A blog about security, privacy, algorithms, and email in the enterprise. 

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11 Mystifying and Irritating Twitter Habits

I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Like, at least two hours a day, give or take.  To quote myriad social media experts: It’s so great for networking! Great, but also: head-bang-inducing.  Because, in Twitter as on Facebook as in life, there are seven shameless narcissists for every insightful/witty/delightful person.

Way harsh, Ty, you say. You’re right—they’re not all shameless narcissists: some of them are just clueless. (zing!) Some of this cluelessness is fairly straightforward: the publishing of debit card photos,  the rants about employers, the “In Tahiti for the next month—hope I remembered to lock the door” updates. But some of it is utterly perplexing. Below, 8 habits I don’t understand, and three that I do, but find highly off-putting.

  1. Symbols in bios. I know 160 characters ain’t much, but what exactly is that spade supposed to signify?
  2. Hashtags in bios. Especially generic hashtags, like “ #running.” These words show up in search results regardless—no need to pound ‘em!
  3. Accolade-only bios. Next.
  4. Bios that are just vaguely aspirational/inspirational aphorisms. Why yes, I too am reaching for the stars whilst keeping my sneaks on the pavement. We should be besties!
  5. Bios that contain any of the following: “visionary,” “guru,” “pro,” “ninja,” “innovator,” “all-around good guy,” “Christ-lover,” “devoted father/mother/husband”
  6. Insanely high following counts. You can’t possibly read, let alone respond to, 40,000 tweet streams.
  7. Tweets that start with “This,” followed by a link. This what?
  8. Hashtags that are just long, boring sentences #imboredandhungrycanigonow
  9. People who retweet tweets that mention them.
  10.  People who use TrueTwit
  11.  People who reward your reduced follower:following count with an automated DM asking you to “like” them on Facebook. No, but I will unfollow you!

Disagree with any/many of the above? Get @ me or let me know in the comments!



Litmapped, Week of June 22, 2012: The Paralysis of Choice

If you wanted to slap a theme on this week’s Litmapped, I’d say it’s methods of dealing with perceived limitlessness. There’s retreat (nostalgia and preservation), embrace (a whole new system of web navigation), and tempered evaluation (You don’t know how she does it? She doesn’t).

Nick Martin, Software Engineer (@n_w_martin)

  • Read: Why Go Out?
  • Source: Brick Magazine
  • Pull quote: “Maybe we go out in order to fall short . . . because we want to learn how to be good at being people . . . and moreover, because we want to be people.”

Sean Kermes, Software Engineer

  • Read: The Information, by James Gleick
  • Pull quote: “Every new medium transforms the nature of human thought. In the long run, history is the story of information becoming aware of itself.”

Christina Nguyen, UX Engineer (@chrnguyen)

  • Read: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All
  • Source: The Atlantic
  • Pull quote: “I still strongly believe that women can ‘have it all’ (and that men can too). I believe that we can ‘have it all at the same time.’ But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured.” 

Claire Willett, Marketing and Development Manager (@clairedwillett)

  • Read: Homepagesickness
  • Source: Parsley blog
  • Pull quote: “A set of values visibly inflects web nostalgia: an anti-corporate and open source ethos, geekdom, nerdcore, and Luddism—a sense that imperfections in older web technologies disclosed the necessity of a human presence in the machine.”

Jim Stallings, Systems Administrator (@james_stallings)

  • Listened to: FLOSS Weekly, Ep 214: LibreOffice
  • Source: FLOSS Weekly
  • Pull quote: “We want to get people into a world of open software, of course, and open document formats.”

David Wihl, CEO (@davidwihl)

  • Read/Explored: Endangered Languages
  • Source:
  • Pull quote: “The disappearance of a language means the loss of valuable scientific and cultural information, comparable to the loss of a species.”

Paula Marciante, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager (@paulamarciante)