Archive for the 'Twitter' Category

Slow Networking

April 18, 2016

You may have heard of movements like slow money and slow food. I’ve started to apply a similar philosophy to networking and communications.

In the past month, I’ve deleted my LinkedIn and AngelList accounts due to their use of dark patterns. I’ve also downgraded from an iPhone to a simpler flip phone. With these changes, I feel less distracted and more able/engaged reading physical books and long-form blogs. At events, there’s no more excuses to be staring down at a smartphone; instead, I’m readjusting to rely on good old-fashioned face time.

At a recent meeting, everyone else brought their laptops and were busily using them during the meeting. I only had a pad of paper and a pen. It didn’t feel like people were present staring at their screens. There was no eye contact at all. What’s the point of having an in person meeting if people are that distracted?

So far, the benefits of disconnecting and slowing down seem to be outweighing the cons. Over the next year, I’m considering deleting my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I’m also experimenting with using my own email server and slowly moving off Gmail for privacy reasons.


Most Beautiful Greasemonkey Script in the Room

January 27, 2009

Looking round room,
I can tell that this
is the most beautiful greasemonkey script in the…room.
In the whole wide room

Remember that Greasemonkey script I wrote that adds # of unread @replies to Twitter? Well, I just made it 182370245 times better. Version 0.2  adds a mentions tab that includes the updates with your username in them, but aren’t @replies. Now, you won’t miss it when other people RT you or include you in a list of names!

It works by doing a search on @username at and removing the @replies.

Your Mentions

Your Mentions

You can download and install the script at

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter and Friendfeed.

Add Profiles to Friendfeed

July 4, 2008

Friendfeed doesn’t have user profiles, yet. The second best thing to do? Use this Greasemonkey script to see people’s Twitter bio on their FF user page. You can download it from Also check out my other Friendfeed GM scripts, including better recommended and better subscribed to me.

Add Profile to Friendfeed

Download script, Not Perfect, But Good Enough

July 3, 2008

This is a response to everyone complaining about being yet another microblogging service.

In today’s world, time is a luxury you don’t have. Release your product too early, it’s featureless or users don’t understand it, they won’t come back. Release too late, and someone else has surely beat you to the punch. Being a web developer, I understand that it’s okay to release something that is not perfect. You want to release something that is just good enough. Good enough to give users a reason to join and come back. You want to be agile, transparent, and open. Let the users know when the next release is and what to expect. Iterate quickly, fixing those bugs and adding more key features as you build up your core user base. Speed is key. That is the ingenuity of Web 2.0. is not perfect, but it’s good enough. Now is the perfect time to release, when Twitter is failing, and people are looking for refuge. Also, it’s open source, which means the best and the brightest software engineers in the world will have a chance at creating a scalable, decentralized Twitter clone. Even on Day 0, so much happened. There was an issue with RSS that people pointed out when importing to other services like Friendfeed, and evan fixed it within an hour. There were no Replies, so people took it onto themselves to write a Greasemonkey script and a Yahoo Pipe. Many people already started looking at the code.

Much work is needed to be done, but I, for one, have high hopes for

Follow me on and

What do you think? Join the conversation in the Friendfeed room.

Other related articles:

Fail Whale Fail

July 2, 2008

The Real Rick Roll

June 17, 2008

Inspired by Jessica Hagy‘s indexed blog and the Fail Whale.

My Takeaways from IgniteBoston3

May 30, 2008

Ignite Boston

Update 6/2/08: Presentation slideshows now available on SlideShare.

Ignite Boston 3 had over 15 five minute keynote presentations. Here are some of my takeaways from it.

iPhone Open Application Development – Jonathan Zdziarski

  • iPhone stores way more information than you think (ie. every time you press the home button it takes a screenshot, every word you type gets added to the keyboard cache, every time you use google maps the map tiles are stored, deleted photos, contacts, web objects can all be recovered)
  • Detectives have access to iPhone forensics toolkits
  • iPhone needs to be more open/transparent, so keep on hacking
  • If you are a drug dealer, don’t take photos of your stash with your iPhone

Take a look at my pot!

PS. Thanks for the book!

Distributed Twitter – Joe Cascio

  • Twitter can be made more reliable if it’s distributed
  • If you’re interested in helping, join their google group and attend the Thursday meeting at Berkman

The Open Source Marketing Checklist – Jeff Whatcott

  • Selling open source is hard (1 in 1000 people who download actually pay)

Web 2.0 is Sharecropping – Jesse Vincent

  • Web 2.0 tools are everywhere, don’t just rely on other people’s tools or you might get screwed

Digital Goods, The Future of Online Communities – Ravi Mehta

  • Virtual goods = $
  • Tencent makes 5x more per user than Facebook and has 4x higher operating margin than Yahoo

Photo: Lewis County Herald

I made a LOLcat…

May 20, 2008

BarCampBoston 3: Sunday

May 18, 2008


A smaller crowd showed up on Sunday. Good for more of an intimate setting and for discussions. Recap of the sessions I attended.

Programming the Twitter API


John Eckman showed us some of the basics of the Twitter API, and how he used it to code his ReTweeter PHP script. Check out his blog post for slides and code.

Warning: Setup new twitter accounts for testing. Do not use live accounts. 450 SMS messages may have financial consequences. :)

No where! – Living/working/hiring remotely

James Hall who works at Renesys, where many employees work virtually all over the country, led this discussion/Q&A. Some points I picked up:

  • let employees take ownership of projects
  • give employees room to experiment with their own projects (~20% of time)
  • get everyone together for meetings in real life often (at least every couple weeks)
  • working at home, single, bored and/or lonely? Get a dog.
  • documentation on a wiki
  • co-working sites++
  • There was a woman who was somewhat interested in starting a Cubes & Crayons type co-working + child care site in Cambridge/Boston. She seemed reluctant, but I think it’s a good idea, so if she is reading this, I think you should do it. :)

Hiring Hackers – How to Tell if Someone is Good

A few of the hackers from HubSpot led the discussion on how to find and evaluate good programmers.

  • craigslist, events/meetups > monster, dice, 37signals
  • hackathons
  • infosessions at college/universities (make the presentation interesting and advertise FREE FOOD)
  • solve puzzles
  • see if they are a good teacher = high level of understanding
  • programming tests
  • get them out of their comfort zone and see how they react/solve

At The Intersection of Everything


Flickr: Poagao

Jay Neely made a great presentation and sparked a really interesting discussion over privacy control (or lack thereof), next gen devices (location, presence aware, always connected), information overload, using social networks as filters, using semantic information, and more. His talk was based on his article, Building the Future’s Foundations: The Platforms of the Web.

  • Three types of photos, three social networks: professional, personal, drunken rage = LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace
  • no privacy on the internet (“we’re all screwed”) vs. separating accounts/persona, being self-aware and appropriate all the time
  • where does the privacy control/filter take place? Device vs. web service vs. social networking site, automatic vs. manual, photos need semantic data?

Also, check out this hilarious video on Social Networking Wars.

Another great day at BCB. Thanks for reading, and see you all at the next conference.

BarCampBoston 3: Saturday

May 17, 2008


BCB3 was a great experience. I learned something new at every session and met some awesome people. I’m hoping to attend Sunday as well. Here’s a run down of the sessions I attended on Saturday.

Nabaztag – The WiFi Rabbit!


Jay Ayres demoed Nabaztag, a cute WiFi-connected smart rabbit with a bunch of other attached goodies. For $165, this rabbit can do text2speech, obey voice recognition, detect objects (RDIF), play music, speak 16 languages, interact with anything on the web (RSS feeds, weather, stock quotes) including other wabbits, and more. Check out the Nabaztag website to see what it’s all about. I totally ordered one.

Future of Video Games discussion

This was a round table discussion led by Darius Kazemi, Scott Macmillan, and Chris Bowen. 30 mins was too short and a continuation session was added later in the afternoon. Talked about..

  • people who play games might not know they are gamers (casual gamers)
  • games moving towards free to play + microtransactions (taken off in Asia)
  • open source clients for MMOs within 5 years
  • convergence of casual gaming and hardcore gaming (Example: hardcore RPG gamer having a family, still want to play a game with a rich experience, but cannot spend as much time vs. occasional Facebook app gamer interested in a more complex game)
  • gamer: “won’t play a game that wastes my time”
  • Tetris can be immersive, “Bejeweled” players can be hardcore gamers
  • pervasive gaming (might be easier to get into using next gen location based mobile devices) and its issues including “casual” pervasive gaming
  • how the gaming industry is currently a walled garden (most game developers don’t know much about social media/web 2.0, “What’s delicious?”) and movement towards breaking down those walls
  • hardware/VR plays on games (good for military because they need simulations as real as possible, but bad for consumers — they want to play a game to escape reality)

Lunch Time!

Pizza gooooood.

Agile, Distributed Software Dev


Andy Singleton of Assembla talked about how to steamline your software development process. I missed the beginning of the presentation. Here are some things I picked up:

  • nightly builds
  • database migration scripts
  • bug tracking system
  • unit testing
  • documentation on wiki (process for new developers)
  • short release cycles (1-2 weeks, 2 mos max for big project and stick to them)
  • always schedule follow on release shortly after upcoming release (in case need to bump a feature out of upcoming release)
  • prioritize > estimates
  • let devs pull tickets, rather than push to save time
  • build now, rebuild later
  • beta users as your QA team

iPhone Development for Earthlings


Dan Grover showed us some Objective C. And um…the iPhone is cool. Yeah…Oh, and he needs to release his iPhoneFinger software that simulates a finger to use on the simulator as seen in this quicktime movie of his Google Maps clone. =)

Update 6/6/08: Dan released PhoneFinger.

Viral Marketing Q&A

Matt Peters is a really cool guy. His company Pandemic Labs is a pioneer in social media strategy services. He led the discussion about viral marketing. We talked about a few topics including:

  • viral marketing is too new, no experts
  • the viral video Will It Blend? by BlendTec. Trivia: the guy in the video is the CEO, and the first video was shot for $600 including the video cam.
  • @comcastcares will have someone call you within 10 mins if you complain to them on Twitter
  • Eons – harder to get older crowd into digital space, direct email marketing worked for them, users used the service as a dating site
  • viral marketing is not the best strategy for everyone (ie. a database management system)
  • viral [expansion] loop, double viral loop (read Ning’s Infinite Ambition)
  • having a blog and doing SEO optimization are both important – I’m looking at you @girk and @mypunchbowl :)
  • put your blog on your company’s URL like and not or for SEO purposes

That’s all for Saturday. Apparently, I missed out on some Second Life plugin that facilitates tele-dildonics equipped cyber sex. Someone will have to fill me in on that…On second thought, nevermind. See ya tomorrow.