Best of Twitter 2013

Twitter Glossary

I could start this by stating that Twitter is an incredible micro-blogging site that has revolutionized social networks and connected the world in a global conversation like never before – but I’d be stating the obvious. The truth is, Twitter is one weird place. Sure, it’s just one of the more popular corners of the Internet to hang out, but, not doubt, it inspires some odd behavior. Round up all the humans with internet access, give them 140 characters to state their opinions and the ability to read and respond to almost anybody else’s opinion, and we’ve got ourselves a straight up verbal rampage on our hands. Should be fun.

Let’s look back on the most popular Twitter trends of 2013. There are the more well known entities that you couldn’t escape if you tried such as Horse ebooks or Doge. (So done, much annoying.) And then there are the obscure such as Twitter canoes or subtweeting (The overuse of mentions and the blatant disregard of them so people don’t know they’re being talked about.). Some of these may not have reached you in your corner of the Twitter-verse because – let’s face it – Twitter is huge and some conversations don’t quite circulate far enough. One thing’s for sure: there’s no end to these trends. As long as Twitter lives, grows, and changes, so will its users and the rhetoric they use. Check out NYMag’s 2013 Twitter Glossary for more trends.

The Inventor of the Hashtag

Chris Messina, a former Google designer, first proposed the hashtag idea on Twitter back in 2007. However, he wanted to use the ‘#’ symbol as a way to create “groups”. Here’s his first tweet proposing the idea:

messina tweet

Much to his chagrin, Twitter rejected his idea then but took it up years later as a news feed sorting technique. Had Messina patented the hashtag idea back then, he could have earned quite a sum of money. However, he had two pretty good reasons for letting the hashtag become public property. “Claiming a government-granted monopoly on the use of hashtags would have likely inhibited their adoption, which was the antithesis of what I was hoping for, which was broad-based adoption and support – across networks and mediums,” Messina explained. “I had no interest in making money (directly) off hashtags. They are born of the Internet, and should be owned by no one. The value and satisfaction I derive from seeing my funny little hack used as widely as it is today is valuable enough for me to relieved that I had the foresight not to try to lock down this stupidly simple but effective idea.”

To learn more about Messina and the birth of the hashtag, check out Business Insider’s article here.

A New App To Catch Snoopers



There’s nothing better than full privacy, unfortunately with annoying siblings, nosy significant others and friends that will never be the case. If you’re suspicious that someone may be going through your smartphone or mobile computing devices; They just got Busted! The PeeperPeeper app can be your eyes when you step out of the room.

This app currently offers shortcuts for WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and LINE. PeeperPeeper catches who has been snooping on your private messages through screenshots. The PeeperPeeper app allows you to keep the convenience of having access to social media on iPhones/androids or iPad/tablets and not having to worry about meddlesome friends, families or coworkers. Lifehacker has some great information on this new app, and if it intrigues you take 5 seconds to download the PeeperPeeper app, it’s free and doesn’t take up much memory space.

What Starts With ‘f’ And Ends With ‘uck’? Firetruck!

The f-bomb. That satisfying combination of syllables that can be a noun, verb, or most any part of a sentence or phrase. But who uses it the most? New Yorkers? Texans? Brits?

Now we can track the drops of the f-bomb (on twitter at least) with Every time a tweet goes out containing those four controversial letters, the map on updates and drops a missile down on the location where it was tweeted. And if you’re prone to dropping a few bombs yourself, you might even catch your own tweets coming down and leaving a puff of smoke behind.

160 characters – 1 chance to define yourself

Social media has been asking us to define ourselves from moment one with profiles, photos, and “about me” sections. Twitter is unique in that it limits the user to 160 characters – a generous 20 more than the usual 140 for a tweet.

This limit has informed the way twitter bios are written and one particular style has risen to the top. The 160 characters are usually utilized to give a rapid-fire listing of personal traits and titles. Student. Journalist. Coffee addict. And the succinct style is not just for teenagers and famous rappers. Hillary Clinton uses it to great effect.

So what does your twitter bio say? Are you more of a Tom Hanks (self effacing) or a Taylor Swift (subtly self promotional)? Read more on the subject at the New York Times.

What does your twitter profile say about you?

Could someone glance at your twitter profile, and without reading a single word, know something about you? Where you come from, your gender, or your profession?

Probably not with any certainty. But they could make an informed guess. Each of those variables has a correlation with certain color trends for your twitter page. People from California and Florida have an affinity for white. Hackers are fond of blue. And unsurprisingly, people who describe themselves as fashionistas are attracted to pink. But who would have guessed that orange is the color of fatherhood?

Color has always been assigned cultural meaning, but it’s been a shifting, difficult field to pin down. Now, it’s becoming easier to chart those associations every day. What’s more, you can leverage those associations to make your twitter profile on-point rhetorically.

If you’ve nailed your colors, check out this infographic to see if your twitter bio is holding up too.

Twitter infographic

From Publishing Perspectives: Shock and Outrage Expressed By Amazon Acquiring Goodreads

Some tweets and reactions to the Amazon/Goodreads merger.

Last month, Amazon announced that it had acquired Goodreads, a social networking site where both readers and authors can join to review and recommend books. Following the announcement, many fans on Twitter were not very pleased by the upcoming merger. Publishing Perspectives highlighted some of the wittier and more vocal tweets. Many joked about the price of ads increasing, banning authors from reviewing any books, and whether Amazon would not target readers based on the previous reviews of books readers have written.

In the press release announcing the partnership, Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President of Kindle Content said, “Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading. Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books, and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world.” Only time will tell whether readers and authors will warm up to this merger and how it will be used by both in the long run.