• Today, Breitbart Blogger Lee @Stranahan claimed he got a threatening phone call from the infamous Jason Wade Taylor, aka Randy Hahn
  • Shortly thereafter, @HeatherEChase shows up on his radio show to say that yes, that was ABSOLUTELY JWT on that tape.
  • The problem is that a dysfunction monkey with a hearing disorder could tell that it wasn't him.
  • JWT has threatened me many times. No one loathes him more than I do. But I know what he sounds like, and this "caller" not only wasn't him, but he sounds an awful lot like the so called "Swatter" that Stranahan has made a career out of talking about.
  • Someone will soon put up a side-by-by side comparison of the the caller with JWT and you can judge for yourself. They are similar as Milk and Gatorade.
  • So many of us asked, in effect,"Why did professional liar Stranahan set this up? We know they both want JWT to go away, but why such a badly acted show like this, that is so easily debunked with the naked ear, let alone professional audio forensics?
  • Matt Osborne started blogging about the incident.
  • Well, it turns out, they talk often, Heather and Lee. Huh. The guy who defends James O'Okeefe. Alrighty then… but
  • Why is she FORCING people to believe this "threat" was by JWT, when it so clearly wasn't?
  • Because she's desperate to show that JWT is threatening her, when there has been no other evidence of that any of us have seen. Supposedly, she'd been working with the Houston Police to file charges against someone she has been speaking to regularly. I told Stranahan to press some today. He won't, because the penalties for false police reports are STEEP.
  • Heather told Lee (earlier on this show) that she expected ME to provide MY evidence to the houston police. (I never said I filed a report)
     
  • All of this is an ongoing Web of lies Chase has told to escape one simple reality. She was conned by JWT, as many were.
  • She felt he was a rich dude who would fund her projects with Angryblacklady. They were conned. Simple. No shame in that. We all were.
  • The problem is, they provided recordings and emails to him, then lied and said they never asked him for money. They did.
  • JWT has claimed that he has recordings of her proving that she did. He has already played 1.5 of them and promises more soon. It is essential to Chase's entire career (in her mind), and perhaps AngryBlackLady, that JWT (and me) be discredited. So she keeps pushing these yarns about everyone connected, hoping most people think she's "too nice" or "too woman" to do such a dastardly thing.
  • The smartest thing she could do is just admit it, apologize to Osborne, Me, Karoli, Vdaze, HoneybadgerLA, and Angryblacklady for her horrible bungling of everything she's touched  (except wiki software, which she is good with) since last January.
     
  • JohnGcole (owner of Balloon-juice.com(a fine blog), befriended Chase after Angryblacklady introduced them,
  • Having no information to work with, Cole is simply defending someone he believes in, but has no evidence to exonerate. Admirable, but misguided.
  • Cole has made the unfortunate mistake of attacking me personally, and my cancer, to try and shut me up, He's admitted this in his stream.
  • Cole used to attack me routinely because I criticized his friend Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher. Apparently, John wants everyone to like his friends.
     
  • All of this is connected to an 11 month long drama that began on the woeful day that a woman named Heather E Chase conned her way into my life, and then proceeded to do her level best to destroy it, while freezing the StopRush effort in its tracks and disrupting the lives of dozens of people and some really good twitter communities.  
  • I suspect when her real story is known, we will know that this is not new for her. She's a former video gamer, They can sometimes create real-life villains to battle, just like they used to do in virtual fantasyland.
  • So now do you get it?
 

Related 

 

The Problem

As you may have heard from my whining over the past few days, there is some kind of major fail with Twitter's API that is causing massive freezing and hangs in Tweetdeck Desktop for SOME users. 

The problem is NOT just affecting Tweetdeck. Hootsuite has different symptoms (slow posts, etc), but it's all related. Many clients are probably affected, but again, it's probably random symptoms on random accounts so it's hard to pin down what is happening to whom. Software is just like that sometimes. It sucks,I know. We just have to deal with it. At least until the next Rapture solves this crap for all of us :)

Why some are punished and others are not is something only Twitter engineers, or your god of choice can explain to you. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for that answer, but it really doesn't matter.

What does matter is that you can help them fix this problem sooner by sending them "debugging logs" which are stored on your computer.  The more of you who do this, the faster the problem may be fixed:

Here's how to help

It's really much easier than it looks. Just read slowly… and breathe.. for the love of dog… breathe :)

 

Where do I find the log file & How do I enable debug logging in TweetDeck?

From time to time you may be asked to provide a log file when troubleshooting a problem with us here at TweetDeck.

Your log file is named "tweetdeck-app.log" and can be found in the following folder:

  • Mac OS X:  Places/(your username)/Library/Preferences/TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]/Local Store
  • Windows XP:  C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]\Local Store
  • Windows Vista:  C:\users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]\Local Store
  • Linux:  /home/(your username)/.appdata/TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]/Local Store

Please note that some of the folders may be hidden.

Email it to the address you will have been given and we will be able to have a clearer picture of what is going on.

Debug Logging

If you are asked by TweetDeck Support to enable debug logging, here's what you need to do:

1. Find the file debug.xml in the following location:

Mac OS X:  Places > Home Directory (ie your username) > Library/Preferences/TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]/Local Store

Windows XP:  C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]\Local Store

Windows Vista & Windows 7:  C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]\Local Store

Linux:   ~/.appdata/TweetDeckFast.FFF[random letter and numbers]\Local Store

Please note that some of the folders may be hidden.

2. Edit the file using a basic text editor (eg Notepad, NOT Microsoft Word or suchlike)

3. The file should look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<debug>  

    <enabled>false</enabled>

</debug>

4. Change the word "false" to "true" so that it looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<debug>  

    <enabled>true</enabled>

</debug>

5. Save the file, overwriting the original.

6. Restart your TweetDeck (and run it until the problem has occurred a few times).  Now when you send your debug information to TweetDeck Support, we will have much more detail than normal. 

Power users: If you want to be really nice, delete or empty the actual log file first before running Tweetdeck. This will give them a nice clean log, but it's not vital to do this.

7. Attach the log file ( tweetdeck-app.log ) to an email and send it to:   community@tweetdeck.com.

Please note, once you have been informed by TweetDeck Support that we no longer need any more logging, you should perform this operation again, but change the "true" back to "false". Detailed debug logging will slow down the operation of your TweetDeck so should not be left in place when not required.

8. Finally, use the Retweet button below to pass this on as far as it can travel. (This is very important.)

That's all there is to it. You're done! And thanks. This will be a huge help to the developers at Tweetdeck and Twitter.

 

UPDATE/NOTE:  Twitter has a very poorly-timed bug. If you're having trouble changing your avatar, see note below.


 

I so rarely do this, but as I wrote in a post last week, and detailed in my primer on the crisis, what is happening in Wisconsin is too important to not do everything that we can to show support for the demonstrators there; locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, and on Twitter, Facebook, or the back of your damned car.  

Last night, filmmaker Michael Moore asked everyone to wear red to show our solidarity. And this morning, my old friend @hankronan messaged me and suggested Wisconsin Badger Red for our Twitter dress, also known as our avatars.

Now given Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck's faux-fixation with communism lately, the color red might not have been the best idea, but screw 'em all. Wingnuts don't own the color wheel, eh?

Look my progressive/liberal friends and neighbors: this is our Stonewall, Waterloo, and <historical name your battle of choice>.

But win or lose, it cannot be our Last Stand.  So please don't just sit on your ass and watch. Do something; anything. Send yourself, your money, some pizza, or call a union and ask what you can do. If nothing else, just make a Tributar like mine shown at upper right. (I've provided some tools to help you make one below.) 

If you want to be subtle, just stick a red square or dot in the corner of  your avatar. As with much in life (except some of my posts), it just doesn't have to be complicated to be effective.

It's the least you can do. The very least. You only have one country, and you may not have it for much longer. So fight for what you have, and fight as hard as you are able, while you still have a country to fight for.

As always, please use the Tweet button to distribute this post to anyone that should care. Thanks. (Note: When you use the button, you increase the #tally, and that encourages others to do the same. This has greater impact than simply retweeting the message that brought you here.)

Tributar Tools

Avatars with some special image, color or text signifying some event or cause are often called "twibbons." I never like terms that are twitter-centric, or for that matter, dedicated to any one social media service, unless they are only applicable to that service. So last year, I coined the term "tributar" at Urbandictionary,com, after seeing Keith Olbermann make one to honor his late-father last year.

Tributar Editors

  • Twibbon.com — is probably your fastest and easiest option. It's very easy, and the site has instructions. Or if you enjoy tutorials, here are some video guides.
  • Photobucket.com — is very easy to use, according to @angryBlackLady.
  • I really never use these tools — because I really don't do many Tributars, personally, so if you know a better tool, please tweet it to me at: @shoq. I will post here.

Image Editors

If you're not a Photoshop wizard and you want to do it yourself, here are some web-based tools you can use. While it may seem like a lot of work to learn the basics of image editing, it won't take more than 15 minutes to change a color the first time if you have no experience whatsoever. And then you'll know how to do it for the next big thing.

Human Editors

  • Just look for someone with a cool red avatar, and ask them how they made it, or if they will make one for you.
  • If you want to volunteer to make them for others, I will be happy to post your twitter handle here. Just tweet me at: @shoq.

Computer Code For "Badger Red"

One of the code(s) below will render a shade of red in your editor:

The PRECISE WISCONSIN BADGER color is: (Hat Tip to @gaborger)

  • RGB: R 191 G 0 B 0 …or
  • Hexidecimal: BF0000

My Tributar above uses a slightly brighter value, for contrast with a darker image like the @Shoq panther:

  • RGB:  R 254 G 0 B 0 …or
  • Hexidecimal: FE0000

If you don't know what these codes mean, it doesn't matter. You can probably figure out where to put them in your editor. If not, just pick a nice red from the editor's palette and move on :)

Twitter Avatar Bug

UPDATE/NOTE:  With their usual perfect timing, Twitter has a bug and it's not displaying the "Change Profile Image" button on Settings/profile screen.  They claim it's resolved, but it's not.  To work around this, just hold down SHIFT key and press your browser's reload button. After a few times, the button should appear. If it doesn't, try clearing your browser cache first  (Google-it for your browser) and try again.

Related

 

This page will explain, in the simplest possible terms, why many use a period or other character before a @Twittername. While I once wrote a widely circulated explanation, it was rather dense, and I find that at least a third of my stream still doesn't understand the issue. Thus, I felt a simpler explainer might help.

What is the period (or other character) before the "@twittername" for?

In the simplest possible terms, it "breaks" Twitter's native (built-in) reply threading (a fancy techy term for connecting tweets together).

Without it, your Tweets beginning with @someName will NOT show up to your ALL of your followers, UNLESS they happen to follow both you and the person you are replying to. 

Will only a period work?

Nope. Almost any character will work just as well.

All that matters is that the ?@ character combo be the very first characters in your tweet text.  That said, the period, because I and a few others hammered Twitter streams with it for over 2 years, has become the de facto standard. I would not deviate from it because a) it will just confuse people, and b) there's no reason to. The period is so small, that while anyone can still see it, they visually just tune it out. It has no impact on Twitter readability.

Doesn't that waste a character in my text?

Yes, but LOLs waste 4 (including the space after), and we know you ain't giving them up, right Spanky?  Now STFU about one lousy character and keep reading.

Why would Twitter want to hide my replies from my followers?

The logic is that by only showing replies to those who follow you and the person you're  engaging, innocent bystanders who are not interested in your conversation will not have to see it.

Twitter did not always do this. All replies were seen by everyone no matter what.  While this forced change of Twitter behavior caused a huge furor at the time, as with many Twitter changes, the userbase had no choice but to eventually learn to accept and live with it.  In fact, even I have come to welcome the change. But then, I never did mind the logic. It was the very confusing way they chose to implement it (and spring it on us without much diplomacy) that irked me (and others).

Again, back in May of 2009, I wrote about Twitter's "Replies Issue."  Read it if you like the grim details. Otherwise, find something better to do—such as keep on reading.

But doesn't using this trick make it hard to follow a conversation?

Sometimes, but rarely. The downside is that it breaks Twitter's native connections, so users of Twitter.com (and some clients), cannot "thread together" the stream of messages between the two participants. This is often called "reading the conversation."

Why don't I (and possibly you) care?  Because the best "conversations" usually involve many more than two people anyway, and the threading never worked for that at all.  So I simply use "search" of all the names I care about. It's an extra step, but since most of my frequent engagements are all with people I follow anyway, we all see each other's updates. So it's only only when the discussion is with someone I don't follow, or when  I want to see what the whole herd is saying that I bother to use the search method. But I do it so often, it's not a bother. I usually have a browser search page open all the time, and I just change the names and press go.

Should you always use this technique?

Absolutely not. The rule of thumb should be "Is this something of interest to enough of my followers that I want them all to see it?"  If the answer is no, then simply reply normally without the period.

So why does @Shoq appear to use it so often?

Three reasons:

  1. Because the majority of my tweets are about political or social issues that I feel are of interest to all or most of my stream or they probably wouldn't be following me in the first place.
  2. I may be responding to some wingnut with a dozen followers and I want to amuse or inform my stream about the idiot.
  3. I use it so often for 1 and 2 above that it's become a habit I don't always break when I should. Me so bad. I hate me for it. You can too.

Doesn't Tweetdeck (and other clients*) give you the option to see all replies?

Yes, it does. But Tweetdeck is only one of dozens of popular clients*, and support for this special feature is very rare at this time. And Twitter.com (the client which most people still use), has no such support.

Why doesn't Twitter just build an option into their client?

Because neither software development nor software developers are very rational entities. They do things in their own way, in their own time frame, and for their own reasons. They really don't give a rodent's rectum what you think about it.

But not all developers are total asshats. Hell, if I ruled the world—or at least Twitter— I would implement a "Reply and Reply to All" feature. Just like email. Yeah, it's simple. That's why they missed it.

Where can I learn more?

You can't. All of human knowledge on this topic stops right here. You could Google for it and prove me wrong, but nothing good could come of that. This issue is confusing enough, and you have already been well-armed with all that really matters. Learn to be content with the easy answers. There are so many hard ones that we all need to worry about.

*Oh, and WTF is a "Client?"

Something I get asked about often, so I think I should finally explain it here, even if it has very little to do with Twitter replies.

I can do that, because, at least within the narrow confines of this document, I rule the world :)

A client is a term programmers and us techy types like to use to describe a program that communicates with another programmed service on a remote computer somewhere. Tweetdeck is a client for Twitter, Google Reader is a client for news feeds, etc..  Often, many clients will exist for the same service. (Twitter has hundreds, but only a dozen or so good and well supported ones).

How do I use a Bidet?

Now this is something you could have Googled for yourself. But as you have so often come to expect from me, I've saved you all that time and effort. You're welcome.

How to use a Bidet Properly (Video)

 

 

Note: This post was written in early 2011. But nothing has changed. Millions of Twitter users still don't understand that while it has some value, Twitter's built-in Retweet function has all but ruined a key benefit of Twitter for discovering and recommending information to our followers.

You need to understand why in order to understand why you miss a lot of stuff on Twitter, and why others miss your RT recommendations... routinely,

It will also explain why my followers so often see me using the old style (copy and paste) RT method instead.


 

Well, it's been well over a year since Twitter implemented its built-in "new" retweet feature, which for many of us, immediately wrecked what had been one of Twitter's best features: the old retweeting style which evolved organically from the user-base, and with no input from Twitter whatever.

Naturally, something that millions of people loved just had to be replaced by something confusing and destructive to the Twitter experience, just for the sake of their business model and investors.  So, replace it they did. And in so doing, they created a huge level of completely preventable confusion for both new and old users alike. Confusion that still wreaks havoc on your timeline, even though you're probably not even aware of it. I am just fed up with explaining this over and over again, and still kicking myself for not writing this post over a year ago.  My purpose here is NOT to rehash all the details of what Twitter did, or why. You can click here for that. My purpose is simply to tell you clearly, and without all the confusing details, just…

Why you should NOT (always) use Twitter's built-in retweet feature

There are three very big reasons:

Reason One: Your followers won't miss important stuff you want to recommend to them.

To help you understand why, consider this scenario involving you and two other followers:

@Newbie is some follower you just followed recently. He has about 250 followers himself, and you decided to follow him because he tweeted some funny cat pictures now and then.

@Oldbie is a follower you've liked and trusted since you first got on to Twitter.

One morning, before you woke up, @Newbie retweeted a tweet concerning a really big story in your field of interest. He used Twitter's built in RT feature. It was a story you would really want to know about.

Later that day, @Oldbie retweeted about that the same story, also using the built-in retweet. As you respect @Oldbie, you would have clicked to read his tweet immediately had you seen it. Unfortunately, you never saw @Oldbie's tweet because Twitter's built in RT logic doesn't show you items that:

  • have already been retweeted by any of your other followers. 
  • you follow the original tweeter, and thus, Twitter assumes you don't need to see a RT of it—FROM ANYONE.

If you do see a RT of someone you don't follow, you only see in one time. Twitter simply increases the tally of how many users retweeted that first tweet that you received earlier from that relatively unknown @newbie person. Of course, that tweet came in hours ago, and is now so far down your timeline, you were never likely to see it anyway.

But wait, there's more bad news: Suppose the Tweet that both @Newbie and @Oldbie are new-retweeting was posted by someone else that you follow. In that case, you won't see either of their retweets because Twitter logic assumes you saw the original tweet, even if it went by long ago while you were sleeping, nodding off, having sex. This is a massive fail when big stories are involved. Unless you saw the original when it appeared in your timeline, you will NEVER know about it no matter how many thousands of people RT it. And this is absolutely horrible. It squashes one of Twitter's greatest values: allowing people you trust to filter what you see.

So, now do you see the problem? Twitter decided that you only wanted to see a single instance of a tweet, no matter who sent it, or when, and without any regard for how long you have known a user, nor whether you even recognize, respect or trust them. Thus, because you like some of @newbie's cat pictures, or didn't notice the first time an original tweet showed up in your timeline, you completely missed all the secondary reminders from other friends concerning that story. (And this explains why we often don't see something all of our friends are talking about, too.)

Now you might say, "but I hate seeing dozens of retweets of the same thing." And you're right, sometimes that can be annoying. But keep these things in mind.

  1. Repetitive tweets tell you a story mattered to a lot of your followers. You might ignore the first few retweets you see, but when the 3rd, 4th or 5th come in, you're going to notice, and may well be glad that you did.
  2. Repetitive tweets tell you something is really important, or you wouldn't be seeing so many of them. Even on my mobile phone, all those retweets just help reinforce for me what people find important. And that counts. A lot.
  3. The repetition is not nearly as annoying as missing a story that could be important to you, nor missing out on all the comments that can sometimes be as important as the story itself (or at least funnier). And this leads nicely into the next reason you don't want to use built-in Retweets…

Reason 2:  Users can't add their own comments to the built-in retweets

This one you probably know something about already. But you should not underestimate its importance. Comments embedded in old-style Retweets are one of the very best ways to learn more about a story. More importantly, they help you to discover new users whom you would never know about had they not added a funny or informative comment to a manual, old-style retweet. 

For example, consider this retweet from @newbie, who is now using the old RT method so you WILL see it regardless of who else retweeted that same item already:

@newbie: This story increased my profits! RT @nerdish Study says hire only very good spellers. http://butt.ly/3das

Not only did you discover a new interest that you shared with @newbie, but at the same time, you discovered a new person named @nerdish. Without that all important old-retweet comment, it would probably have sailed right on by you if you're timeline was even modestly busy.

Reason Three:  New RT minimizes the impact of Twitter campaigns

Often, we want to let people and organizations know how we—and the crowd—feels about something. With Old style RT, they'll see thousands of tweets aimed at them. But with the new built-in RT, they may not even see a single one.  Let that sink in. If you want @piersmorgan to know how pissed off you are about something, he'll never see it in his mentions unless you use the old RT.  Be lazy and use the New RT, and it's like saying "ditto" on some lone tweet he may never even see. You scream, but no one hears.


Now, you may be saying to yourself…

"What good is all of this if those followers don't play by the old retweet rules as Shoq has laid them out here?" A good question:  If it all depends upon what THEY do, and has nothing to do with the choices that YOU make, then why bother? 

Three good reasons:

  1. It does affect you. The same rules applied to what you can see will have bearing on what others see from you when you use the new RT. Sure, if you're the very first person among your followers to retweet someone, your RT may get seen. But if not? Then it's just one more number added to the tally on the first Retweet showing up in the timeline of people following both of you.
  2. Because only if you understand the impact it has on you, can you ever explain it to them so that they don't do it. And of course, so you won't either. 
  3. As I demonstrated when I created the #MT and the shorter #FF (for #followfriday) tags, change happens on Twitter over time, as the crowd discovers a better mousetrap.  If YOU stop relying on new RT, others will too.

So now you know

Twitter has a lot of reasons to want you to use the new retweet; reasons that have everything to do with them making money by reporting tweet metrics to advertisers, but absolutely nothing to do with the value that you and your followers will get from Twitter.

For me the choice is simple

Old Retweets are the very essence of Twitter. Sometimes I will use a new RT when I'm in a big hurry and just want to be sure at least some of my followers will see a tweet. But this is usually when I really don't care enough about it to give it special treatment, or when the tweet is so densely or specifically worded that I really can't easily condense it down to something that I can fit a comment into. Alas, if the tweet was from earlier in the day, only those who don't follow the original tweeter are even going to see my recommendation.  Again, for me, this aspect of the issue is a massive fail. It impedes our ability to recommend things to our friends, or those who rely on us as a filter of news and information.

As for you, well…

You're gonna do what the hell you do no matter what I say anyway. And that's how it should be. But at least now you know the stakes. Twitter is a very powerful tool for communication and knowledge sharing. Sometimes it seems like the only people who don't quite understand that well enough are the fine folks at Twitter.

Related

Back story on the "New" Retweets (by Shoq)

About the MT signal (by Shoq)l

UPDATE1:  If this article is accurate, then Twitter is now claiming that their new search—which prompted the post below—was just an "experiment."  (Conducted live with 100 million users? Hmmm)

If true, then all of this drama was about nothing at all. As I said initially, for all we know, it's a bug. When Twitter doesn't share with us these little tests, nobody can know what's really going on. It's annoying that I had to write all of this about something that lasted only a few days.  But so many were hysterical, there wasn't much choice.  
Notice that they say they will look for other ways to remove duplicates.  I think they should simply provide various kinds of filtering options in advanced search, and leave the rest alone.

UPDATE2 (5/23/10): I have seen no changes to search. The new method is still in force, making me greatly doubt the story above claiming RTs would be returned to home/mentions search.

ORIGINAL POST

Yesterday, Ray Beckerman wrote a post titled: Has @Twitter Declared War on Traditional Retweets? #TR

In my opinion, the change he was concerned about is actually a very good change.  But as usual, twitter has not explained it before implementing it.  So Ray's post has brought needed attention to it, but his rather irritated tone with them springing it on us this way has lead many of his readers to take a very hostile stance toward it before they actually understood it.  Many panicked, and have run all over Twitter announcing that the sky may be falling.

Yes, it is a change, but it's hardly a huge change and the sky is not falling. It just requires a bit of knowledge about the new options that you now have when searching for tweets and #tags. So let me explain it before it gets even more out of hand. (I've been getting one question about this every 20 minutes).

The problem that isn't a problem

Twitter has decided—in their typically unannounced way—to make a  change to the way search works, but only IN YOUR HOME (and @mentions) page search boxes. The general search box (at search.twitter.com) is not affected by the change.

As Twitter UI staffer, @charles tweets here, all they have actually done is change the search parameter to be "exclude:Retweets." 

This is actually a GOOD THING. Previously, searches always included every single retweet, and the result was often that the ORIGINAL tweet would be buried beneath many pages of search results. This is known in the tech world as search "noise."  The original tweet is the "signal;" the thing most people are interested in finding FIRST.

So what does this practically mean for your searches?

That you have options in how you search for stuff that you never had before. This change is giving you something, not taking something away.

All it means is that IF you want to use the little home page/@mentions box, you have 3 choices in how you can search:

You can search for:

1)  #tag or Keywords:  example: "#shoqstag"

This will get you only original tweets without duplicates (which is any tweet containing the "RT" code anywhere in it).

Why? Because this eliminates what can sometimes be dozens—or hundreds—of duplicate tweets. That include tweets where people may have appended comments to their RT (using old style RT), but those are derived from the original tweet, and generally much less important for most types of searches.

If you REALLY want to see every single RT-bearing duplicate, and all those possible comments (most rarely do), you simply use #2 or #3 below.

2) tag or keyword PLUS "RT" — Example: "#shoqtag RT"

Do this at the home/mentions box, and you will get everything with your terms plus a RT in it—but NOT the original tweet. This is a small annoyance at first, but actually makes sense when you get used to it.

Just remember that adding RT gives you the retweets, and omitting it doesn't. And if this really still annoys you, for some reason, you can always…

3) tag or keywords entered on the standard  twitter search page — where everything works as it always did.

What about a #tag search/click?

This is the only confusing part of the new methods, and it's not a big deal either.  A tag search is when you click a linked #hashtag.  As it works now, which search method is used depends on where you were when you clicked a #hashtag.

Tags in your a) Home Timeline, b) @mentions, or c) viewed tweets* — will use the HOME/mentions style method without the RTs included.

* Viewed tweets refers to when you isolate a tweet by clicking on its "view tweet" link or its time stamp. Example,

Tags in a regular search.twitter.com. search results page — will include everything.

What About 3rd Party Apps?

Tweetdeck treats #tags as it always had, and probably most clients will do the same. As for Tweetie2 (Twitter's own mobile client), who knows? They are barring old style RTs, reportedly, and that will probably crush that product fast.

What about the "TR" suggestion

This was Ray's idea to work around what he perceived as a bad problem. The idea is that if you really feel a need to indicate that you're RTing someone, and ensure that your tweet still shows up as an original tweet when someone clicks a tag, you'd be sort of saying it's a Retweet without actually using the RT code (which would be excluded with the new method).

I just see very little point to this fake RT/TR idea, and in fact, it will just add yet more code bloat that nobody understands, and really look like you're trying to game a system designed to serve most people with a generalized solution. If everyone started doing this, you'd have even more confusion, as some duplicates would show, and others would not. This would NOT be a good outcome, in my opinion, and I would urge you not to do it.

That's all folks

I am glad Ray brought this up. I've provided all his references herein if you'd like to read more on his view. For a few days, I'd be happy to discuss it with Ray and anyone else interested at tag: #searchchange.

Please use the green button to retweet this to all the people who were confused enough by Twitter weirdnesses before this change.

As always, please follow @shoq for updates on this issue.

Related Info

@RayBeckerman's original post.— which created all this concern, and referred to it in fairly dramatic terms. I understand that. These changes can be annoying when Twitter doesn't announce them. But I do wish he would edit that post and soften the language so people see this as something to understand and not fear.

Twitter's @Charles responded to Ray's concern here, and here. In both tweets, he confirms what I've explained above.

NextWeb Reblogs Ray's Post — This was the more Googled post, getting too much play, but it was simply a reblogging of Ray's post.

Welcome to Twitter! It's about time you got here.

This primer has some tips and resources you'll need to get oriented. There are trillions of tutorials available on Twitter, many of them pretty poor. Twitter's own help pages are among the worst of them.  But there are some adequate sites and pages, ranging from this brief overview style, to the far more extensive, tutorial-about-everything style, such as Mashable's Guide To Twitter.  Even the bad ones can still give you the basics.

Note: Twitter 101 For Business is probably better than most of their materials, and worth a look, even if you're not a business.

I suggest you glance at that one, but ignore the rest (for now). Just wander around, asking questions and endearing yourself to people by being clueless and vulnerable.  Just bear these things in mind during your first week:

  • Tip 1: As in most of life, most people don't know what they're talking about. Twitter has a LOT of those people, and many of them are probably advising you right now. Just send them away. Tell them, "go, I'll learn by stumble."
  • Tip 2: If you're a celebrity, like Tiger Woods's penis, I suggest you ignore the volume of people tweeting at you for a  few weeks. Relax and spend time with a handful of friends and co-workers, and learn how to follow people and "feeds" at your leisure. It's easier than you think.  Select one or two really skilled people and listen to them. This keeps you from being overwhelmed by too many tutors.  But don't assume their habits are everyone's habits, and never assume they understand even 1% of what Twitter is about. They don't. And you won't either, for a long time—if ever. Use your desktop and a program like Tweetdeck.  Don't try to absorb all the culture and tricks on a tiny mobile interface. Spread out.
  • Tip 3: If you're a liberal minded person, politically, the Progressive community is your friend here. You'll find many of us on the #p2 tag. You can read about what the #p2 tag is here.  Whenever you see it, a progressive is tweeting out to the progressive community, or some wingnut is spamming the tag and probably calling you a socialist fag. If you're unlucky, these same conservative hatriots can often be seen using their own "#tcot" tag (and others like it).  These "#hashtag" codes are just little identifiers for what people are talking about. It's very informal and primitive, but it works. Clicking on tags will show you the "conversations" (the tweets) happening at those tags.

     

    Try it. Click #p2 for filthy commie libs, or #tcot for screaming Beck fans who want all liberals to be sent to Super Max concentration camps.

    If you're a conservative minded person, my only tip is this: Facebook.

  • Tip 4: Follow people you can trust to follow people worth following.  But don't stick to your bubble pals (the friend of friends who probably dragged you to Twitter). Pick people you know are interested in diverse issues and ideas. They come upon the most interesting things to know of at any given time. Beware of your own natural tendency to cluster and nest with only people you know.Twitter is about discovery of people and ideas. The best of those are often outside our comfort zones.
  • Tip 5:  Don't be a dork. Especially if you're famous. if someone passes you a tip, or a resource, or an idea, at least tweet a simple thank you.  You don't have to know everyone's name, or that their grandma's dog just died.  But try and explore the very personal exchanges and relationships you can have and enjoy here. You just don't know it yet.
  • Tip 6: Just ask your feed how to do things. Example:  "@shoq, what the hell is "new retweet;" "What's a hat tip?" "How do I start juicy rumors about @pressSec and @kimKardashian?"

That's it. You'll pick it all up from here.

Most of all. Enjoy it. Yes, it's a brave new world, but it's also an interesting and fun one.

Clients You'll Want

Client programs take social media to a new level not usually found on the web verisons of many applications  Nobody you like uses the Twitter.com website to access Twitter:

  • Tweetdeck (makes Twitter MUCH easier). . Tweetdeck is  where you want to be, to start. There are many other programs, but they all work similarly.
  • Hootsuite —  gets better all the time. Tweetdeck is still what I use, as I find it closest to the user experience that I think should be the bare minimum in today's social media ecosystem.

Resources You'll Want

Verify Your Twitter Account — Very important. Celebrities and people important to Twitter can get it done. Just ask your staff to follow instructions.  We little people have to suck it.

Basic Twitter Terms You Must Know

What is Twitter "Blocking"

How to get started with-twitter — As stated above, just one of many tutorials. One is just about as good as another at the start. Get the key ideas; learn by doing.

Twitter Help

Top 50 Twitter Acronyms, Abbreviations and Initialisms by @digiphile — A very good guide by a saavy social media thought leader.

Shoq's Tips — A number of things you won't find easily. Including tricky issues like New Retweet vs. Old Retweet, etc.

What does #FF or "#Follow Friday" mean?  — Since Friday is your first full day, you're about to find out.  It's not one of Twitter's finer traditions. Read about it here.

Twictionary.com — All the lingo in one place. Not for the squeamish.

Hashtags.org — A dictionary of tags (best picked up by just watching and asking)

Journalists on Twitter — A decent, if not exhaustive directory of people you will surely be interested in. Remember, there's far more insight and ideas than what come across in any one community.

Directory of Twitter Lists — Lists are a great way to follow the tweets of many people in various interest areas, without actually following individuals.  You just follow the list, and browse the tweets of the people in them.  

WeFollow.com —A General Twitter Directory

Tweetprogress.us — The Progressive Community on Twitter. Hardly definitive, but most of the leaders and core people are there.

About Gametags — Which are an amusing way to waste hours of time creating completely silly, often riotously funny, poignant, or humiliating tweets about breaking news, or really dumb or annoying people and events.

How To Verify A Tweet  — Useful for Journalists, or anyone trying to confirm the veracity of a Tweet on a fact or news story.

Note: This page will change often. If you are referring it to friends, please ask them to check back often. If you feel it needs new concepts or resources, please post a comment.

As always, using the Retweet button below will expose this page others.


Overview

Gametag — is a term that I created to describe the use of #hashtaqs in contests or simple word games played on Twitter, and other social networks that support such tags.

Sometimes I, my friend @lizzWinstead, or some other Twitter addict will create a tag and put it out there and see if others will find it amusing and join in by tweeting some quip, definition, remark, or other form of "submission" to the #gametag stream.

Most often, these are just for fun, and tossed out at random, but there are many people who are addicted to creating them in hopes that they will become a "Trending Topic" (#TT), and get listed in Twitter's search interface.  Some try to make this happen to promote an event or product (but these are usually obvious, rarely much fun, and often fail to gain much traction).

A popular gametag can be followed—or at least noticed—by thousands, even millions of people on social networks.

Many gametags are based on a breaking news event, such #balloonBoy or #StupaksNewJob, but the majority of them are predicated on some amusing premise such as #TeabaggerMovieTitles, #3wordsAfterSex, or #4WordStories.

For example, #TeachOlbermann was a new gametag I created to teach new Tweep, Keith Olbermann what people think he should know about Twitter—or the politics, culture, allure, or hazards thereof. About 1% of them were serious, and the rest merely funny—or trying hard to be.

Note: You never know with tags. Sometimes they soar, and become a "trending tag," and at other times they're just dog tags and die a quick death).

Some Recent Gametags

Note:  These may be removed from Twitter by the time you read this.

Related

I make enough of them myself, and get asked often, so I figured it was time to post some of my reference materials for basic English usage, organized by the most common types of mistakes.  I have hundreds, and will cull through them and update this frequently. This is merely a start.  If you have great tutorials or guides, please post as a comment.

Apostrophes

Capitalization After A Colon?

Commas — Before Quotation Marks

Hyphens

I vs Me

Between you and me, this is one of the biggest of the errors seen on the web after "looser" used for "loser." (See Looser)

Looser vs Loser

  • Looser means something that is not firmly held or fixed in place.
  • Loser is what you appear to be when keep confusing Looser and Loser and calling it a typo when anyone points it out.

Your vs You're

 


General Guides & Tutorials


Related Guides and Tutorials

   Argument

  Grammar Myths & Myth Busters

  • Grammar Myths (Grammarphobia.com) — Patricia T. O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman met as editors at the New York Times. By the time their collaboration began, they had more than half a century of experience as writers and editors between them.

   Web & Document Design and Typography

   Plagiarism and Ethics

  • Plagiarism (WIkipedia) — "Plagiarism is not only the mere copying of text, but also the presentation of another's ideas as one's own, regardless of the specific words or constructs used to express that idea. In contrast, many so-called plagiarism detection services can only detect blatant word-for-word copies of text."
  • Avoiding Plagiarism (Tutorial)

   Vocabulary

   Dictionaries

  • Google Dictionary — Finally—and years late—a dictionary that pulls multiple meanings from multiple sources without the annoying ads or interface drama of other meta search engines. Be sure to get the plug-ins for your browsers. I have one for my Ubuntu linux desktop. I can double click any word, in any application or tool, and then click one desktop button to launch a browser with the Google Dic. results.  A fantastic resource that should have been possible in the 1980s. We had the technology.

Who Says: Narrative Authority In a Fragmented World

Jay Rosen tweeted this seminal post by Megan Garber, articulating what the web and digital media are doing to authority memes and journalism's role in this bizarre new world.

Since the need to manage the tangled and competing taxonomic hierarchies of such a Narrative Big Brother has been my professional fascination for years, I couldn't help but notice.  

I think it's required reading for every journalist, citizen, media theorist, media guru, social media consultant, politician, educator, and student. Ok, ok….make that everyone that can fucking read.

Transparency needs to be about fostering conversation rather than ending it.

Megan Garber

Read: Who Says : CJR.