twitter-follow-meNow that we can’t randomly meet new people, I thought I’d share my collection of recommendation lists that people often put up on their blog.

I have to warn you, these lists are HUGE, so use it responsibly.  Remember that Twitter only allow you to follow 1000 people per day.  And even then, I suggest you do it slowly to avoid to be seen as spammer.

If you find that I haven’t included any list that you know of, please let me know on the comment, and I will include it in the list.

Finally, this list is a live list, I will add more as and when I see new ones, so make sure to come back and check it from time to time.  Or even better, follow our twitter account to get notified when the list is updated.

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This week the weather at Twitterverse has been clouded by the sudden decision from Twitter to scrap one of the settings option, which enabled users to see in their timeline replies from one user that they followed to other user that they didn’t follow.
Initially, Twitter argued that because only a small percentage (3% apparently) of Twitter users who were using this option, it was logical for them to get rid off this setting (though I argued that this is not the users’ fault).
What Twitter didn’t realize was that this 3% were passionate with this setting and as a matter of fact relying on it to find new people to follow.
After some intensive campaign from a many users which even had it’s own hastag #fixreplies, Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone (@biz) quickly wrote a new post explaining that in fact there was another reason for the setting to be changed, and that the reason was a technical one.
Today I’ve read in Twitter’s blog, that Biz Stone wrote another post, first apologizing to the users on the fact that basically they screwed-up in communicating the change; that they should’ve explained the reason of the change much better; and that they were and always be listening to what the users have to say.
The most important thing for me from this post though, is what he wrote and I quote:

For the 3% who wanted to see replies to people they don’t follow, we cannot turn this setting back on in its original form for technical reasons and we won’t rebuild it exactly the same for product design reasons.

Bummer! You see, I am one of this 3% of users who were using the option extensively to find new people to follow.  25% of my new following came from these Serendipitous Encounter that I had when one of the people I followed was having conversation with other user I had not followed.

To be fair, Stone then followed this statement with a long technical explanation on why they were forced to do this.  As a programmer myself, I can understand their stand-point, they needed to sacrifice the few to satisfied the many.

I really hope that Twitter will find an alternative way that has similar effect to this, without sacrificing the stability of their application.

But for now … so long for Serendipitous Encounters, I’m going to miss you very much!

Everybody in Twitterverse would know already by now about the trouble that Twitter is getting when they decided to change one of its setting.  A setting that, on the contrary of what Twitter thought, was used (and loved) by many users as one of the tools to discover new people to follow.

One of the reasons why Twitter change this reply policy, was of a technical nature.  Which I can understand, seeing that trafficking those replies around are, as you can probably imagine, very expensive activity and put a lot of burden to the server.  But one other reason was apparently only 2% of Twitter users were using the so-called discovery option setting.

This reason for me was not a strong enough to warrant the deletion of the setting.  Especially if we really think about why there were only 2% of users was using this option!

No, it’s not because they didn’t want to clutter their Timeline with one-sided conversation, or they couldn’t be bother to listen to people that they didn’t follow.  In majority of the cases, the real reasons are:

1. They didn’t know such options existed!

Just now, I’ve had a conversation with one of my Twitter friend about this setting change issue, and he confessed to me that he didn’t know that there was such settings existed.  Any newbie who join Twitter for the first time will be overwhelmed with the basics.  It takes some time to understand how status update works, what the following/follower mechanism is, and what are the impacts of these relationships toward replies and DM.  Most of these basics have already ate up their time, there was no way that they would touch the replies setting any soon.  So what happened? They left it on the default option setting!

2. Even if they knew it existed, they didn’t understand what those options really meant!

Heck, even myself, not until this afternoon have I fully understood what those options meant.  So for most of us, again, we just left it on default.

3. Some of the new users went straight to use Desktop Application soon after they join.

Which means they hardly ever touched their Twitter page anymore.  They didn’t need to.  Again, the option was left at default, and forever fogotten.

So, to say that these options were underused as the reason for the change, didn’t feel right for me.  It’s underused because it was not fully understood, hence neglected, left alone.

Fortnately, Twitter has been listening to its users and reacted quickly.  Although from what I read, the new solution, at least for me, will only solve half of the original problem, i.e. discovering new people.

I just got an email from Team Seesmic saying that they just released version 0.2.  Here are the change list from the email:

Improvements since v0.1.2
Add your Facebook account (since v0.2-rc2)
Aggregated timelines for Twitter and Facebook accounts (since v0.2-rc2)
Now supporting Twitgoo and Posterous in addition to Twitpic to share images on Twitter
Cleaner column look and feel
Optimized use of space to display more tweets
More tooltips on buttons
Improved error handling (especially for connection problems)
Improved pre-selection of “SHARED as” account to reply or retweet from
Remembering your preferred image sharing and short URL service across restarts
Auto-updating the timestamps in timelines
Sidebar can be scrolled when there is more content than available space
Bug fixes
Issues with webcam dialog – solved
Userlists and searches could get lost under certain circumstances – solved
Empty error message when trying to lookup a protected Twitter user – solved
and many more smaller issues

There are not significant additions, but some of the changes warrant a mention:

  • Facebook integration: it’s been there since rc2.
  • Twitgoo and Posterous integration, they don’t exactly add a new functionality, but I guess having alternatives are always good.
  • Cleaner look and feel: This one is actually quite a visible change, and it does help to tone-down that industrial look.
  • Empty error message on protected user lookup, this will definitely help at least to identify what’s going on.

All in all, the only major change since v0.1.2 is the Facebook integration, which if you already installed rc2, is not new anymore.

You can download the new version directly from the following link:

http://d.seesmic.com/seesmic/SeesmicDesktop-0.2.air

Seesmic Desktop v 0.2

Today I came across an article written by Themos Kalafatis at Life Analytics, which really caught my attention.  In his article, Themos revealed how Predictive Analytics (some fancy statistics kungfu) can help with ‘predicting’ which type of Twitter account is considered of having the ‘pulling power‘ for people to follow, and keep following.

The result of this statistics-heavy calculation was very fascinating, and basically reinforced what I’ve been always advising people to do with their Twitter Account when they first join, as well as confirming my reasons why I won’t follow back some accounts.

Have a look at the following diagram, which was taken from Themos’ article:

twitterdecisiontree

If you read the diagram carefully, what it basically says is, to have a successful Twitter Account you need to do the following:

  • You have got to have a bio!
  • Post at least 3 links per 20 tweets a day
  • Or Post at least 5 tweets a day
  • Post often (as in daily)

These points above are fine if we only measure the account base on Quantity.  Some of us though, including me, are looking for Quality.  For example, an active Spammer can post many tweets a day, with links in them, but do we consider this account as successful?  Actually, that could be a subjective matter, because from the spammer’s point of view, the account could be considered successful if he/she could get a good conversion rate from those tweets.
Nevertheless, for most of us, this is probably not what we are looking for from Twitter.  We are looking for Quality Tweets, with genuine value-added links (not some one-liner sales link).
Another conclusion that came out from this is that ‘sending tweets to other users‘, i.e. tweets with @username, is not consider to contribute much to the account’s success.  Well, I beg to differ, for me Conversation/Engagement is very important in deciding if I’m going to follow the person or not.
Consider these two stats from two different users (taken from MrTweet), which one that you more likely to follow?

mrtweet-solomrtweet-mahadewa

At this point, I might as well add one more criteria that I think it’s important for me, which is the ratio of followings/followers that a user has.  People with large ratio of following, against very small number of followers (or even none), is most likely not worth to follow.  Of course there are some exceptions, such as Media Companies which create the account just for broadcast only, or companies that use the account for update only (e.g. @twitter_status), or one of those so-called Real-Life Celebrities (you know who).

Themos did say, at the end of his post, though that the calculation is not complete and there is still more to offer in the future posts (the article is the first part of the series):

The analysis shown above gives many insights but it does not take into account what the users say and how this affects the popularity of a Twitter account. Text Mining will try to give some answers for this question and also identify which keywords on Twitter profiles seem to be associated with many followers.

It would be interesting to see what Themos will deduct from his next analysis.  I am definitely watching the space.

What a strange coincidence!  Just after I had my write up about Topify yesterday; today Twitter is rolling out a new Email Notification.

basic-email-notification-new
It’s obviously an improvement from the old one, as it now shows the follower’s avatar, followings/followers and tweets count.  But it is still far from what Topify is providing.
Though it begs the same question that also follows Twitter’s decision to switch from TinyURL to Bit.ly, is Twitter going to acquire these third-party services, like it did with Summize, and incorporate them into Twitter proper, like it did with Twitter Search?

Bytheway, if you still haven’t used Topify, here are some beta invites that you can use to try it rightaway.

Update:

And here is the Direct Message Notification:

twitter-dm-notification

If you are like me, preferring to check every Follower Notification that you get from Twitter, then the default email notification is, let’s just say, Basic! It does what it says on the thin, i.e. notifying you that somebody is following you, and that’s it.

basic-email-notification

So, for me to decide if I want to follow the person back or not, I have to click on the profile link to go to the online profile page of the follower, check the profile, follow/unfollow or block the person; and then back to the email for the next one. Normally, I would be ok with this, but when you have to review tens of these everyday, it’s becoming less enjoyable and sometimes plain annoying, not to mention this whole switching back and forth business is just a waste of time (time better spent to do some Twittering, mind).

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Most of us would be familiar by now with various Twitter web applications that provide some kind of Statistics calculation/visualization.
For example, Tweetstats give you some detail stats on how much you Tweet in a certain period of time (monthly, daily, hourly), as well as whom you reply-to the most and which Twitter client you use often.  It also give you a nice Tweet Cloud (a cloud of words that you tweeted most), or, if you like, the fun Wordle version of it :)

Below is my Tweetstats (click to zoom):

Tweestats - Mahadewa Tweetcloud - Mahadewa Tweetwordle - Mahadewa

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I’m watching right now a Live Streaming from Facebook Technology Tasting Live Event (thanks to Scoble), and just managed to caught the end of a presentation by Facebook about their new Desktop Air Client. Seem that they don’t want to be left behind by others (like Seesmic and Tweetdeck), so they are making their own.

I managed to download and installed the app, and basically, it’s a desktop app where you can check your News Feed and your Wall Status (it’s auto updated), as well as update your status.  It’s minimal I know, but I hope they will keep releasing update to add new features.  It would be great to have a desktop app that does everything that we can do currently on the web.

Here is a screenshot from the app running on my Mac:

picture-1

Every other major Social Media site seems to try to come up with new design and upgrade their features these days.  So after Facebook, Flickr and recently Twitter, I was’t very surprise when I heard that YouTube is doing it too.

If the last YouTube’s update we more on the video watching side, this time it’s the Channel that gets the make-over!

YouTube Channel 2.0

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#Mass Moonwalk – The Story

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