An ancient virus has come back to life after lying dormant for at least 30,000 years, scientists...
We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the emptiness of the center hole that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
User engagement down, as people defect to messaging apps. Is there some reason that Twitter hasn’t made its direct messaging function into a messaging app? And please add group messaging, too. Why is Twitter so slow at innovating?
MIT News (02/26/14) Peter Dizikes
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Senseable City Lab recently conducted a study showing that social media messages grow shorter as the volume of activity rises. “This helps us better understand what is going on—the way we respond to things becomes faster and more impulsive,” says MIT professor Carlo Ratti. For example, at times of lower activity, the most popular length of tweets ranges from about 70 to 120 characters. However, at moments of greater traffic, the highest concentration of tweets is only about 25 characters in length. “If you plot the rate of the messages versus the length, then you can find a mathematical relation between these two things during [major] events,” says MIT’s Michael Szell. The researchers focused on data from several social media sources at a variety of points in time. University of Namur mathematician Renaud Lambiotte says this is “an interesting piece of research” that may lead to fruitful follow-up work, “in particular for the modeling of the relation between behavioral response and emotional stimuli.” The study also found an “index of frustration” among some social media users, particularly during major events when a small portion of users run up against Twitter’s 140-character limit.
UMD Newsdesk (02/21/14) Tom Ventsias; Lee Tune
University of Maryland professor Ben Shneiderman, working with researchers from the Pew Research Internet Project, the Social Media Research Foundation, and the University of Georgia, has found that most of the information being discussed on Twitter falls into six distinct patterns or networks. Their study analyzed tens of thousands of Twitter conversations over the past four years and developed a “topographical map” of these patterns based on the topic being discussed, the information and influencers driving the conversation, and the social network structures of the participants. The six network patterns the researchers found are polarized crowds, tight crowds, brand clusters, community clusters, broadcast networks, and support networks. “What we’ve done is to provide a visual map of the Twitterverse that will ultimately help others to better interpret the trends, topics, and implications of these new communication technologies,” Shneiderman says. The researchers used NodeXL, an open source program, to interpret the data. NodeXL enables researchers to examine the combination of tweets, retweets, and the social networks Twitter users. “It could eventually have a large impact on our understanding of everything from health to community safety, from business innovation to citizen science, and from civic engagement to sustainable energy programs,” Shneiderman says.
Vindu Goel, Twitter’s Stock Crashes Back to Reality
Time for a dramatic rethinking of the Twitter user experience.
The third point, expanded:
Imagine in an offspring of Twitter I could tag people with topics. Like ‘tag @billburnet #startup #tech #socialCRM’. Then, I could select different streams in my total stream by using tag algebra, like ‘stream #tech OR #science’ which would show me posts from people I have tagged #tech or #science, even when their posts aren’t tagged explicitly.
Even better, expanding on 2 above, Twitter could proactively create defined and curated streams — like Tumblr has — for topics like Tech, Photography, Olympic Skating, or The New Aesthetic. I could add those to my stream without having to follow the specific people involved, or simply go to www.twitter.com/streams/tech. These would obviously be a huge advertising opportunity, since real estate there — like a prominent IBM ad on the Tech stream and occasional sponsored tweets in it — could be worth a fortune.
Get with it, Costello.
Magic Pics sent this today. It made sense, for the first time.
Twitter is working on a new feature that would allow users to edit tweets once they are published, three sources close to the project have confirmed to The Desk.
Those sources, who asked to be identified only as Twitter employees, say the feature has been a top priority at the company for months as Twitter pushes to expand partnerships among media organizations and original content producers.
According to sources and documents reviewed by The Desk, the new Twitter feature would look something like this:
Once a user publishes a tweet, an “edit” feature will be present for a limited amount of time (Twitter is still currently working out the length of time the feature would be available). The feature would allow a user to make “slight changes” to the contents of a tweet, such a removing a word, correcting a typo or adding one or two additional words.
An edit could only be performed once per tweet. Once the edit is made, it would be immediately visible on that user’s Twitter feed. The edit would also show up on the feed of anyone who re-published the tweet using Twitter’s built-in “re-tweet” feature.
Twitter wants to enable users to immediately debunk incorrect information, especially erroneous tweets that go viral. However, Twitter wants users to be able to edit a tweet without changing the overall purpose — in other words, Twitter doesn’t want a user to post a news story, accumulate a large amount of re-tweets, and then change the tweet to display a promotion or advertisement.
To solve this problem, Twitter is looking at a few things, including limitations on how many characters or words a user would be allowed to insert or delete. According to sources, Twitter is also developing an “editorial algorithm” that, if it works correctly, would be able to “detect” whether or not a user is attempting to change the overall intention of the tweet instead of fixing a minor mistake or retracting an erroneous report.
Sources say Twitter’s editorial algorithm, still being developed, is projected to be finished in a matter of “weeks, or months at the most.”
Thank all the little gods, editable tweets — of a sort — are coming.
Got this today:
Twitter is trying to bull its way into the hot chat space and one obvious step is making direct messaging more of a front and center activity. Today — for the first time — I saw that the new ‘envelope/talk balloon’ icon for direct messages was on my Twitter toolbar, in the upper right near the settings sprocket:
Otherwise, the functionality hasn’t changed much.
I am betting that private group chat will be coming very soon, and it won’t be based on hashtags, but on ‘soft invitation’ via mentions by the initiator of the chat.
Salvador Rodriguez, Half of Twitter’s board members rarely tweet
Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Dick Costello have tweeed 14,278, 7,178 and 7,122 times respectively.
Kara Swisher comments on Marjorie Scardino joining Twitter’s board, but notes that there’s still a huge underrepresentation of women in tech at all levels, and especially in leadership roles.
The tech industry — and, more specifically, Silicon Valley — continues to stumble forward in earnest about how few women are represented in its top ranks of management and on its boards. This, despite the enthusiastic embrace of tech products by many women.
This is not a new problem, of course, but one that rears its head periodically as it becomes clear that the ground gained by women in this perhaps most important sector of the economy — a sector more amenable than most to more tolerance and diversity, too — is being lost rather than gained.
Any gander at the variety of studies, and even a not-very-scientific look at the subject, will show that fewer women are starting companies, are being promoted at companies, are funded, are funders, are on boards, are being rewarded in the same way. At a high-profile party I attended last night, for example, the small handful of women in attendance all seemed to notice and comment on the massive sea of men, though the men appeared blissfully unaware of the imbalance.
“They have no idea at all,” one prominent woman said to me, recounting a story about her visit to an advisory meeting of a tech bank board, where she was the single woman in a room full of men. When she brought it up there — not an easy thing for her, since she was the only woman — she was met with a lot of genuine concern when the penny dropped, but few ideas for action.
• Moreover, given her [Sheryl Sandberg’s] positions first at Google and now at Facebook, it is hard not to notice that her narrative is what corporate America wants to hear. - Anne-Marie Slaughter •
The individualistic, libertarian-leaning Silicon Valley types have absorbed the credo that tech is a pure meritocracy, and if there is an imbalance in the number of women in the industry it is a flaw in society as a whole, education, or women’s ambitions. To some extent that is the message of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which characterizes the barriers to women’s advancement to senior roles as their unwillingness to ‘lean in’ — to be more ambitious, aggressive, and to take on more difficult work.
As Anne-Marie Slaughter put it in a review of Lean In,
Sandberg’s approach, as important as it is, is at best half a loaf. Moreover, given her positions first at Google and now at Facebook, it is hard not to notice that her narrative is what corporate America wants to hear. For both the women who have made it and the men who work with them, it is cheaper and more comfortable to believe that what they need to do is simply urge younger women to be more like them, to think differently and negotiate more effectively, rather than make major changes in the way their companies work.
So is the dearth of women in top jobs due to a lack of ambition or a lack of support? Both, as Sandberg herself grants, proposing that women should “wage battles on both fronts.” Yet she chooses to concentrate only on the “internal obstacles,” the ways in which women hold themselves back. This is unfortunate. As a feminist and a corporate leader, Sandberg seems ideally placed to ask the question that all too often gets lost amid the welter of talk about what women should do, what they should want and how they should behave. When it comes to ensuring that caregivers still have paths to the corner office, how can business lean in?