user. Behind Gaga is Justin Bieber, with a hefty Twitter following count of over 18 million. With varying degrees of snark, professional Twitter rubberneckers have noted that the Biebs posts 10 times as much as Gaga, and still the top spot eludes him.
Last May, Lady Gaga was also the first person to attain 10 million Twitter followers. Approximately two years before that date, Ashton Kutcher famously bested CNN in a widely publicized race to be the first Twitter account with 1 million followers.
To a big extent, Gaga’s millionaire numbers reflect not only on her own massive popularity but also on the exponential growth of Twitter itself — a lot more people are using the service to communicate, follow news, and coordinate massive civil uprisings.
What’s fueling the explosive growth? The fact that social networks of all stripes are becoming mainstream (Facebook is on its way to a billion users) and cellphone users (just about everybody) are switching by the droves to smartphones, which are especially friendly to the succinct postings of the Twitterverse.
Above, a riant Gaga holds up her mic.
February 14, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
It’s that special day in February — the one where colorful, if chalky, tiny candy hearts are passed out along with frilly chocolate boxes, flowers, and hastily written love notes! In honor of Valentine’s Day, the folks over at NM Incite, a division of Nielsen/McKinsey, decided to study how conversation about the holiday looked and sounded on Twitter.
What was uncovered? Surprise, surprise: female Twitter users are a bit gabbier than their male counterparts when discussing Valentine’s Day, and they also evince a more positive outlook about the holiday than men. Cue in melodramatic griping about the want of equity in the division of the pecuniary burdens of dating.
Though NM Incite’s conclusions line up with cultural expectations (to the chagrin of a few), those who revel in reinforcing conventional wisdom will have extra ammo this year while pontificating before skeptical friends on the topic — a tidy infographic NM Incite created to accompany its findings.
By the data sifter’s account, after combing through 70,000 tweets posted between Feb. 10 and Feb. 12, they realized that women mentioned the holiday at a rate that nearly doubled that of men. Another nugget: it seems that 36 percent of the sample women twitterers find themselves dateless this Tuesday; the figure is 25 percent for men. NM Incite’s advice: take a breather from Twitter (and ask someone out).
January 5, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Kanye West, who’s touring with Jay-Z, and whose daring and gorgeous album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” was the toast of 2010 and 2011, has just put out a huge For Hire ad on his, let’s say it, acclaimed Twitter feed. Scientists, designers, writers, social media experts, tech guys (and gals), and even nutritionists are asked to reach out and participate in DONDA, West’s still-in-formation, 22-division “design company.”
The company is named after his mother, Donda West, who died in November 2007 after undergoing elective plastic surgery. Mrs. West was a literature scholar and the former Chair of the English department at Chicago State University.
In his tweets, West proclaims his willingness to invest in creativity and his commitment to making a difference in the world using his talent for “connectivity,” his resources, and his access to the world’s movers and shakers.
Kanye says, “I invest every dime back into creativity… hiring amazing creatives paying for flights, offices … etc…” and continues with “DONDA is a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers and put them in a creative space to bounce there dreams and ideas…”
If you’re looking for a job, hear ‘Ye out: “If anyone would like to reach out email us at contactDONDA@gmail.com.”
December 14, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Reportedly, “Winning!” and “Ray’s Pizza!” is how Charlie Sheen was answering his cell phone last week after the torrent of calls and text messages started coming in: he had inadvertently tweeted publicly a direct message disclosing his phone number. His online followers did not wait a second before commencing the serial retweeting and dialing of the once-privileged digits. As if that weren’t enough to cause a media riot by itself, the kicker was that the would-be direct message was sent to @justinbieber, the person whose unquestioned dominance in the Twitterverse forced Jack Dorsey’s group to recalibrate the trending formulas.
To go by captured screen shots, Sheen’s would-be direct message to Justin Bieber read: “310-954-7277 Call me bro. C.” Although questions remain about why Sheen wanted Bieber to call him, many are probably relieved that the message didn’t contain anything scandalous beyond the individuals involved in the exchange. Sheen, who’s seen his share of controversy, was the object of unrivaled attention earlier this year after a tumultuous exit from “Two and a Half Men” and his subsequent replacement by Ashton Kutcher as the show’s lead. Sheen has a Twitter following that exceeds 5.5 million while Justin Bieber comes in second only to Lady Gaga.
December 12, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
The beloved funk band The Time has a new name and a new single, and both are making headlines. The Original 7ven, as the band is now known, recently debuted “#Trendin,” which may or may not constitute the first hashtag as song title. The track is also further proof of Twitter’s unfaltering progress in lodging itself in the American cultural imagination. But the best news is that the song’s actually good! You’ll have a good-natured chuckle after taking in an earful and hanker after a lyrical belt-out, if not a jam session.
So beware: next time you’re getting down at a house party, it’s likely you’ll find yourself making emphatic head banging motions (à la Jellybean Johnson) between alternate shouts of “We trendin!” and entreaties to your dance floor cohorts, with earnestness and feeling, to “tweet it up ‘yall!” It’s also foreseeable that these will proceed to do just that, because as anyone who’s been out lately knows, people now dance with iPhones in hand — all the better to capture the awkward and suave moves of their “tweetie pie.”
The group has been grooving since 1981. A few years ago they performed their classic “Jungle Love” with Rihanna on the Grammy stage, and last month they opened the Soul Train Music Awards. “#Trendin” is available on iTunes.
December 9, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Earlier today, Twitter invited the press to its still-under-construction new digs on San Francisco’s busy Market Street to announce some big news: a site redesign is going live before January. The updates are meant to make Twitter even more engaging and interactive. The overriding principle for the adjustments seems to have been making the site more accessible and easy to use, for both ordinary people and for advertisers. As it could only have been expected, a hashtag has been created for the new Twitter design: #LetsFly.
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, was quoted as saying: We are going to offer simplicity in a world of complexity.” Those who attended the conference did not miss the fact that many of the redesign’s aspects harked back to the Jobs-ian/Ive-ian minimalist aesthetic. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and current executive chairman, has called Steve Jobs his “mentor from afar.”
Because the company is looking to court advertisers, it needs to demonstrate Twitter’s potential for attracting and retaining readers. With the new design, embedding and watching videos in tweets will be much simpler and pages for brands will have more space for content. As of now, the company has no plans to charge for this additional space, but it’s only open to Disney, Pepsi, American Express, and Dell. Twitter said brand pages would be available other users later on.