The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Posts Tagged ‘technology

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

with 7 comments

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.

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

with 34 comments

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?

with 19 comments

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

It’s getting dark in here: The Dissemination of Thought and the SOPA/PIPA blackout

with 14 comments

The Dissemination of Thought will be participating in a blackout on 18 January to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R.3261) and the Protect IP Act (S.968).

From 12:00am until 11:59pm tomorrow, this blog will be blacked out with the “Stop SOPA” message displayed. Lamentably, readers won’t be able to access any TDoT content during this period.

To check out what all the SOPA/PIPA kerfuffle (that’s right, I said kerfuffle) is about, click here.

As always, I appreciate your feedback, positive or negative, so please feel free to comment below. If you’d rather send me a vehement, expletive-filled email, clicking on this bit here will allow you to do so.

See you all again on 19 January.

Author’s note: thank you to Neil Fein at Magnificent Nose for providing a step-by-step guide to setting your blog up for the blackout. Check out Neil’s piece here.

TDoT is going to look something like this on 18 January.

‬Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry on my BlackBerry Bold 9700

I tweet, therefore I am…as boring as hell: lobotomising the world, one update at a time

with 25 comments

Even as I write this, I’m accosted by another ridiculously pointless, whiny status update from one of my Facebook friends. Fuck me. “[Name removed to protect their stupidity] is tired after a long day.” Really? Thanks for sharing that nugget of genius, but I’m now dumber for knowing you.

Does this really warrant a status update? Source: toast.anu.edu.au

Why does everyone, especially since social networking became idiot-proof, assume that the world wants to know what they’re doing 24 hours a day? Just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.

Source: blog.virginaustralia.com

I’ve written another article on Magnificent Nose entitled “Facebook and Twitter don’t care that you’re boring, but your status updates have the rest of us snoring: a Tahitian lime epiphany”, that examines the phenomenon of individuals who feel compelled to share every boring, mind-numbing detail about their feelings and dietary habits with the social networking universe.

Partly because of the instant audience that social networking platforms provide, we have become a society that is under the delusion that the world deserves–and apparently, wants–to know every detail about our lives. People seem to think that they are more exciting than they actually are, and the result is that they are sharing every boring, painfully nauseating facet of their monochromatically dull lives.

Here’s the sad reality: You are boring.

I came in pretty late on the whole Facebook tidal wave, somewhere around 2009, but at that stage people only posted interesting stuff. A quote. A song. Something amusing that had happened to them during the day. Jump forward 3 years, and with the advent of Twitter and the myriad of other social media platforms, every man and their dog (literally: pets have Facebook profiles now) thinks that they have a licence to post drivel. Boring drivel. Don’t believe me? It’s reached a point where we can categorise the inane rants into four specific types.

You know how it works. I tease you a little bit here, don’t give you my real phone number, and then force you to jump across to Magnificent Nose to read the full piece and achieve blogging fulfilment. Don’t pretend you didn’t know I was an asshole before you began following me.

“Whingy McBoring is angry at the weather.” Didn’t you get the memo? Clouds don’t have Wi-Fi. Source: lonelyplanet.com

If you missed the obvious link above, you can continue reading “Facebook and Twitter don’t care that you’re boring, but your status updates have the rest of us snoring: a Tahitian lime epiphany” here. Enjoy.

Author’s note: remember to check out (and like) The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page. Come on, the more the merrier. I guarantee there won’t be any updates about me boiling an egg, nor will there be any vehement rants aimed at microwaves, toothbrushes or any other inanimate objects.

Source: t3.com.au

4 more (painful) trends in Facebook friends

with 36 comments

My balcony is a great place to ponder the universe, especially when the thought process is aided by a Cohiba Robusto and a fantastic Scotch. If nothing else, smoking a $50 cigar and sipping 21-year-old single malt while trying to determine whether Turkish bread, tomatoes and Vegemite constitute a meal provides a unique perspective about how bipolar and ridiculous life can be at times.

This is the point at which the pondering stopped...

As I sat there, watching the river and thumbing aimlessly through pointless and predictably boring Facebook status updates on my BlackBerry, it occurred to me that it may be time to examine a few types of Facebook friends that weren’t covered in my original diatribe. Yes, it’s ground we have previously walked across, but people need to be able to identify these individuals to ensure their own safety, as well as that of their loved ones. Think of this as an angry, nonsensical public service announcement.

1. The Whinger

As the name suggests, this Facebook friend finds a problem with everything, and usually isn’t sure how they can go on living. If they aren’t sad about being alone, they’ll be complaining about their job or vociferating about how pitiful their life is.

While monitoring this friend’s status updates will push you to the brink of insanity, it will also make you feel pretty damned good about your own state of affairs. My advice? Unfriend them, unless of course they are related to you, in which case you are fucked.

About to read a status update from The Whinger? You're going to need these. Source: mdsdrugdetox.com

2. The Update About Everything-er

Everyone has at least one of these amongst their legion of Facebook friends. They see no problem with updating their status 117 times in the space of 24 hours, in order to keep you up to speed with what they’re doing at every moment of the day. There will be the update that they are having slightly burnt toast for breakfast, followed 30 minutes later by a notification that they have had a successful bowel movement to start the day. They will provide at least two updates on their way to work, one of which will focus on the odd, smelly gentlemen sitting across from them on the bus. Upon arriving at the office, they will regale the world with tales of their first caffeine hit of the day.

Don’t laugh, The Update About Everything-er is probably posting this right now. Source: thecowshow.com

If you are incredibly unlucky, one of your Facebook friends may evolve into a mix of The Whinger and The Update About Everything-er, a mythical hybrid of evil, the only escape from which involves enlisting in the French Foreign Legion.

3. The Lover

There is nothing romantic about this Facebook friend: they love everything, and they’re not afraid to scream it from the rooftops of social networking. They love ice cream. They love sunshine. Confusingly, they also “heart” rainy days. They are wildly enamoured with documentary they just watched, and they want the world to know it.

Unfortunately, The Lover has a penchant for referring to themselves in the third person, and they can easily be identified by consecutive status updates that say: “[insert name] loves [insert random loveable thing]”. Scientists are not sure why this creature feels compelled to use third-person narrative, but they all agree that it’s as annoying as hell.

4. The Jukebox

This friend makes it their duty to tell everyone what they should be listening to by uploading the YouTube links to 38 songs each day. There’s always a theme, depending on their mood; sometimes you will be subjected to Foo Fighters Friday, while Saturday mornings will undoubtedly see them offering you a selection of their favourite drinking songs from 1987-1995. In the event of them parting ways with their significant other, prepare yourself for a Bonnie Tyler, Mariah Carey and country music onslaught.

Source: wp7connect.com

Author’s note: remember The Dissemination of thought Facebook page. It’s lonely there without you.

4 trends in Facebook friends

with 10 comments

Facebook seems to be the flavour of the month for bloggers, so I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and look at four types of Facebook friends that we all have. Yes, I know the Facebook-themed post has been done to death, but it’s Sunday morning and I’m having reheated curry and a beer for breakfast – this is as original as it’s going to get today.

I really want to like this. Source: senseslost.com

1. The Liker

The most instantly recognisable of all the Facebook friends, this individual will like every status update, picture or link that you post. You could casually mention that you have a taste for murdering 19th century London prostitutes, or you could upload a picture of you banging their significant other. It doesn’t matter. The will like it. Don’t believe me? Go to Facebook now and update your status with “This is a status update”. They liked it, didn’t they? I told you so.

2. The “Dear John”-er

This is the Facebook friend that addresses their status updates to inanimate objects. Food. Shoes. Days of the week. You know the type I’m talking about:

“Dear sushi, you were awesome. Let’s do it again soon.”
“Dear new Prada handbag, you complete me. You were such a bargain.”
“Dear weekend, I can’t wait to see you!”

Really “Dear-John”-er, why don’t you and Friday get a freakin’ room?

3. The Check In-er

The Check In-er is identified by their predilection to letting the world know where they are at every moment of the day or night. This friend will check in everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Sure, I’d be interested if you had arrived on the moon or were jamming with Keith Richards at a strip club, but I don’t care that you are waiting for the doctor to give you the test results. Or at the pharmacy because of what the doctor told you.

4. The Page Liker

Not to be confused with The Liker, this friend spends all day liking random pages such as “I hate you toothpaste that I can’t get out of the tube”, “Picking up chicks from Woolworths, cause you like them fresh” and “I heart free stuff”. A casual inspection of their profile will reveal that these three pages join the other 528 they have already liked.

As a general rule, if The Page Liker hasn’t liked at least 9 new pages in any 24-hour period, you should assume that they are dead or being held against their will without internet access. Either way, you should notify the appropriate authorities.

To any of my Facebook friends reading this and wondering whether I’m referring to you: if you have to ask, I probably am. Thank you for providing the material for this post.

Author’s note/shameless plug: if you haven’t done so already, check out The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page. It’s like here, except Mark Zuckerberg will profit from it.

If only this was an option. Source: themetapicture.com

Written by disseminatedthought

December 11, 2011 at 09:46