The Dissemination of Thought

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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Five things you always wanted to know about Twitter but were afraid to ask

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Twitter. It’s enough to reduce grown men and women to blithering messes, and send those with a passion for grammar and correct spelling to the back of a dark cupboard to cradle themselves in a foetal position.

Given there are now more than 500 million Twitter users globally, I thought it was an opportune time to answer five questions new Twits have about the micro-blogging phenomenon but are generally afraid to ask for fear of being laughed at or mockingly retweeted. 

I admit it. I’m a filthy Twitter whore. But I use my hashtags sparingly. Source: blog.socialmaximizer.com

1. What should I tweet about?

Ah, the timeless question. I’m reasonably confident there was once a time when people would only tweet news, information and the odd filthy limerick. In 2012, Twitter has unravelled to the point where, as long as it doesn’t take up more than 140 characters, people don’t give a fuck what they tweet about. Unfortunately, that includes random sentences about what they are doing and excessive use of the #catsofinstagram hashtag.

As somebody – possibly the old dying guy in Spider-Man – once said, “With 140 characters comes great responsibility.” That responsibility involves not subjecting the Twitterverse to your lunch options. Or what your favourite moggie is doing every 39 seconds of the day, even if Fluffy happens to be writing a haiku on the wall while smoking a pipe.

2. What the hell do RT and MT mean?

Strictly speaking, RT stands for retweet, where you do nothing more than share someone else’s tweet with your followers. MT refers to a modified tweet, which involves shortening a tweet and adding your own witty or earth-shattering commentary before sending it back out into the Twitterverse.

For me, constant retweeting is the calling card of the sheeple. Or the sign of a labrador who is chewing on their owner’s iPhone. Sure, every Twitter user – including yours truly – retweets from time to time but if you stumble across a user who is all about the retweet, block them and retreat to Facebook to regain your composure.

While a modified tweet has the potential to combine personal opinion, news and information, many Twits well and truly miss the mark. Witnessing somebody adding “LOL” or “that’s so true” to a tweet makes me weep for humanity.

3. Why does that boring person have so many more followers than I do?

The simple answer to this question is the Sheeple Principle. What the hell is that, you ask? I’m not going to explain it again, so clicking here will bring you up to speed.

After an in-depth study* of Twitter, I’ve determined you should tweet prolifically about the subjects below if you are aiming to gather as many followers as Kim Kardashian has unsubtle endorsement deals.

1. Any band, musician or celebrity that makes a sane person cringe at just the mere mention of their name. Examples? Think One Direction, Justin Bieber or any flavour-of-the-month reality television star.
2. LOLcats.
3. Political retweets. For some reason, there are several Twits – who aren’t actually political journalists or commentators of note – who have accumulated thousands of followers because they apparently have the unique ability to press the retweet button. Just like 377,503,201 other Twitter users. Want to boost your numbers overnight? Just retweet everything @JuliaGillard and @BarackObama release into the Twitterverse.

* Author’s note: I looked at about seven random profiles. Hey, I was busy.

Yes, I’m kind of embarrassed about including a LOLcat animation. What the hell have I become? Source: lolcats.com

4. Is it okay to abbreviate words and essentially make up my own language in order to keep under the 140-character limit?

No, it is FKN not K 2 make wrds up & abbrv shit so U can make ur own version of War & Peace fit into 140 chrctrs. Poor form, a-hole.

Basically, if you can’t say it in 140 characters, find another way to say it. Better yet, if you are Alan Jones or Cory Barnardi, just don’t say it at all.

I lost followers for tweeting this, yet the Twit who shares a photo of their cat with its head in a jar will gain at least 407. Source: Twitter via @LyndonKeane.

5. How many hashtags I should use per tweet?

The only thing worse than being a Twitter whore is people calling you a hashtag whore. How you use hashtags speaks volumes about you as a Twit and you don’t want to get a reputation as someone who flashes their hashtags around for the world to see, especially after a few drinks.

Generally speaking, two hashtags per tweet is perfectly acceptable. 22 is neither acceptable nor healthy.

Now that your embarrassing questions have been answered, you have no legitimate excuse for making a fool of yourself on Twitter. That said, I have no doubt you will.

A simple, scientific look at #socialmedia and the rise of the sheeple

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This will be the shortest, most mind-numbingly boring post you will ever see on this blog but it doesn’t matter, because the point of it isn’t to entertain.

The point of it is to test a theory that social media is turning many of us into sheep who will like or follow something just because they are told to, or because “everybody else is doing it”.

As much as the part of me that loves Nineteen Eighty-Four, intellectual debate and music on vinyl doesn’t want to believe it’s true, the rational part of me has seen enough evidence to suggest sheeple are about to take over the world.

If we’ve progressed to the point as an electronic-based society where we do things just because we are told to, we really are screwed.

Here’s how we’re going to test my sheeple theory:

1. I’m going to provide the links to both The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page and my Twitter account below.
2. Then I’m going to tell you I’m fucking awesome and possibly the smartest – and funniest – human being on the planet, and that all the popular kids are following my musings.
3. At this stage, I’m going to tell you to follow me because, if you don’t, the universe will ostracise you as you disappear into a black hole of social media oblivion.
4. This is the point where the sheeple will pick up their smartphones or iPad and click the follow button simply because I said to, without giving a moment’s thought as to why they are doing so. It’s also the point where the anti-sheeples* will consider whether they want to follow a vodka-swilling lunatic or flee terrified from cyberspace.
5. Step five is where the anti-sheeples who decided to follow me will do so, even if it’s just to make them feel a little more normal about their own eccentricities. But, in order to prove my theory, I want the anti-sheeples to also leave a brief comment on this post as to why they followed me, so I can compare the number of new sheeple v anti-sheeple followers.

* Author’s note: If this isn’t real thing, it soon will be.

In all honesty, I’m expecting to gain more followers than I am comments, because it doesn’t take any time or independent thought to be a sheeple. If that turns out to be the cases, the anti-sheeples should kiss their loved ones goodbye and head directly to their Judgment Day shelters to wait out the reign of monosyllabic stupidity. If my calculations are correct, it should only last about 147 years.

If you have an aversion to 140-character bursts of communication and refuse to become a Twitter whore, you can always like The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page.

Either way, please don’t be a sheeple.

Written by disseminatedthought

September 26, 2012 at 12:19

Five things I’ve learnt about Twitter: Observations of a fully-functional Twit

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I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to Twitter.

Since begrudgingly signing up six months ago with the intention of only using it for intelligent, professional purposes, my tweets have descended into random thoughts and occasional nonsensical ramblings.  Damn it. I’ve become one of them.

At any rate, let me share with you five things I’ve learnt about the 140-character marvel of social networking.

Source: socialmediatoday.com

1. A hashtag can never be too long  

Let’s face it. Hashtags are cool. They are the 21st century equivalent of a one-liner and there’s no message or thought they can’t convey effectively. However, unlike the one-liner, which is renowned for being easy to comprehend, the hashtag has developed into a beast of unfathomable proportions. Apparently, it’s okay to use a 122-character hashtag that takes people 17 minutes to decipher.

Got a question about accommodation at a New York hotel? Use a #howmuchisyourdeluxesuitefortwonightsincludingbreakfast hashtag.

Planning a big night out and want your followers to know about it? Whip out #iamgoingtogethammeredtonightanditsgoingtobefreakinepic and set the tone for 13 hours of drunken tweeting from the depths of clubbing hell.

Would it be inappropriate to create a #fivethingsivelearntabouttwitterthatidliketosharewithyoutoday hashtag when I post the link to this article on Twitter?

2. Sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough

Okay, I’m going to say this slowly. The whole purpose of Twitter is to send short, succinct messages no longer than 140 characters in length.

If you need to include any reference that your tweet is the first in a series that make up a full message you are doing it wrong.

140 characters maximum. Got it? Source: Twitter via @LyndonKeane.

3. Twitter can make you feel like one of the popular people 

One of the big attractions of Twitter is that you can follow celebrities, sporting stars and people a hell of a lot more interesting than you are.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of Twitter is that you can follow celebrities, sporting stars and people a hell of a lot more interesting that you are, and users go nuts replying to these people in the hope that Johnny Depp will respond to their message or Lady Gaga will give them a retweet to her 25 million followers.

I know it happens because I’ve been guilty of doing it myself. Ricky Gervais didn’t retweet something I found witty and Seth MacFarlane broke my heart when he didn’t find my concept for a new animated series amusing.

I thought this was amusing. Seth MacFarlane didn’t. That bastard better not steal my idea. Source: Twitter via @LyndonKeane.

4. People will tweet about anything

People, Twitter isn’t Facebook. Tweets are meant to be – as far as I’m concerned, at least – informative or entertaining. Telling the social networking universe you are late for your bus or eating an apple is neither informative nor entertaining.

Contemplating unleashing a tweet about how blue the sky is today? Please cancel your Twitter account. Right now.

Not happy with your latte? Go and get another one instead of tweeting about it. Source: globalberdy.com

5. Inane sentences to no one in particular are the norm

Twitter had provided a virtual worldwide audience to users. Unfortunately, a disproportionate number of the aforementioned users have decided that means they can tweet boring, obvious sentences to no one in particular.

The referees don’t agree with you. Source: Twitter via @BuzzRothfield.

If these people’s 140-character revelations were amusing it would be a different story, but they aren’t. They’re dull and generic. Actually, they kind of make me wish I’d never started using Twitter in the first place.

To the person who tweeted Did you see that? #wow: Who the hell were to talking to and what was the Twitterverse meant to notice? If you were referring to your nonsensical tweet, I saw it. We all did and are now stupider because of it.

The odds of the person who this is directed at actually reading it are $1081. Source: Twitter via @bazarazzi.

Now that I’ve enlightened you about my Twitducation and bagged the hell out of Twitter, I’m going to whore myself out to the masses and suggest you all follow me at @LyndonKeane. If you prefer the Facebook touch, The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page can be found here.

Why your privacy will be replaced with t-shirts and belt buckles

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It’s about time I pulled my finger out and wrote another guest piece for Magnificent Nose. This post looks at privacy, and how we aren’t helping ourselves by sharing every aspect of our lives publicly, either via social networking or by failing to adjust our volume knobs when we’re out and about.

"So, it's definitely herpes? Can you speak up? Yes, I'm on the bus right now." Source of original photograph: sohaveyouevernoticed.blogspot.com

Here’s a snippet from Magnificent Nose:

Social networking has conditioned us to share absolutely everything about our lives; it’s as if we’ve adopted a policy of “if it’s happening, it’s worth announcing”. We’re so absorbed in our own self-importance that it doesn’t occur to us the people at the adjacent table have no interest in being subjected to a vivid description of our rash and the doctor’s prognosis. We don’t seem to care when there is a privacy breach because of our own lax stupidity, but if someone found out about our rash because of loose lips at the medical centre, we’d be livid. Isn’t that just the slightest bit hypocritical?

To continue reading “There’s nothing private about full disclosure couture”, you should point your cursor here and click the left mouse button.

See, the t-shirt idea works. Now you can cross diseases off the list of things that may be wrong with him. Source: vegasarrowstore.com

Since “There’s nothing private about full disclosure couture” is a thinly-veiled jab at social networking, it would be remiss of me not to use it as a hypocritical segue to plug The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page. Magnificent Nose also has a holiday house in Zuckerbergland, and you can find it by clicking right here.

Injecting humanity back into social networking, one keystroke at a time

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I’m writing the draft of this piece on a typewriter.  I’m enamoured by the way each keystroke caresses the A4 with romanticised authority, leaving its meaningful inked kiss on the cheek of the paper.  The battered machine also represents my protest against becoming a greeting card.  Against the dehumanising effect social networking has had on the way we communicate.

Back living with my parents in order to graduate within a ludicrous timeframe, I’m 1,800 kilometres from my main circle of friends and reliant on social networking to keep in touch.

Ironically, I realised this morning I’ve become robotised by the very thing I depend on to maintain my links with humanity.

The revelation came after sending a birthday message on Facebook.  Upon rereading what I’d written, I realised it was as clichéd and predictable as a Hallmark card.  When had my greetings become devoid of all originality?

The answer was simple: since embracing the social media phenomenon.

When I write my blog, I wear my professional hat.  My words have meaning and a defined purpose: to entertain and engage.  Unfortunately, my personal writing has fallen victim of the instant nature of the social networking message, more often than not constructed without deliberate thought or consciousness of its meaning.

The situation is ridiculous.  Messages to my friends should be intimate and heartfelt.  Thoughtful.  They deserve the same level of consideration and planning that goes into even my most hastily written blog piece; why aren’t they getting it?

In my blog, the carefully crafted words cause the reader to feel something, good or bad.  My words compel them to react.  It doesn’t matter whether they comment, subscribe or send an email; the point is, my words have meaning and incite a reaction.

With my personal writing, the responses I receive are as disingenuous as the greetings I send.  “Have a fantastic birthday!” is usually met with “Thanks, I’m having a great day.”  The words are there, but they’re meaningless and bereft of feeling.  It’s as if we’re communicating purely to adhere to social convention, not because we actually want to speak to one another.

We need to be cognisant of the fact our fascination with social networking has caused a regression in the way we correspond.  As someone who takes great pride in their ability to communicate effectively and with feeling, the impact it has had in such a short period of time bothers me.  It needs to change.  The quality of our personal communication needs to return to its pre-Facebook and Twitter level.  If it doesn’t, we’ll eventually become nothing more than numbed, fleshy greeting cards that fire off generic messages because we feel we have to.

In acknowledging my descent into communicative banality, I’m also attempting to redirect it.  I’m now making a concerted effort to ensure thought is put into every keystroke.  Each word that appears on my screen needs genuine meaning.  I urge you to do likewise.

Before you send your next tweet or message, ask yourself: “What would I say if this person was in front of me?”  If you answer honestly, it often won’t reflect what you’ve typed.

It’s not too late to rehumanise how we communicate.

Source: macfilos.com

Written by disseminatedthought

February 12, 2012 at 10:32

I’m officially a Twit (or is that a Twat?): blogging from the BlackBerry

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It’s finally happened. After years of avoiding the seemingly inevitable and pretending that I’m better than everyone else, I’ve become everything I’ve frequently professed to despise: a Twitter user.

As I signed up, I kept reassuring myself that I was only doing so to aid my journalism studies: budding journalists can’t not have a Twitter account, can they? My plan was to follow journalists, interesting celebrities (sorry, Kim Kardashian, you didn’t make the cut) and news sources. I had the genuine intention of remaining dignified and professional, but that aim had gone to shit by my third tweet, when I may or may not have mentioned gang bangs.

Okay, I didn’t actually mention gang bangs, I just used a #gangbang hashtag in response to a tweet by Heather at The B(itch)Log. Does that make it her fault?

Regardless of who’s to blame (Heather), it got me thinking about other useful – and offensive – hashtags that we could incorporate into everyday use, if for no other reason than to antagonise individuals who piss us off.

#thatlightisturningred – This one would have been handy for the taxi driver who drove me to the airport. For some reason, he thought that texting was a much better option than watching the road. He seemed to get offended when I suggested that we pro rata his fare, based on how often he actually looked out of the windscreen.

#putaleashonthatkid – As I write this, a kid is bouncing all over the seats in the departure lounge, much to the amusement of its parents. There will shortly be a need to use a #3reasonswhyithrewalatteatyourmunchkin hashtag.

#youarefuckingwelcome – I could have used this about 6,824 times during my time at the airport. Seriously people, are manners that foreign a concept to you?

#iknowthatwasyou – To the guy who farted while in line for coffee, and then proceeded to look around in disgust: we all know who it was. You should also see a medical professional about that smell.

#dutyfreerulessuck – What do you mean I can’t get cheap vodka if I’m only flying domestically?

If you want to follow me on Twitter, try
clicking here to be taken to my profile. If that doesn’t work, caress your mouse button on the link below.

Do you have any angry hashtags you’d like to see used?

That's right, it's a #gangbang hashtag. My mother would be so proud.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry on my BlackBerry Bold 9700

Facebook friends and the end: will our obsession with social media make face-to-face contact a memory?

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Today’s post is another guest piece on Magnificent Nose, this time about a Facebook application that allows you to update your status after you have become earthworm food.

Source: technmarketing.com

It’s simple: I tempt you with a few lines that make absolutely no sense, and then you click here to zip across (is that the technological term?) to Magnificent Nose to read the full article.

The tagline on the “If I die” application’s website asks, “What happens to your Facebook profile if you die?” I always assumed that when I died, I’d be too busy being dead to consider what the world was doing without my status updates. While still in the land of the living, wouldn’t the time invested in planning our final broadcast be better spent rekindling relationships that have lapsed because of our fixation on maintaining hundreds of virtual friendships?

If you were disobedient and didn’t click on the above link like you were told to, try this one to read “The Final Check-In”.

While we are on the subject of social networking, remember to check out The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page. For every person that likes it, a unicycle-riding circus bear will be sent a cheque for $2* and a bag of Doritos.

* Author’s note: cheques will not be honoured. What the hell do bears need money for?

Upon escaping from the circus, Yogi pedalled like fuck and headed for the hills. Source: iphonetoolbox.com