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Selectively tweeting via free Android application Twitsper

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As a long time Twitter user, there are admittedly a variety of flaws in the system and culture, one of which is the ability to control who sees what you tweet publicly. Many (like me) have a private account which gives one measure of control, but others feel awkward about denying some people the ability to see their tweets. Imagine your broker, your ex wife’s best friend or your weird neighbor follows you on Twitter- sometimes it’s easier to accept than ignore.

Given that, as Android users, we’ve been on the lookout for ways to manage our Twitter accounts better, one of which is a free Android app called Twitsper which looks to be created by a University of California at Riverside grad student in the Computer Science and Engineering program. Twitter + whisper = Twitsper which allows you to limit the audience for your tweets based on groups of followers you select and you have control over each individual tweet’s destination be it fully public or to a select group.

You can create lists that have subsets of followers and the tweets are only received by other members of the list who follow you back. When no lists are selected, tweets made through Twitsper go to all followers in the normal broadcast fashion.

Scan in the QR code below to download:

So far, I’m experimenting with the app and because I have a high number of followers, not much is loading and I can’t quite make a list yet but the theory of Twitsper is sound and I plan on making it work for me because there are times that I need to message just a select number of people messages without bombarding all of my network. Benn and I host a monthly party in Austin and I plan on grouping attendees so I can message them about #BASHH without all of you in real estate around the globe being inundated with messages that don’t pertain to you or your interests.

What will you use Twitsper for?

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. Harsha Madhyastha

    December 6, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I am one of the developers of Twitsper. Thanks for writing about it.

    I would like to clarify that you can create lists even online at twitter.com. You don’t necessarily need to create lists within Twitsper; especially for users with a large number of followers like you. When you come back to Twitsper, you will see the list you created online, and you can then send private messages to those on the list.

    • Lani Rosales

      December 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      Ah very good to know, thanks for sharing, Hasha! We dig the app!! 🙂

  2. Kelsey Teel

    December 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Hooray! I’ve been wondering when someone would come up with a way to organize and sensor who sees your tweets. Facebook has done a good job with this through their use of privacy controls and groups.

    Then again, I’ve always thought that maybe that was Twitter’s prerogative from the get go. They have gone in a different direction than Facebook in many ways. While Facebook has been updated multiple times, Twitter has remained notoriously simple with the one recent update being the only one. Why hasn’t Twitter already done this?

    The main advantages would be privacy and cutting down on useless tweets. Too bad it can’t magically stop spam, excessive quotes, and auto DMs asking me to become a fan of a Facebook page. 😉

  3. Agent for Movoto

    December 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    this should prove to be really useful to agents who want to get specific with targeting certain clients with particular listings or tips!

    • Lani Rosales

      December 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

      Exactly! Agents could have a hyperlocal neighborhood news list even!

  4. Ann Cummings

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Love this idea! I don’t have my new phone yet, which will be a Droid, however I’ve been saving the great suggestions for when I do get it, hopefully in next week or so. I need to get much better about lists and how to use them – love what you’ve written about here Lani. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lani Rosales

      December 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

      Let us know when you get your phone, we love swapping app tips!!

  5. Sara Bonert

    December 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Just last week I switched from a blackberry (loonng time user) over to the droid. It has been a huge adjustment, but every day I am amazed by how much more I can do on it. I am just getting into tweeting mobilely on it, and still trying to use tweetdeck because that is what I am used to on my pc – but no such feature exists in their system. So I’ll have to add this to the 1000 other new things I have yet to learn on the new phone!

    • Lani Rosales

      December 7, 2010 at 10:27 pm

      Ha ha, when we got our new phones we were obsessed for the first two weeks. It gets easier, I promise! 🙂

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Tech News

Australia wants Facebook and Google to pay media royalties

Australia seeks to require Facebook and Google to pay royalties to media companies for use of news content on their platforms.

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Australia is in the process of requiring tech giants, Facebook and Alphabet, to pay royalties to Australian media companies for using their content. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the move the day after the US Congressional antitrust hearing that put the CEOs of Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple back in the regulatory spotlight.

In addition to the pressure from the United States investigation into market control by these companies, global leaders are calling for similar regulations. Though none have been successful, media companies in Germany, France, and Spain have pushed for legislation to force Google to pay licensing fees to use their news content. Some companies have been pushing for this for years and yet, the tech giants keep dragging out their changes, even admitting their actions are wrong.

In 2019, the Australian government instructed Facebook and Google to negotiate voluntary deals with Australian media to use their content. The Australian government says the companies failed to follow through on the directive, and therefore will be forced to intervene. They have 45 days to reach an agreement in arbitration, after which the Australian Communications and Media Authority will create legally binding terms for the companies on behalf of the Australian government.

Google claims the web traffic that it drives to media websites should be compensation enough for the content. A Google representative in Australia asserts that the government regulations would constitute interference into market competition – which would be the point, Google!

According to a 2019 study, an estimated 3,000 journalism jobs have been lost in the last decade. The previous generation of media companies has paid substantial advertising fees to Google and Facebook while receiving nothing in return for the use of its news content. Frydenberg asserts the regulatory measures are necessary to protect consumers and ensure a “sustainable media landscape” in the country.

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Onboarding for customers and employees made easy

(TECH NEWS) Cohere enables live, virtual onboarding at bargain prices to help you better support and guide your users.

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onboarding made easy

Web development and site design may be straightforward, but that doesn’t mean your customers won’t get turned around when reviewing your products. Onboarding visitors is the simplest solution, but is it the easiest?

According to Cohere–a live, remote onboarding tool–the answer is a resounding yes.

Cohere claims to be able to integrate with your website using “just 2 lines of code”; after completing this integration, you can communicate with, guide, and show your product to any site visitor upon request. You’ll also be able to see what customers are doing in real time rather than relying on metrics, making it easy to catch and convert customers who are on the fence, due to uncertainty or confusion.

There isn’t a screen-share option in Cohere’s package, but what they do include is a “multiplayer” option in which your cursor will appear on a customer’s screen, thus enabling you to guide them to the correct options; you can also scroll and type for your customer, all the while talking them through the process as needed. It’s the kind of onboarding that, in a normal world, would have to take place face-to-face–completely tailored for virtual so you don’t have to.

You can even use Cohere to stage an actual demo for customers, which accomplishes two things: the ability to pare down your own demo page in favor of live options, and minimizing confusion (and, by extension, faster sales) on the behalf of the customer. It’s a win-win situation that streamlines your website efficiency while potentially increasing your sales.

Naturally, the applications for Cohere are endless. Using this tool for eCommerce or tech support is an obvious choice, but as virtual job interviews and onboarding become more and more prevalent, one could anticipate Cohere becoming the industry example for remote inservice and walkthroughs.

Hands-on help beats written instructions any day, so if companies are able to allocate the HR resources to moderate common Cohere usage, it could be a huge win for those businesses.

For those two lines of code (and a bit more), you’ll pay anywhere from $39 to $129 for the listed packages. Custom pricing is available for larger businesses, so you may have some wiggle room if you’re willing to take a shot at implementing Cohere business-wide.

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Smart clothing could be used to track COVID-19

(TECH NEWS) In order to track and limit the spread of COVID-19 smart clothing may be the solution we need to flatten the curve–but at what cost?

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COVID tracking clothing

When most people hear the phrase “smart clothing”, they probably envision wearables like AR glasses or fitness trackers, but certainly not specially designed fabrics to indicate different variables about the people wearing them–including, potentially, whether or not someone has contracted COVID-19.

According to Politico, that’s exactly what clinical researchers are attempting to create.

The process started with Apple and Fitbit using their respective wearables to attempt to detect COVID-19 symptoms in wearers. This wouldn’t be the first time a tech company got involved with public health in this context; earlier this year, for example, Apple announced a new Watch feature that would call 911 if it detected an abnormal fall. The NBA also attempted to detect outbreaks in players by providing them with Oura Rings–another smart wearable.

While these attempts have yet to achieve widespread success, optimism toward smart clothing–especially things like undershirts–and its ability to report adequately someone’s symptoms, remains high.

The smart clothing industry has existed in the context of monitoring health for quite some time. The aforementioned tech giants have made no secret of integrating health- and wellness-centric features into their devices, and companies like Nanowear have even gone so far as to create undergarments that track things like the wearer’s heart rate.

It’s only fitting that these companies would transition to COVID assessment, containment, and prevention in the shadow of the pandemic, though they aren’t the only ones doing so. Indeed, innovators from all corners of the United States are set to participate in a “rapid testing solutions” competition–the end goal being a cheap, fast, easy-to-use wearable option to help flatten the curve. The “cheap” aspect is perhaps the most difficult; as Politico says, the majority of people have a general understanding of how to use wearable technology.

Perhaps more importantly, the potential for HIPPA violations via data access is high–and, during a period of time in which people are more suspicious of technology companies than ever, vis-a-vis data sharing, privacy could be a significant barrier to the creation, distribution, and use of otherwise crucial smart clothing.

There is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated, among other things, technological advancement in ways unseen by many of us alive today. Only time will tell if smart clothing–life-saving potential and all–becomes part of that trend.

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