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Document any public Twitter user’s tweets on your calendar

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Twistory for calendars

For some time now, I’ve been using a program called Twistory to document tweets and send them automatically to my calendar. Now, any time @agentgenius tweets, it is sent to my Google Calendar.

Twistory is compliant with GCal, iCal, Outlook, Thunderbird and possibly more. After you’ve told Twistory which Twitter account you want to document, each tweet is then an independent, timestamped calendar event.

Why on earth would you need this?

I track a variety of Twitter accounts on Twistory and am frustrated that I’m limited to public accounts (meaning I can’t track my own tweets). Here are some uses I can think of for Twistory off the top of my head:

  1. If you have an assistant (or any third party) tweeting for you or about you, you should track that on Twistory.
  2. If there is someone on Twitter who habitually is abusive toward you or your brand, you could use Twistory to keep a record of their abuses (which we do).
  3. Similarly, if someone in your company habitually deletes tweets from the public record, Twistory will keep a record of them for your reference.
  4. If you are accountability-conscious, you should track your own tweets simply for record keeping purposes.
  5. If you are forgetful and need to reference things you’ve tweeted and need to search them, this is perfect since you can search the text of most calendars.
  6. If you’re a team leader, you should track what all of your team members and admins are saying on Twitter, even if you never refer to it.
  7. If there is a useful media outlet on Twitter that you’ll want to search later or simply have a timeline for, this is an easy way to track.

What other ways can you think of that tracking a Twitter account would be helpful?

Bonus: how to hide Twistory in Google Calendar

If you don’t want to junk up your calendar, you can actually hide all of the Twitter accounts you’re tracking and they’ll still be tracked in the background. I highly recommend this- I hide Twistory so I can still use my calendar as well, a calendar.

To temporarily hide multiple calendars:

  1. Click Settings at the bottom of the calendar list to the left.
  2. Select the Calendars tab.
  3. De-select the appropriate checkboxes under the Show in list column. Only calendars that are selected in the Show in list column will be displayed in the calendar list to the left of the event grid.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. AK Stout

    April 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    If you’re like me, you have way too many things already on your calendar to be adding tweets. While I think the reasons for tracking tweets are valid, I would suggest using a feed reader like Google Reader to keep up with the tweets of those you choose instead of placing them on your calendar. When I find individuals on Twitter that provide info that I know I’ll want to read at my leisure on an on-going basis I subscribe to their Twitter RSS feed via my Google Reader so that I can read them all in one spot either from my PC or when I’m waiting in line at Starbucks on my phone.

    • Lani Rosales

      April 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, AK! 🙂

      Per the above, “If you don’t want to junk up your calendar, you can actually hide all of the Twitter accounts you’re tracking and they’ll still be tracked in the background. I highly recommend this- I hide Twistory so I can still use my calendar as well, a calendar.” I’m with you- junking up a calendar isn’t helpful at all, so it’s smart to use a service like Gcal that lets you hide calendars. 🙂

      I subscribe to several thousand people on Twitter, but there are people specifically that I document their tweets. Per the above, here are several reasons why:
      “I track a variety of Twitter accounts on Twistory and am frustrated that I’m limited to public accounts (meaning I can’t track my own tweets). Here are some uses I can think of for Twistory off the top of my head:
      1. If you have an assistant (or any third party) tweeting for you or about you, you should track that on Twistory.
      2. If there is someone on Twitter who habitually is abusive toward you or your brand, you could use Twistory to keep a record of their abuses (which we do).
      3. Similarly, if someone in your company habitually deletes tweets from the public record, Twistory will keep a record of them for your reference.
      4. If you are accountability-conscious, you should track your own tweets simply for record keeping purposes.
      5. If you are forgetful and need to reference things you’ve tweeted and need to search them, this is perfect since you can search the text of most calendars.
      6. If you’re a team leader, you should track what all of your team members and admins are saying on Twitter, even if you never refer to it.
      7. If there is a useful media outlet on Twitter that you’ll want to search later or simply have a timeline for, this is an easy way to track.”

  2. Roberta Kedzierski

    May 12, 2010 at 3:37 am

    I love the idea of this, and have tried to subscribe but my tweets do not show up on on my Google Calendar. I have clicked to show all Calendars. I use Chrome for Mac. Is that a problem?

    • Lani Rosales

      May 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

      Hi Roberta, for me it took quite a while for them to begin showing up. If you don’t see it by tomorrow, let me know and maybe we can walk through it together? 🙂

  3. Emma

    May 18, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I’d had twistory showing up in my google calendar in the past, then deleted it for a while.

    When I tried to re-add it, it wasn’t working. I Googled for a bit & it seems that it’s got somewhat flakey – & Twistory’s own tweets said that it was a Google Calendar issue. twitter.com/twistory I’ve just downloaded & tested with Sunbird & that’s fine.

    Just as a matter of interest, as you’ve said you can’t track your own tweets in twistory, is that because you’ve set them to private?

  4. Missy Caulk

    November 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Since we can have multiple calendars in Google, why not just set up a specific calendar for that?
    Good idea! You Rock!

    • Lani Rosales

      November 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      I have it on my main calendar but just hide all activity and only refer to it when I need to. The best use I’ve gotten out of it so far is people saying “I never said that” after deleting a tweet… “oh yes you did,” my calendar says 😉

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Business Finance

Can you afford missing a paycheck? Finance tips for freelancers

(FINANCE) Freelancers who are not always promised a regular paycheck could benefit from staying on top of their finances. Here’s our tips!

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money for paycheck

Most Americans don’t have a regular savings account and could not handle a $1,000 emergency, let alone miss practically a month of pay. We all could benefit from some careful reflection about the precarious nature of our personal finances.

Particularly those of us who don’t receive a regular paycheck.

Entrepreneurs and those invested in the gig economy have volatile incomes, and literally no promise of a paycheck ever – that can impact your personal finances in a number of ways.

Variable incomes are normal for this group and can impact entrepreneurs in ways as simple as handling debt.

If this is you – here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you deal with the volatility of living on a variable income and handling your personal finances.  

  • Set up an emergency fund. Start with 500 if you have to, and remember this is an emergency fund for your personal expenses, not your business. If you have an emergency fund, make sure you identify what an emergency is and also be prepared to put money back when it comes out. If you have a hard time not spending money in front of you, put your money in a local bank or CU that you don’t have immediate access too.
  • Stick to a budget. when you can’t forecast your income appropriately, controlling expenses is so critical it’s the few things that are in your control.
  • Don’t mix business with personal. While you may be pouring your personal energy and time into your start-up or gig, be careful about mixing expenses for two reasons: First, it messes up your budget. You need to have separate budgets for personal and business. Second, there could be tax challenges – consult a tax professional for more information. Here’s a little primer to get you started.
  • Save for retirement. There are tax benefits and come on, don’t wait till you can’t work anymore. Also, an IRA IS NOT AN EMERGENCY FUND.
  • Practice good financial behaviors. Automate bill pay. Online statements. Digital receipt tracking. The more you can automate your life, the better you are. You already have so many demands on your time, reduce that so you can spend more time doing what you love and what matters.
  • Consider diversifying your income. Either ensure you have multiple strings or a backup gig (even if it’s just uber driving) or be prepared to do temporary or contract labor during your slow seasons.

The path to entrepreneurship is rough. If the government can be unstable, those of you who work in the world of startups, gigs, and entrepreneurship, need to be even more on your toes. The “normal recommendation” for saving is 10% of your income, but normal may not be enough for you. Be prepared and save (more) of your paycheck.

Disclaimer: I am neither a tax nor investment professional. This is personal financial advice and I encourage you to visit a professional if you need more specific plans of action.

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Tech News

iOS 15 beta has blur nude photos opt-in, but its not without fault

(TECH NEWS) To protect children from explicit content, the most recent beta version of iOS 15 includes a feature that allows users to blur nude photos.

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Woman looking at Apple iPhone representing new iOS 15 beta that will blur nude photos.

In a move to protect children from explicit content, the most recent beta version of iOS 15 includes a feature that allows users to blur nude photos received in the Messages app. Amid privacy concerns, the feature has yet to be released.

The option to blur nude photos is opt-in, reports The Verge, and does not prevent users from choosing to view the photos in question even after being implemented.

This iteration of the feature is distinct from the original one insofar as it will no longer alert a parent or guardian when nude photos are encountered. While this may seem like a controversial change, several experts pointed out that exposing nude content on a child’s device in some households could result in abuse or, as Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic instructor Kendra Albert suggests, the outing of “queer or transgender children to their parents.”

With the most recent version of this feature enabled, children who receive inappropriate photos via the Messages app would be able to do two things: choose to avoid (or see) the content, and choose to send a report to a trusted adult if they see fit to do so.

Blurring photos is just one of several aspects of Apple’s Communication Safety suite, a feature that aims to prevent child sex abuse by making it easier for children to avoid and report predatory content.

 

Child on electronic device- iOS 15 beta that will allow blur nude photos should protect children.

Another feature that Apple has tested – but not released – is their Child Sex Abuse Imagery Detection (CSAM-detection), which scans and reports iCloud content that shows child pornography or abuse to Apple moderators for further review. As one can imagine, the feature drew mixed criticism, the majority of which came from privacy advocates.

While the vast majority of humanity can (hopefully) agree that fighting against child exploitation is a noble cause, these groups argue that scanning and reporting individuals’ personal photos via an algorithm opens the door to government interference and increased surveillance. Switching the algorithm’s baseline to scan for things like anti-government content, for example, would be easy, these groups posit, making the feature extremely dangerous in principle.

There is no current release date set for any of these aforementioned features, though iPhone users can reasonably expect them to drop at some point during iOS 15’s development.

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Tech News

Amazon Music debuts synchronized text transcripts for popular podcasts

(TECH) The first feature to hit Amazon Music is auto-generated and synchronized text transcripts for their most popular podcast shows. Sign us up!

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Amazon Music Transcripts

Amazon set out to accelerate the growth and evolution of podcasts last year by acquiring the podcasting network, Wondery. Now, the company is doing just that with the launch of its auto-generated and synchronized podcast transcripts feature on Amazon Music.

According to an Amazon Music tweet, with this feature, you’ll be able to “Roll it back, jump ahead, and follow along” with the podcast you’re listening to. For instance, you can scrub through the transcript to find that line of text with that quote or movie and book suggestion you can’t quite remember. When you tap on a particular line of text in the transcript, you’ll be able to jump straight into that specific part of the podcast. I can already see all the time saved! But, if you just want to read along as you listen, you can do that, too. The transcript will match the audio as you’re hearing it.

Right now, the company is only rolling out podcast transcripts in the US on both iOS and Android devices. When it will expand to other countries isn’t known, and the feature isn’t available for all podcasts yet. For now, it is only available on a selection of popular podcasts like Smartless, Crime Junkie, This American Life, Uncommon Ground, and Modern Love, but more are coming.

Amazon Music Homescreen

To use it, all you have to do is open the podcasts tab on Amazon Music and select one of the podcasts you’d like to listen to. Of course, you’ll need to select a show with the podcast transcription feature to see it. When your show is playing, on the top of the album art and in fullscreen mode, the transcriptions will be available for you to read along to.

Oh, and if you’re worried about having to read through the ads, you have nothing to fret about. Ads won’t be transcribed. Instead, the transcription will read “audio not transcribed” when they are playing.

So far, Amazon seems to be going strong in the podcasting game with the release of podcast transcripts. The feature makes it easy to search and find what you are looking for in a show. And, for those on a long and noisy bus and subway ride, you’ll finally be able to read the information you previously couldn’t hear.

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