Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Twitter as the new chain letter

July 13, 2011

I just got the following retweet:

Help @SesameWorkshop raise money to promote #HealthyKids! For every RT of this message, @SamsClub will donate $5! Thanks for your support!

Let’s assume that this is real (it seems plausible, anyway, given what I can find online).  And granted, it looks like a good cause, and very well-intentioned.

But would anybody care to place any bets on when this chain-tweet will ever end?  Newer social media, with one-click access to resharing, does look likely to make chain letter memes even more dangerous and ever-spreading than they have been historically.

Although it does seem like an interesting challenge.  What would be the perfect chain-tweet?  It would need to tug at heartstrings, look deeply plausible, have no obvious end goal or date, and still fit into 140 characters.  The above is quite good: can folks do better?

Google is paying attention to the complaints

February 14, 2010

A quick update to my post the other day: Google posted yesterday that they have made a lot of changes in the past few days. At a quick glance, they appear to have addressed most of the complaints I’ve been hearing: no more auto-following, no more auto-linking to Picasa, an easy one-click “Get rid of Buzz” option.

I’m actually pretty impressed at the quick turnaround: most companies would be caught flat-footed for weeks by this mess, so dealing with it in just a few days while the crisis is still erupting is well-done. (It’s the sort of thing I expect from small startups, but not from large firms.)

We’ll see how much damage is already done, but they at least seem to be making a sincere attempt to grapple with the problems…

ETA: I may have spoken a bit too quickly.  Reading the Google post more carefully, it appears that they are working on the quick option to get rid of Buzz, but haven’t rolled it out yet.  (Thanks to Anna, who pointed out that it hasn’t yet shown up in Settings.)

Catching the Wave: the Nuts and Bolts

November 30, 2009

Okay, most of you probably don’t care so much about the open-source project. You want to know what this tool looks like, and how to use it. Here are the rough basics of the initial Google Wave client, for those who haven’t seen it yet.

This picture shows the typical layout of the Google Wave client:

A typical view of the current Google Wave client

A typical view of the current Google Wave client

There are four major pieces —

  • On the top left is the Navigation pane. This includes your Inbox — the list of waves that you’re involved with — as well as less-used groupings like your Trash, Spam and so on. It also has separate lists for saved Searches — lists of waves based on particular criteria like tags — and Folders. (Yes, Google has knuckled under and included Folders, which they’ve never done for Gmail. I believe this has to do with the way Tags work in Wave, which doesn’t let you use them quite the way you do in Gmail.)
  • The bottom left is your Contacts: the people you know in Wave. This can get a little subtle, but in general it works like you expect a contact list to work. It is integrated with your Gmail Contacts, but includes both “My Contacts” (the people you’ve expressly put on the list) and “All Contacts” (a wider group of people you’ve talked to), so it may appear larger than you expect.
  • The middle pane is a list of waves, and intentionally looks a lot like a normal email inbox. By default, this lists the conversations in your Inbox — the Inbox consists mainly of waves that you were invited into, or started, or include a group that you are in, plus other waves that you have read. But if you select another search or folder, it will show that instead of your Inbox. (This picture shows my waves with the tag “ArtOfConv”.)
  • Finally, the right-hand pane shows the currently-selected wave, in reading mode. You can switch over to editing mode instead; this looks almost the same, but replaces the toolbar (which currently shows buttons like “Reply” and “Playback”) with editing controls instead.

Those are the basics, as you will see them out of the box. There are some more bits and pieces that will show up sometimes — for example, pings show up in a “minimized” form along the top, or you can open multiple waves at once — but most of the time, you’ll probably be seeing it more or less like this.

Next: Sprechen sie Jargon; or, what do all these words mean?