Twitter's IPO prospectus provided a handy basis for measuring the value that each Twitter user has contributed to the company's valuation. Now Time has produced a handy calculator that tells you how much Twitter "owes" you based on the value you created for it (importantly, this calculator does not tell you how much you owe Twitter for the value it created for you). It's crack-like fun. (via Sean Bonner)
So far, so good for TWTR on the New York Stock Exchange! It priced its initial public offering at $26, and shares were changing hands at $46.71 shortly after 11 a.m. Assuming it holds, that values the company at $30bn or so.
[USA TODAY] — Rob
The WaterstonesOxfordSt Twitter account is staffed by someone pretty darned funny, as evidenced by The Call of Cthulhu, a series of tweets describing what happened when a patron read aloud from the Necronomicon and unleashed an Elder God.
The Call of Cthulhu
Attendees at New York Comic-Con were required to register their new, RFID-bugged badges online, in a process that encouraged them to link them to their Twitter accounts. Little did they suspect that NYCC would use their signups to send tweets from attendees' Twitter accounts, in a loose, conversational style ("So much pop culture to digest! Can't. handle. the. awesome."), linking back to NYCC's website, without any indication that they were spam. I'm reasonably certain that the fine-print on the NYCC signup gave them permission to do this stupid thing, and I'm also certain that almost no one read the fine-print, and that rather a large number of attendees objected strenuously to having their Twitter accounts used to shill for a service that they were already paying a large sum to enjoy.
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Teddy Wayne reports on a "postmodern art form"—the 160-character space that Twitter allow for biographies.
The standard bio is a staccato string of statuses and interests separated by commas or periods ... Beyond such clichés, the potential hazards of bios are well known to any social-media user: humble brags (“For some reason they put me in the movies”), unchecked self-promotion (“See my new movie, out this Christmas”) and the blandly literal (“I am a professional actor in a motion picture feature scheduled for wide release Dec. 25”).
After the jump, our Twitter bios for your psychoanalytical pleasure. (Whatever you do, don't follow me on twitter!)
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Jeremy Bornstein proposes a party game/Prisoners' Dilemma variant called "I Eat Poo," in which the players pass their phones to their left and invite the player there to type (but not send) an embarrassing message into their own Twitter account. Phones are handed back and each player gets to decide whether to allow the message to be posted, or to forfeit $20 to the message-writer; the phones are handed back to the message-writer, and the hand-over may also include a covert $20 payoff. The climax comes when the final accounting is made: if everyone has paid $20, or no one has paid $20, then nothing happens (the messages aren't posted). Otherwise, the paid-up don't get posted, the unpaid do, and the pot is split among the message-writers.
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On the night of August 20, 1863, proslavery guerrillas from Missouri set off to attack the antislavery stronghold of Lawrence, Kansas, burning it to the ground and killing at least 150 people. There's an organized reenactment happening on Twitter tonight and tomorrow, under the hashtag #qr1863. It features Twitter accounts for Lawrence townspeople of the time, as well as Union soldiers, and proslavery leader William Quantrill — all tweeting their perspective of the raid using real historical sources.
The hashtag is just getting started up now. The real action will kick in tomorrow, on the anniversary of the attack. Fascinating use of tech to draw attention to an oft-overlooked part of history!
EDIT: Reader slowglowing posted a link in the comments that allows you to see just the historical reenactment tweets, with none of the modern people getting in the way.
A pair of researchers -- one a grad student working at Twitter -- bought $5,000 worth of fake Twitter accounts (with Twitter's blessing) and developed a template for identifying spam Twitter accounts. The spammers were using cheap overseas labor to solve Twitter's CAPTCHAs, registering the new accounts with automatically created email boxes from Hotmail and Mail.ru, and spreading the registrations out across a range of IP addresses, courtesy of massive botnets of infected computers. Twitter nuked zillions of spam accounts and prevented new ones from signing up -- for a while. Quickly, the spammers adapted their tactics and went back to registering new accounts. The researchers, Kurt Thomas and Vern Paxson, presented their results today at Usenix Security DC, in a paper called Trafficking Fraudulent Accounts: The Role of the Underground Market in Twitter Spam and Abuse (PDF).
Update: Here's the full research team: "Kurt Thomas is a grad student at UC Berkeley who works at Twitter; Alek Kolz works at Twitter, Damon McCoy is a professor at GMU, Chris Grier is a researcher at ICSI and UC Berkeley and Vern Paxson is a lead researcher at ICSI and a professor at UC Berkeley."
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The Wall Street Journal's Katherin Rosman has learned of a secret subculture of users on Twitter notable for their nonsensical yet incisive humor. What would normally be well below the journal's radar has surfaced, it seems, thanks to the twitterers' "insincere engagement" with corporate-friendly advertweets. The most writheworthy cringe-moment is Rosman's quoting of a "tech entrepreneur" to speak for Twitter's "purists finding refuge in Weird Twitter."
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emojitracker shows "realtime emoji use on twitter." So much love and prayer. (Thanks, Sarah Smith!)
Toronto experienced 100mm of rain yesterday, resulting in widespread flooding. 300,000 people were without power for a time, and a GO commuter train had to be evacuated. Edward Vielmetti has rounded up some of the most dramatic photos tweeted by people on the scene.
July 8, 2013 Toronto flooding
(via Interesting People)
today that it will now allow advertisers to tailor ads for you based on your activities off of Twitter (for instance, browsing third-party websites), and will also use personal information like email addresses to target the ads you see.
"Users won’t see more ads on Twitter, but they may see better ones," wrote Twitter's Senior Director of Product and Revenue, Kevin Weil, touting the change as a way to make the service "more useful" to users.
Privacy-minded folks won't be too happy.
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Three weeks ago, humans set Rusty the Red Panda up on a blind date of indeterminate length with a female red panda named Shama at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Today, Rusty "went out for a pack of smokes"
, but his attempt at skipping town was thwarted by the zoo's Twitter followers, who caught him hiding in the bushes of a nearby neighborhood. — Maggie
Elida sez, "#ДАНСwithme is the hashtag for the protests in Bulgaria that have been going on for 10 days now. The spark was the choice of the head of the State Agency for National Security, ДАНС or DANS (hence, the hashtag - if you say "ДАНС" in Bulgarian it is the same sound as in "dance"). Similar to Turkey and Brazil, it was the beginning of social awakening. The difference? There is no violence on the streets, despite the fact that there are tens of thousands people on the street every evening. In fact, the protesters bring water to the policemen and policewomen as a sign of benevolence as the temperatures hit 30°C. And we ask everyone to dance with us."
A pastebin dump
, purportedly from the Twitter "firehose" feed (the feed of all public tweets), shows a remarkable amount of traffic mentioning NSA whistelblower Edward Snowden. However, "Snowden" isn't trending on Twitter; the anonymous paster suggests shenanigans at play. What do you think?