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Deep Twitter Thoughts while Twitter is Down

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Well, Twitter is down for the day was scheduled to go down today, but hasn’t yet, so I’m left with no outlet but this I still have Twitter as of right now to record all my deep thoughts.  I (anticipated that I would) feel a little alone without the constant background chatter.  I don’t know how Teri’s trivia turned out, if Steve’s got spa plans, or exactly how cold it is in St. Paul.  I’m fairly sure the Jeff/Zebra seesmic barrage will continue, they’ll just have to let each other know of updates somewhere else.  I hear that T-mobile has blocked tweets, so Jay is out of luck.  Next time I back over a light fixture, he won’t learn about that until hours later, instead of instantly on his phone.  The Dalton appears to be AWOL anyway, after a trip to San Diego.

What I find ironic is that I have a small processing problem in my head where – in real life – I have trouble focusing in on a single voice when there is background noise, due to a bout of meningitis when I was a kid.  And yet I love Twitter.  I can handle digital background noise, but not actual background noise.

I feel like I finally understand what happens at a large party – those places where I tend to find a seat on the side and happily observe from a distance by myself.  In real life, I’m not much for crowds as it takes enormous effort to concentrate on one person’s voice – it’s too frustrating, and often an effort in futility if the room is loud enough.  In Twitterworld, I can flit from one group chat to another, hear that digital conversation going on just behind my left shoulder, see two folks talking in the distance and not really follow along but enjoy watching their virtual hand gestures in the course of an animated discussion.

And I can turn it on and off at will.  Well, except for 10am to 10pm PST today.

Maybe it’s finding a home in blog-o-topia, or Twitter (certainly not Facebook), but I’m finding myself more social in real life as well.  There’s a whole portion of social interaction in groups that I kinda missed out on that I’m starting to learn and – horror of horrors – enjoy.  People think I’m kidding when I say my last job had me sitting in a lab, alone,  where I could go for weeks at work without needing to speak, except at group lunch.  (Consequently, I am the Minesweeper Champion, but that’s another story.)

So – in a way, Twitter is good for me.  I actually invited people over to my house tonight, and loud people at that.  It’ll be fun.  We’ll throw some ribeyes on the BBQ and… well, we’ll do some real-life twittering.

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is usually found focused on her Tucson, Arizona, real estate business. You may also find her on Twitter, where she doubles as a super hero, at Social Media Training Camp, where she trains and coaches people on how to integrate social media into successful business practices, or at KelleyKoehler.com, a collection of all things housechick-ish. Despite her engineering background, Kelley enjoys translating complex technical concepts into understandable and clear ideas that are practical and useful to the striving real estate agent.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Steve Dalton

    December 15, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Lol! that was perfect. I was just wondering as I watched the snow fly today, what I’d do without twittering.

  2. Andy Kaufman

    December 15, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Funny. While commuting to the office, I kept thinking of things that I would have been twittering. It’s amazing that we’ve all gotten so used to sharing our stream of conscious. I actually brainstormed a list of possible seesmic topics to talk about when I get back later tonight.

    Maybe we should just move the party over to Pownce? I’ve got 27 more invites, get em while Twitter is supposed to be down. If you need one, shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to send yo one . andy at myeastbayagent dot com

    –Andy
    https://twitter.com/andykaufman

  3. Maureen M.

    December 15, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    I went looking for you and Teri… on Twittier…

    Twitter took some getting used to for me but I like it now.

  4. Teresa Boardman

    December 15, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    They do have part of it down. You can’t send text messages by phone.

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    December 17, 2007 at 12:07 am

    Nice tag title …

    If I wasn’t laughing so damn hard I’d be mad.

  6. Andy Kaufman

    December 17, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Wow, that was sneaky 😉 The links are full of snark.

  7. Jay Valento

    May 12, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    What do I use Twitter for? Do I use it from my Treo?

  8. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    May 12, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Hey Jay, click here for a compilation of our who/what/when/where/why articles about Twitter and let us know if that clears it up- Twitter’s great for some people and if that’s you, let us know when you’ll be joining us!!! 🙂

  9. Rockville Real Estate

    February 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Twitter is the best.

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Instagram makes IGTV videos more accessible with automatic closed captions

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature for Instagram opens avenues for viewers who don’t or can’t use audio on IGTV videos, creating more accessibility for all.

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Instagram live being recorded will now feature auto captions.

In an effort to expand accessibility efforts, IGTV videos on Instagram will now include an auto captions option. While its parent company, Facebook, has included auto captions on uploaded videos since 2017, this new-for-Instagram feature is expected to widen audience viewership and increase potential viewing by those who prefer watching sans-audio.

In a statement by Facebook, the company states: “While there is no shortage of information, not everyone can access it. It needs to be available to the hundreds of millions of people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.”

Current events have made the need for auto captions even more critical for inclusion. “The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in both the supply and demand of public health information. Several local and state governments, that were accustomed to holding live press conferences but didn’t have the resources, staff or technology to record, stream, and caption their live events, turned to Facebook Live. Several governments also discovered that video captioning was not just a nice-to-have, but imperative, especially in the absence of available sign language interpreters,” states the company.

Currently, Facebook provides auto captions for videos in 16 languages and has announced that Instagram’s IGTV will have access to the same features. The caption accuracy is determined by the video’s audio quality, although AI technology is constantly improving in both precision and speed.

Additionally, branded content ads are likely to see an increase in consumer interaction. Recently published data by Facebook shows ads visually designed for watching with the sound off have 48% more relevance to viewers and a 42% higher purchase intent. As auto captions normalize across social media, users can expect ad content to utilize this feature to the fullest.

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New tool organizes your Reddit feed (and makes it actually usable)

(Social Media) Reddit’s UI hasn’t always been super intuitive. ‘Deck for Reddit’ organizes your feed into themed columns, making it way more user-friendly.

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Deck for Reddit on display on laptop on desk.

Love it or hate it, the mass collection of forums on Reddit have some form of content for everyone. The simple UX design places content straight down the middle of the screen and the infinite scrolling feature allows you to view a limitless amount of content from cute puppy images to cringe-worthy videos. However, its simplicity isn’t very practical, and is something that I think should be voted down.

Yes, Reddit has come a long way from its previous text-heavy form, but there is still a lot to improve on. Charles Yang, a frustrated Reddit user, has created a web app that could change all that: Deck for Reddit, a desktop optimized, alternative way to browse your favorite forums.

“I built it to show as much content as possible at a glance, while respecting your screen real-estate,” writes Yang.

Currently, the web app is in open beta. With a very similar experience to Tweetdeck, this Reddit tool seems to hold some promise.

On the far left side of the website, there is a list of icons with all the subreddits you’ve subscribed to. Clicking on an icon will take you directly to that subreddit column. This is very convenient for users with a bunch of subscriptions. Additionally, by making several subreddits visible on the screen all at once, Yang succeeds in his goal of taking advantage of the vast empty white space that Reddit failed to use.

From this display, you can click on a post, and it instantly expands to show all the comments. Hit the back button, and the post collapses. Now, you are back to seeing all the posts related to that subreddit. And at the top of each subreddit, you can easily sort the content by what’s new, popular, and trendy. Engagement has never felt easier.

Along with everything else, this extension also adds another great feature in setting customizations. The theme can be switched from light to dark mode. Fonts, text size, and even the shape of the subreddit icons can all be adjusted. Preferences can be changed to hide viewed submissions and reduce animation motion. And if you’re slacking off at work or want to chill, you can set it to hide NSFW content.

Overall, Deck for Reddit makes the user experience smooth sailing, and it truly makes Reddit the “front page of the internet.”

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Instagram now lets you create and share fundraisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) If you’ve been wanting to start a fundraiser for something you care about, Instagram’s new feature lets you do just that. Go check it out!

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Instagram Fundraiser

Instagram announced last week that it has launched a test for a Personal Fundraiser tool on its platform. The feature will allow users to start their own fundraiser if it complies with guidelines or choose an existing cause to support. The launch began in some US, UK, and Ireland markets and is available on Android and iOS.

In its announcement, the company confirmed that since January, more than $100 million has been raised for COVID-19 across Facebook and Instagram (also owned by Facebook), citing that donations on Instagram have doubled in the US in the past 30 days. The announcement said, “from people raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19 and funding educational resources related to racial justice, people are eager to mobilize around causes they care about.”

Personal Fundraisers are short-term and meant to serve time-sensitive causes, with the initial duration lasting 30 days with the option to extend for an additional 30 days. Users must be 18 to create a fundraiser and have a designated bank account in which funds can be deposited. Donations will be processed through Facebook Pay, which also powers Instagram’s new shopping features. The platform covers fees for non-profits, but not for Personal Fundraisers. Donors can choose to keep their information hidden from the public, but organizers will be able to see user names and donation amounts.

To start a Personal Fundraiser, users with access to the feature can tap “Edit Profile”, “Add Fundraiser”, followed by “Raise Money”. They can then choose a photo, select the fundraiser category, and write out a story to encourage donations. When approved, users will be able to raise funds.

Instagram says it will expand the number of users who have access to this feature in the months ahead, as well as give users access to share fundraisers both in their Feed and within Stories. Fundraising features already offered by the company include Donation Stickers for Stories and a Live Donations feature for live streams.

This feature is similar to the fundraising feature already available on Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

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