Tag Archive for 'twitter'

Here’s to #London2012

I’m not much of a sports nut. In fact, in order to be able to write this entry, I had to go and look up the exact dates for the Olympic Games 2012. You’ll be relieved to find out that they start in pretty much exactly 64 days. Which would be the 27th of July.

Now, why am I writing about an event which I have no interest in at all? Because it’s necessary. You see, the Olympic Games, like any event of a certain size that gets broadcast all over the world, has sponsors. Very powerful sponsors who invest a lot of money so people all over the world can see that these modern-day gladiators do in fact splurge on Coca Cola. All day, everyday (it’s a no-brainer: I know how fidgety I get after a bottle of Coke, I’m sure professional athletes use that to their advantage). Anyway, since these sponsors invested a whole lot of money, they don’t want others, who didn’t unload truckloads of cash into the lobby of the IOC, to profit from the Olympic Games. Hence, they’ve managed to lobby the UK into passing a law which effectively outlaws the usage of “London2012″ or any combination organisers and sponsors deem to be infringing on their copyright, by entities other than official sponsors.

Here’s an example of what that means:

One day, the small espresso shop near the site of the London Games was the “Olympic” cafe. The next day, it was the “Lympic.”

So where did the “O” go?

The manager won’t say. But it’s more than likely the small business became another casualty in the battle against guerrilla marketers – advertisers who try to associate their products with an event without paying to be sponsors.

(This article gives more insight into how the IOC has been cracking down on unauthorized usage of the five rings and whatever shitload of terms they have put their copyright on – read it, but only when you’re done with this one.)

Well, today the media are flush with news about suspended Twitter accounts, one of which was a parody account. Apparently, the usage of the 2012 logo is enough to have an account suspended, for people might actually confuse the account with an official sponsor. Which is the world we live in – warped, but accepted. But it does get a bit worse: Twitter is working closely with IOC to guarantee only real sponsors can buy ads associated with the London2012 hashtag. Now, even that seems ok. It’s about ads, not content posted by users. But here’s the thing: the IOC is always afraid of guerilla marketing stunts, and what better place than social media to do that? There’s no ban (yet) on using #London2012 in a tweet, so in theory, companies could use it to promote their products (a practice all sorts of Twitter users employ to peddle their shit). And they will. And Twitter might start policing the usage of the hashtag, and they might delete accounts of private users and they might reinstate these accounts but they might not. All in all, Twitter might be turning shit within a fortnight and there’s not a whole lot we could do. Or could we? We actually can.

As a pre-emptive strike against what might turn into a freedom of speech issue, let’s have some idiotic fun: starting July 27th, whenever you tweet, add the London2012 hashtag. Ask your friends, followers and/or foes to do the same. And while you might anger or bore your followers, you’ll have done something good and noble as well. For free speech, for people with little cafés in London called “Olympia” and maybe even for yourself (by disproportionally blowing up your sense of self-importance, of course).

Last but not least, don’t forget to share this posting wherever you go, preferrably of course by appending the mother of all hashtags: #London2012

What I eat

Two reasons to write the following posting. First one is to tell you of that little service that’s tied to Twitter, FoodFeed. It lets you send messages to Twitter, detailing what you’re having. The result then looks like this.
It’s fun while it lasts (which was about three days for me), and I guess when you’re really diligent, it’ll be sweet to see what you’ve had two years ago.

Reason number two is to show you that we are indeed ingesting things other than Martinis in copious amounts. So here, take pleasure in what we had the last days:

Dinner

This was dinner two days ago. Tasty home-made fries, red vegetables and a big, ole steak.

Breakfast

The next day saw a breakfast of rice pudding with roasted almonds and raspberries. Quite the treat.

And yesterday we indulged in something even more delicate. Pork slowly cooked in a rhubarb-honey paste, then roasted and served with noodles, fresh peppers, coriander, cress and scallions. It was fantastic:

Pork (among other things)

Well, hope that’s proof enough that I haven’t yet switched to hard alcohol as my main calorie-provider.

Twitter Friend Requests or The Pitfalls of Viral Marketing

Twitter, the reinvention of the wheel (if a wheel was in fact something people use but don’t actually know if they actually need it), lets people follow other people’s activity stream. So far so good.

The fact that Twitter is by now more popular than the Ribwich has led to constant notifications telling me that this or that person is now following me. Most of the time, the person is either a bot or a spammer (which, btw, is a great sign that you’re in fact not exactly the quarterback of the Interwebs). I usually don’t reciprocate the favour and don’t follow them (a good indicator always is the ratio followers versus following – if you’ve got someone who’s following 3000 people but has a measly following of 10 people, you know that person is either mighty unpopular or a bot, both you should stay clear of, for different reasons).

So today I received another notification of someone following me, the rather telling name was termpapers. Clearly a spambot, but as with human nature and all, I was still curious to see what exactly they were offering. Well, turns out they offer, tadaaa, termpapers. From their homepage:

Paper Masters writes custom term papers and research papers. Our research paper services provide a completed term paper, exactly as if our writer was you! You give us the complete details of your project, the date that you want the research from us and that’s it! Receive your custom research paper in your e-mail complete and ready to go!

I am flattered that someone is reading my updates so diligently as to actually glean from them that I’m still not done with my thesis. But no, buying your thesis is not a solution. It’s actually just very, very stupid.

So no, dear termpaper, I will not follow you and your exploits on Twitter. Even though your first and as of now only tweet is, in its naive attempt to mimic viral marketing methods, quite charming.

On distractions

The more avid readers of this website may have noticed a scandalous lack of postings lately. And if there were postings, they were uninspired regurgitations of images, links or, well, nothing much at all.

This has to change. But in order to change it, I first have to find out the reasons for this change in pace.

Thanks to my tremendous introspective skills, I have of course already spotted the culprit: distraction! These days, everything is distracting me:

I’m distracted by things like Twitter, the service that just doesn’t want you to shut up.
I’m distracted by my camera and Flickr, because all they want is for me to shoot photos and upload them for all the world to see.
I’m distracted by the thousands of items Google Reader pushes at me each day, expecting me to go through them at once, lest I want that dreaded ’100+’ next to the feed, indicating in a shameful way that there are people out there who write things faster than I could ever read them.
I’m distracted by my computer-mouse, because it keeps clicking me through all the above mentioned services, and I keep ending up at places like this, watching people declare their lucid views in professionally produced amateur videos.

And finally I’m distracted by the fact that I’ve forgotten how to end blog posts. That one witty line, that bonmot, that final question that will linger on your mind for the remainders of your day, I just don’t know how to do it anymore.

But it’s all going to change, because I

(succumb to cheap thrills.)




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